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By Jennifer Abreu
The Miss UK Pageant, put on by Delta Tau Delta fraternity, presented the new Miss UK and Miss Lexington on Friday at the Singletary Center.
Candice Cruz was named Miss UK 2013, and Stephanie Ramos was named Miss Lexington 2013.
The two winners received $500 scholarships at Images Model and Talent Agency. Each of the women who competed also won a scholarship worth $250.
First runner-up was Lyndsey Cook, followed by Hillary Lewis.
The charities benefiting from this year’s event were the Makenna Foundation and the Children’s Miracle Network.
Miss UK 2012 Ramsey Carpenter hosted the competition and was joined by the surprise emcee, Miss Kentucky Jessica Casebolt.
Among the judges were Lisa Fath, a certified judge for the Miss America Pageant and director of Royal Runway Pageants, and celebrity judge Aaron Boyd, a former UK wide receiver.
Miss UK 2013, Cruz, is a broadcast journalism senior.
Cruz sang “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill for her talent performance.
Ramos is a broadcast journalism and early childhood development double major at Western Kentucky University.
Tri Delta member Hilary Price, who came to support her sorority sisters Caroline Hall and Madison Oxley said there is a lot of work to be done before the competition.
“The girls put a lot of work and time into preparing for their talent performance,” Price said.
Rachel Freeman, an elementary education sophomore and Tri Delta member, pointed out the pressure the contestants face onstage.
“They are put on the spot with talent performances and questions,” she said. “I don’t think they know what exactly the question will be about, so they have to be prepared for anything.”
Jenna Ferrante, a nursing freshman, said the platforms each contestant represented were inspirational to her.
“Everyone sees pageants as only a beauty contest, but it is also for their platforms,” Ferrante said. “They don’t compete just for themselves, but for a cause they support.”
Miss UK 2012 Ramsey Carpenter also highlighted the importance of the platform each contestant represents.
Carpenter’s platform is multiple sclerosis, and she shared the story of how she was diagnosed with the disease two years ago.
Nutrition and pre-pharmacy freshman Kayla Hilson said there is more work ahead for the winner and for the women involved in pageants.
“It was very interesting that Miss Kentucky talked about all the responsibilities and work she has to do,” Hilson said.
While the judges finalized their votes, Miss Kentucky Jessica Casebolt spoke about how she had to stay out of school for a year to dedicate her time to the title.
The Miss Kentucky Pageant will be June 27-29 at the Singletary Center.