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Grayslake Pageant Seeks Girls, Teens

Local pageant queens provide community service during their reign.

Applications are being accepted for the 2011 Grayslake Pageant, an opportunity for girls ages 4 to 22 to represent the village in various community events.

The pageant focuses on confidence, poise, personality and community service. “It’s an all-natural pageant,” says co-director Jean Quaintance. “It is not all glitzy and done-up like you might see on TV.”

Four new Queens will be crowned next month:

  • Tiny Miss Grayslake for 4- and 5-year-olds
  • Little Miss Grayslake for 6- to 9-year-olds
  • Junior Miss for 10- to 15-year-olds
  • Miss Grayslake for 16- to 22-year-olds

Quaintance says it is a great experience for those who are new to the pageant circuit. “It’s very low-key. We want this to be a positive experience for them so they can learn and grow from it.”

Reigning Junior Miss Grayslake Elisa Wentz, 14, of Grayslake, was a first-time contestant when she won the title last summer. “I wasn’t sure this was something that I would want to do, but when a friend asked me to do it, I tried it out," Wentz said. "It’s just a really amazing experience.”

Other outgoing queens include Tiny Miss Josephine Rubino, Little Miss Sophie Staranowicz and Miss Grayslake Nicole Murgas, all of Grayslake.

The queens have done several community events this year including a blood drive, car wash, parades, and the holiday tree lighting. Their main project was raising money and food for the People Lending Assistance Network, a nonprofit organization that networks with individuals to assist the needy living in Lake County.

The Grayslake Queens have collected 3,200 pounds of food this year for PLAN, and $115 at the Taste of Grayslake alone. “It just makes us feel so good to be able to help out something like this,” Wentz says.

The queens will also be collecting canned goods for discounted admission to the Aug. 6 pageant.

Contestants will rehearse up to 15 hours for that competition, which consists of an interview before a panel of judges, an opening number, casual wear, a short speech and formal wear.

“We really work with the girls to make sure they are confident and practiced. We want them to feel comfortable on stage and have fun while they are doing it,” says Quaintance.

Each contestant will receive a T-shirt and trophy for competing. A runner-up is awarded in each age division, along with other titles, including Miss Congeniality and Prettiest Smile.

An informational meeting for the 2011 Grayslake Pageant will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 22, at , 50 Commerce Drive. Rehearsals will begin that evening. There is a $40 entry fee upon registration.

The new queens will be crowned at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at the College of Lake County. The Little Miss, Junior Miss and Miss Grayslakes also will represent the town in the Lake County Pageant in November.

Registration forms are available at , 815 Center St. For more information, contact Paula Casso at 847-528-6598.

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