by Peter Bodley
Samantha Phillippi earned a prize package of close to $5,000 for winning the 2012 Miss Coon Rapids title at the annual scholarship pageant Saturday evening at Coon Rapids High School auditorium.
She was chosen the winner from a field of five contestants with Chantal Wilson named first runner-up.
Phillippi will now go to represent the Coon Rapids Snowflake Association and the city of Coon Rapids at the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant in June with the winner of that competition advancing to the Miss America Scholarship Pageant.
For winning the 2012 Miss Coon Rapids title at the Coon Rapids Snowflake Days event, Phillippi earned a $1,500 cash scholarship as well as a crown with custom made crown box, sash, crown pin, Miss Coon Rapids stationary, 200 autograph cards and 50 photo buttons.
In addition, Phillippi received a Swarovski necklace and earring set worth $300 from Gould Jewelry, Anoka; $250 donation to the Children’s Miracle Network for the Miss Minnesota competition; $500 clothing allowance for Miss Minnesota; $250 discount with a minimum $500 purchase from Glitz! at Mall of America; $100 photo allowance for the Miss Minnesota competition; $250 in pageant consulting from Cheri Kennedy – The ImageGroup; $350 discount on a platinum gown from The Pageant Shop by Michaels – Sarah Moses; and a $100 discount on Miss Minnesota headshot photo from Paula Preston Photography.
For placing first-runner up, Wilson received a $300 cash scholarship and flower bouquet.
There were also other pageant awards.
• Wilson, who played the piano, won $200 for being the overall talent winner and also earned the $150 North Star Lions Club Community Service Scholarship.
• Phillippi earned a $100 cash award for winning the evening gown competition.
• Elsie Arisa was presented with the $500 Beaurline Family Communications Award for being the overall interview winner by Carla Beaurline, the 1991 Miss Coon Rapids.
• Arisa also won a $100 cash award for being chosen Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants.
Judging took place Saturday evening in swimsuit, talent and evening gown competitions, with the judges’ interviews, in which contestants presented their platforms, taking place prior to pageant night.
In her farewell speech before the announcement of the new queen, 2011 Miss Coon Rapids Megan Ehlert thanked the community of Coon Rapids for “being so welcoming” and the Miss Coon Rapids Scholarship Pageant Committee for its tremendous support.
Working with the pageant committee and the Coon Rapids Junior Royalty over the past year has been like one big family, according to Ehlert.
“The Coon Rapids committee is a class act,” said Ehlert, who donated the evening gown prize for the 2012 pageant.
“There are so many volunteers helping, it’s amazing.”
According to Diane Buszta, pageant director and president of the Coon Rapids Snowflake Association, Ehlert was a “fabulous Miss Coon Rapids.”
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciate what you have done. You have done so many good things for us that it’s hard to say goodbye.”
Ehlert placed third runner-up at the 2011 Miss Minnesota Pageant in June as well as winning the interview phase of the competition.
According to Coon Rapids Mayor Tim Howe, who attended the pageant, said the Miss Coon Rapids and Junior Royalty pageants were the highlights of the annual Coon Rapids Snowflake Days celebration, now in its 48th year.
Howe recalled that he attended his first Miss Coon Rapids Pageant when his girlfriend, now wife, Susan, was a contestant and a few years later one his sons was named a junior commodore in the Junior Royalty pageant.
Also taking part in the pageant were Miss Minnesota 2011 Natalie Davis and 2011 Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen Emily Freeh.
Peter Bodley is at [email protected]