by MIKE CHAIKEN
Crowns and sashes may have been distributed at Nuchie’s in Forestville.
But for the eight young women who stepped forward last Friday to represent the Miss Bristol organization in its 59th year, the honor was more about the chance to serve the community for a year.
Jaymie Bianca is the new Miss Bristol. Amber Ouellette is the new Miss Forestville. Irelynn Janell is Teen Miss Bristol. Emily Anastasio is Teen Miss Forestville. Sofia Circosta is Teen Miss Charter Oak. Autumn Schless is Teen Miss Mum City. Allie Masto is Teen Miss Constitution.
This year, the Miss Bristol organization is in a stasis. Historically, the group has been part of the Miss America Organization, with its representatives heading to the Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen competitions with the ultimate goal of reaching Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen contests.
This year, the opportunity may not happen. Miss Bristol’s executive director Linda Lubrico said it is to be seen if any of the young women will go to the state competition this year because the affiliation with MAO is unclear..
This year, the Miss contestants were appointed to their titles, rather than participating in a competition. The Teens also did not compete and selected their titles out of a jar.
All of the young women cited the opportunity to serve the community as the primary reason they took on the crown and sash.
“In a lot of ways, I feel the Bristol community raised me. Growing up here for a decade, I had some of my most important moments here… I just want to give back to the people who raised me,” said Cyr.
“I love to help out,” said Anastasio.
“I missed the community,” said Schless who was a title holder in Bristol two years ago. “I really did like going into the community and talking to people at all the stores and going to all of the appearances.
“I just want to go out and meet new people and be able to raise money for whatever they need money for,” said Circosta.
The representatives of the organization also looked forward to using their titles as a platform to promote issues of a personal concern to them.
Janell said she wants to talk to the community about the importance of hospice for cancer patients.
“This past year, my dad actually passed away (from cancer),” said Janell
Janell said hospice was beneficial in helping her get through the trauma of her dad’s illness. Many of those who work with hospice have gone through what she was going through and all of the emotions she experienced. “(It) just felt very comforting and it made me feel better… to hear stories from other people who lost their loved ones…. I want to be part of helping more families,” said Janell.
“My biggest passion is animal rescue,” said Ouellette.” I have two rescue dogs at home … One whose name is Benny. He’s a dachshund-Corgi mix. The other is Piper. She is a dachshund chihuahua mix. They’re so loving and full of energy.”
“It’s so gratifying for me to have rescue pets since they love you unconditionally,” said Ouellette.
The opportunity to work with Lubrico was also a big draw for the young women.
“I know how much Linda gets involved in the Bristol community,” said Maisto, “which is why I love and admire her. So, the fact she has chosen me to get a title tonight is so incredible.”
The opportunity to represent her hometown also was key for Bianca’s decision to serve again with a crown and sash. Bianca had just wrapped up a reign as Miss Forestville.
“I just love the ability to interact with my lifelong community,” said Bianca.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN