By MIKE CHAIKEN
Four new titleholders were selected on Saturday night to represent the city at Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen in June.
Jillian Duffy was crowned Miss Forestville at Chippens Hill Middle School. Victoria Lemme is the new Miss Bristol. Gia Iwanec was selected as Miss Forestville’s Outstanding Teen. Autumn Schless is the new Miss Bristol’s Outstanding Teen.
“I’m honored to represent the Bristol Forestville organization for the fourth time now at Miss Connecticut,” said Duffy. “I’m just excited to get back into the community and start interacting with the community I love so much.”
“I’m so excited to represent the town of Bristol,” said Lemme.
“It was the best feeling ever, I was so excited,” said Schless when asked how it felt to win.
Iwanec said, “I’m so excited to represent Miss Forestville’s Outstanding Teen.”
Although Duffy has competed in pageants before, she said, “Everyone has their bad days. They have their off days. I’m still going to try my absolute hardest… Obviously, it paid off because my next stop is Miss Connecticut.
“I, of course, was nervous (waiting to find out if I won). I’m always nervous. I’m my biggest critic,” said Lemme. “But I knew there was nothing more could have done (as I waited).”
“I was going, is it me, is it me,” said Iwanec when asked what was going through her mind at the end of the night. “Finally all the nerves and excitement (bubbled up) and I had tears of joy come out. I’m so excited.”
Waiting to find out if her name was called, said Schless, “I just hoped for the best for everybody. When I won Miss Congeniality, I just wanted to sit there and cry. They were so nice. I hope for the best for everybody.”
As she embarks on her next year, Duffy said, “I really, really want to get back into the community and be with the Miss Forestville-Bristol organization again. It has been favorite. I love the warm and I love the appearances and events.”
“I’m looking forward to explaining my platform, the program I started called ‘Blankets for Babies,” said Lemme.
Iwanec has been with the Miss Connecticut organization since she was 5, said she was a Connecticut Princess and a national Princess to the 2013 Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen. For the next year, she said, “I have so much planned for my platform, ‘Get Into Action: Movement to Better Health. I want to promote that to the Bristol-Forestville community.”
Schless said she was looking forward to going to Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen in June. “I think it will be such a fun experience. I will get to learn a lot from it.”
Duffy, who is marking her fourth time representing Bristol or Forestville said that although she doesn’t live in Bristol (she resides in neighboring Burlington), she’s grown up here and worked with many of the community organizations. “I just love the vibe that it gives off. It’s a very tight, close-knit community,” said Duffy, “I love the support they have for their titleholders.”
Other awards given out on Saturday were:
Most ad sales: Amber Ouellette
Miss Teen Congeniality: Autum Schless.
Teen Talent: Gia Iwanec.
Miss Congeniality: Amber Ouellette.
Miss Talent winner: Jillian Duffy.
First runner-up Miss: Micayla Barrows.
Other Miss contestants participating on Saturday were Courtney Ouellette and Alexis Volpe.
Other Teen contestants participating on Saturday were Faith Boilard and Bridget Clute.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN