The path to Miss America starts at the local level and on the North Oregon Coast, this journey starts with Miss Clatsop County. At the beginning of February, 6 contestants competed for the honored spot, that comes with scholarship money and the duty of representing our great county at the Miss Oregon competition and hopefully, on to Miss America. This year, Cannon Beach native Haylie Moon took the crown.
Along with the Miss competition, there is also a Teen category, where this year 8 ladies took to the stage and a Princess category, which had 22 participants. Each Miss and Teen contestant earns at least a small amount of scholarship money for participating. In 2016, there was approximately $6,500 available for local contestants. The Princesses receive the opportunity to go to Miss Oregon and onto Miss America to meet other Princesses.
Nationally, over 12,000 ladies participate in local competitions.
Earning The Title
The Miss Clatsop County competition has the following categories that each lady is judged on: Interview, Onstage Question, Fitness, Eveningwear, and Talent. There are four points to the crown and the winner must demonstrate that they are successful at each point to be crowned the winner.
The first point is service. Each contestant must select a platform for their campaign. Since they may choose something that they are passionate about, many contestants stay involved with their platform after the competition.
The second point is style. Outside of looking good, judges look for somebody who is relatable and strong in all of the competition categories.
The third point is scholarship. This competition provides an opportunity for young women across the country to earn money for their education.
The last point is success. In addition to learning about issues for the competition, contestants have the opportunity to practice skills such as public speaking and interviewing.
Cannon Beach Local Takes Crown
This year the four points of the crown were best represented by Haylie Moon, who is now the reigning Miss Clatsop County “I, along with many others, are drawn to the competition because you receive scholarship money as well as practice interviewing, which then translates to a great skill in the future,” Haylie explains when asked what motivated her to enter the competition.
Haylie grew up in Cannon Beach and has lived in the same house since her childhood. She graduated from Seaside High School a few years ago before moving to Portland for college. She currently attends University of Portland as a nursing student and will graduate this spring.
During the interview portion of the competition, Haylie enjoyed the opportunity to discuss and share the summer job she held for the past eight years at Cannon Beach Surf Shop, where she worked as an instructor and in customer service.
Haylie’s platform is an issue important to her: de-stigmatization of adolescent mental health issues. Through her year she will be educating community members about how to start conversations about mental health at a young age and how to make communities more welcoming and accepting of mental health issues. Her education and outreach could have an impact on Clatsop County communities.
Haylie named the Talent and Interview portions of the competition as her favorite, and these are the categories that are weighted the most in scoring. Haylie performed a ninety-second dance for the judges. The interview was conducted behind closed doors and Haylie was given the opportunity to talk with the judges about her personal and professional goals, current affairs, the Miss America Organization and her platform.
“I have danced since I was two years old, so being able to have an excuse to continue dancing and doing something I love is amazing,” Haylie says. “I also enjoy the interview portion because it’s the only time throughout the whole pageant (pretty much) where the judges get to see who you are as a person. You can also use the time to not only inform them about yourself, but to discuss your ideas about the world with others, which is pretty amazing.”
Haylie enjoyed her experience in the competition and encourages others to give it a shot. “Although there is a swimsuit portion of the competition for the Miss contestants, you are out there for less than a minute, so do not let that scare you,” she says. “If you can start as a teen I would say go for it! You grow so much as a person through this competition and get money for continuing your education just for going onstage. You will make so many lifelong friends, have tons of fun, and gain skills that you can utilize in the future to get you where you need to go. If you have ever considered competing in this pageant, do not hesitate any longer! This is a great opportunity that not enough people know about and utilize, so go out there and get that scholarship money!”
Be sure to cheer on Miss Clatsop County Haylie Moon as she heads to the Miss Oregon 2019 competition on June 27 – 30, 2018, along with Miss North Coast Aubrey McMahan.
Miss Clatsop County’s Outstanding Teen 2018 Caitlin Hillman and Miss North Coast’s Outstanding Teen 2018 Taryn Miller will compete for Miss Oregon’s Outstanding Teen.