Miss Winnipesaukee Scholarship Program
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Megan Lyman and Jennifer Clements Crowned 2009 Pageant Winners

Originally published on Citizen.com. Written by Casondra Marden

Monday, July 13, 2009 (Gilford) Tiaras, sashes, and titles were the dream of the 11 contestants who took the stage at Gunstock on Sunday night as part of the Miss Winnipesaukee & Miss Weirs Beach Scholarship Program, which is a preliminary to the Miss New Hampshire Competition.

As the journey ended for Miss Winnipesaukee & Miss Weirs Beach 2008, another journey began for Miss Weirs Beach 2009, Megan Lyman, and Miss Winnipesaukee 2009, Jennifer Clements, both of whom won a $2,000 scholarship toward pursuing academic ventures.

Megan Lyman crowned Miss Weirs Beach 2009

Megan Lyman is crowned Miss Weirs Beach 2009 by her predecessor, Asheley Chaput.

Megan Lyman, of Gilford, won the judges over with her tap-dancing routine. Megan's platform is "beating the odds against childhood diseases." She is very passionate about helping children who are sick because when she was 12 years old, she was diagnosed with cancer in her shoulder, which caused her to stay at Boston Children's Hospital for three years. She said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek came to the door of her hospital room and told her to keep fighting and she did.

She said she has gone back to the hospital in the past to dance for children there. "Hopefully I will inspire them to keep fighting," Megan said.

Megan will be a freshman this fall at New England College where she plans on studying to become an elementary teacher.

She said she didn't expect to win because it is her first "Miss Local" pageant. Until now, she has only competed at the teen level where she was named Miss New Hampshire Outstanding Teen in 2008.

"I'm really, really shocked," Megan said.

She was also co-winner of The Jeffrey Gebhard Memorial Scholarship of $25 for Lifestyle & Fitness in Swimsuit.

Jennifer Clements performed a monologue as her talent called "The Night the Lights Went out in Georgia." The monologue was about a girl talking about her sister and how she won the Miss Georgia competition through a series of incidents that caused a power outage in Georgia. Jennifer's platform was Building Memories: Bridging the Gap of Alzheimer's Disease. She said she is particularly passionate about the subject because her grandmother had the disease and she lived with her over the course of 10 years. She said that 1 in 11 people suffer from Alzheimer's, but a lot of people don't realize how hard the disease on the family members of the inflicted. She said she wants to educate people on the disease and how to deal with the memory loss while creating new ones.

"It's about bridging the gap between old memories and new," Jennifer said.

Jennifer  Clements is crowned Miss Winnipesaukee 2009

Jennifer Clements is crowned Miss Winnipesaukee 2009 by her predecessor, Kayla King.

Jennifer is attending the University of New Hampshire in Durham and is planning on teaching English at the high school level. She also won The Marilyn Dearborn Memorial Scholarship of $150 for having the best interview with the judges and was co-winner of The Jeffrey Gebhard Memorial Scholarship of $25 for Lifestyles & Fitness in Swimsuit.

Jennifer said she was genuinely surprised when she was announced as Miss Winnipesaukee 2009.

"It's so hard to predict these things," she said. "Everyone is so strong and talented."

She also said she considers herself very lucky to have won a competition so early in the year. She is excited to have the extra time to prepare for the Miss New Hampshire competition.

Miss Winnipesaukee 2008, Kayla King, and Miss Weirs Beach 2008, Asheley Chaput, passed on their titles to the young women who were dressed in their finest evening wear. Both previous title holders helped coordinate the event and choreographed the opening number in which all of the contestants participate.

Kayla King also performed a song, while Asheley Chaput did a tap dance number -- their last titled performances.

Co-director Gary Vincent said he was excited to welcome the new winners, but sad to see the pervious winners go.

"They have brought a lot of sunshine to around here," Vincent said, "We're sorry to see them go, but know they have bright futures ahead."

Asheley and Kayla expressed similar mixed feelings about the ends of their reigns. "This has been just an absolutely awesome year," Asheley said.

Also in attendance was Miss New Hampshire 2009, Lindsey Graham, who came to support the girls as well as to perform a vocal selection. "It's always an honor to watch the new contestants perform," Graham said.

The program has been in place since 1925, which makes this year its 80th anniversary. It has been sponsored for the last 40 years by Funspot, where the winners volunteer their time for bingo nights.

Judging for the pageant was based on 25% interview with judges (which happened earlier in the day), 5% on-stage interview, 35% talent presentations, 15% Lifestyles & Fitness in Swimsuit, and 20% Presence & Poise in Evening Wear. None of the final contestants left empty-handed. Each received a $100 scholarship for getting as far as they did.

Third runner-up was Lissa Silk, who won a $200 scholarship. Second runner-up was Regan Elizabeth Hartley, who won a $500 scholarship and first runner-up was Alicia Rossman, who received a $700 scholarship. Other final contestants were: Chantel McCabe, Joanna E. Edwards, Kat Howland, Bess Brooks, Caitlin Elizabeth McGlinchey, and Kristen Ruggieri, who won the People's Choice Award.