By Joy W. Fowler
The 74th Annual Miss Georgia Pageant was held at the Bill Heard Theater at the River Center in Columbus on Saturday, June 16. Fifty-three young women from across the state represented their local communities and competed for cash, prizes, and the honor of being named Miss Georgia, as well as representing our state at the 92nd Annual Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City on September 9. Among those fifty-three young women were two faces particularly familiar to the Buford/North Gwinnett community.
Alexa Gilomen, Miss Historic Buford 2018, was named 4th Runner Up to Miss Georgia. Alexa captivated the audience with her talent competition piece, a riveting vocal performance of an original arrangement of Love Song, first made popular by The Cure. For ninety seconds, the audience was spellbound by the beauty of Alexa’s tone and vocal agility as she commanded the stage in an emerald green velvet evening gown. Her standout performance earned her a Preliminary Talent Award on Wednesday’s preliminary competition and paired beautifully with her stunning appearance in both evening wear and swimwear, as well as her articulate interview skills. A graduate of North Gwinnett High School and the University of Georgia, Alexa is passionate about her platform issue, Music Matters: Educating and Empowering Through Music. From her competition winnings, Alexa has earned over $7,800 in scholarships to date, including $3,000 on Saturday night alone.
Annie Jorgensen, our Miss Historic Buford from 2017, competed as Miss International City 2018 and was crowned Miss Georgia 2018. On the Miss Georgia stage, Annie’s talent competition piece entertained and inspired the audience with her heartfelt, spirited jazz dance to That’s Life, the Frank Sinatra classic recently recorded by Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty. In addition to being named Miss Georgia, Annie also received the Overall Interview and Overall Onstage Question Awards, as well as the STEM award. She received over $21,000 in scholarships on Saturday night, as well as a full year lease of a new Kia from Kia Autosport and over $150,000 in wardrobe, products, and services from approximately thirty gracious Miss Georgia sponsors.
Originally from Wisconsin, Annie moved to Georgia shortly after her high school graduation to enroll at the University of Georgia, where she graduated in May 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication. She is the former Miss Wisconsin’s Outstanding Teen 2011 and was named Miss High School America 2013. Annie will represent Georgia at the 2019 Miss America Pageant, which will be televised live on ABC on September 9.
As the first ever Miss Historic Buford, Annie became like family to our Buford community during her year of service from August 2016 to August 2017. She crowned Alexa Gilomen as her successor at the Buford Fine Arts Center at the 2018 Miss Atlanta and Historic Buford Pageant. An official fundraiser for the Buford High School Choral Music Department, the 2019 Miss Atlanta/Historic Buford Pageant will be held at Buford Fine Arts Center on Saturday, August 25, where Alexa will crown her successor who will compete at the 75th Annual Miss Georgia Pageant in June of 2019.
In addition to the Miss Georgia Pageant, the Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen Pageant was held on Friday, June 15. The Miss Atlanta/Historic Buford family sent five candidates to the Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen competitions, and each girl finished well. Brooke Doss, Miss Atlanta, finished as 2nd Runner Up to Miss Georgia and was a double preliminary winner in swimsuit and talent, earning approximately $7,500 in scholarships. The Miss Atlanta/Historic Buford Franchise sent three candidates to the Outstanding Teen competition: Kristin Hsu of Johns Creek (Miss Historic Buford’s Outstanding Teen) was named to the Top 15, Kassie Todd of Claxton (Miss Atlanta’s Outstanding Teen) was named as 4th Runner Up and was the recipient of a preliminary Onstage Question Award and the Spirit of Miss Georgia Award, and Rory Pan of Johns Creek (Miss Heart of Atlanta’s Outstanding Teen) received an Evening Gown preliminary award, a preliminary talent award, and was crowned as Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen. An incredible young woman, Rory will represent our state at the national pageant, Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, in Orlando, Florida July 24-28.
When asked how it felt to finish so well at the Miss Georgia Pageant, Alexa stated, “I’m just so thankful that I could show the judges my heart and remain true to myself and my beliefs. Finishing in the top five was truly a magical experience, and I feel blessed to have shared the stage with such intelligent, talented, and beautiful women!”
For more information on how to become involved in the Miss America Organization and register for Miss Atlanta, Miss Historic Buford, or our Outstanding Teen Program, please visit www.missatlanta.org.