By Journal Times readers
RACINE COUNTY - A sell-out crowd attended the Miss Racine Scholarship Program Saturday night at the Gifford School Auditorium. Eleven contestants competed for the title of Miss Racine, and 19-year-old Britani Denise Madala won the crown along with a $2,500 scholarship and the opportunity to represent Racine County at the Miss Wisconsin Pageant in Oshkosh next June.
The daughter of Greg and Denise Madala, Britani attends the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, pursuing a master's degree in business and a minor in communications. For the talent competition, she performed a tap dance and her platform issue is called "Be A Hero - Blood Donation Matters."
"It was a thrill for me to win the title of Miss Racine on Veterans Day because my heroes are the men and women of the U.S. military," said Madala. "My short-term goal is to encourage blood donation for our veterans and all Americans. And my future ambition is to give back to my heroes by traveling overseas to entertain and encourage them, and thank them for all they do for us."
The first runner-up and winner of a $1,500 scholarship is 17-year-old Rachael Clare Faulds, a senior at St. Catherine's High School. The daughter of Chad Faulds and Mary Gramza-Faulds, Rachael also performed a tap dance for the talent competition. Cynthia Grimal, daughter of Addie Grimal, placed second runner-up. A 21-year-old student at Gateway Technical College, Cynthia sang a vocal solo for the talent competition and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Melissa Maggart, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, placed third runner-up and won a $900 scholarship. The daughter of Janet Maggart and the late Mark Maggart, Melissa performed a jazz dance for the talent competition. The fourth runner-up was Sarah Tanner, a senior at Washington Park High School. The daughter of Virginia and Todd Schuh, Sarah performed a vocal solo for the talent competition and will receive an $800 scholarship.
The other participants in the competition, including Monique Bates, daughter of Johnnie Bates; Mary Collum, daughter of Rudy and Mona Collum; Courtney Ladd, daughter of Mark Ladd and Jodi Ladd; Zenaida Maldonado, daughter of Javier and Martha Maldonado; Heather Neau, daughter of Larry Neau and Diane Reeves; and Ashley Steeves, daughter of Pam Steeves, will all receive a $500 scholarship. In total, the participants are eligible for more than $10,000 in cash scholarships and more than $40,000 in in-kind scholarships - a new record for the local Miss America affiliate.
Other special recognition awarded through the Miss Racine Scholarship Program this year include the non-finalist talent award which was given to Heather Neau and the non-finalist interview award earned by Courtney Ladd. Miss Congeniality was Cynthia Grimal and Miss Racine 2007 Britani Madala also earned the Spirit of Miss America Award. Zenaida Maldonado received a special award for selling the most ads for the program book, and the top ticket sales award also went to Madala.
One of Madala's first appearances will be at the Festival of Trees on Nov. 24 when she will be a featured guest in the Miss Racine Outstanding Teen Program at 7 p.m. at Memorial Hall.
On Nov. 25, she will also appear during the Miss Festival of Trees Program at 2 p.m. at Memorial Hall, and she will ride in the Downtown Racine Christmas parade that evening at 5:30 along with the new Miss Racine Outstanding Teen and the newly crowned Miss Festival of Trees. For tickets to these pageants or more information, visit http://www.missracine.org
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