by MIKE CHAIKEN
The town of Wolcott has a penchant for developing winners in the world of scholarship competitions like the Miss Connecticut program.
Among the Miss Wolcotts who have gone on to win Miss Connecticut in the Miss America system include Stacey Perrone, Amy Zappone, Emily Audibert and Jillian Duffy. Duffy, who was Miss Connecticut 2019, even went on to reach the top five at Miss America at the national competition held at Mohegan Sun Arena..
On Saturday, a new Miss Wolcott will be crowned — taking over for the reigning titleholder Laura Christie. And the winner has the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of the many Miss Wolcotts before her and be crowned Miss Connecticut.
This year’s Miss Connecticut competition will be April 8 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville.
Suzanne Russell, the Miss Wolcott program’s executive director, noted Miss Wolcott representatives have been successful “because the Wolcott community is very supportive and involved with assisting our titleholders in prepping with mock interviews and appearances within the community.”
Russell said traditions such as Miss Wolcott are especially important for small communities like Wolcott. “(It’s) very wholesome,” she said.
She added that it’s important to have ambassadors for the community like the Miss Wolcott titleholders have become. “They become role models and develop great leadership skills within the community,”
Plus, the executive director said, “(Miss Wolcott) has been one of the longest running local (competitions) in our state and to carry on this tradition is an honor.”
For possible attendees, Russell said, they should expect to see “smart young women who are very talented and ready to conquer this journey.”
The candidates will be judged on talent, a “statement of impact” (an issue that they will make their cause for the year) and a “red carpet” on-stage interview. Earlier in the day, candidates will have a private interview with the judges.
In addition to crowning a new Miss Wolcott, a new Miss Wolcott’s Outstanding Teen also will be crowned Saturday.
Wolcott High School graduate Allie Maisto will be handing her crown over to a successor.
Maisto said she entered the competition last year because “it has been my dream to be Miss Wolcott ever since I was a little girl — and I really mean it. At 5 years old, I competed for Little Miss Wolcott and would always watch the Miss Wolcotts in the local parades.”
A senior at Wolcott High School when she won the teen title last year, Maisto said, “It was so memorable to represent my hometown on the Miss Connecticut stage as well as at every appearance I attended.”
Now that her year is over, Maisto said, “I will, of course, miss all the appearances; however, I had the best year possible.”
To her successor, Maisto offered some advice: “Truly enjoy every second and not take any opportunities for granted. The Wolcott community is so close and always comes together as one. Make the most out of your year.”
The Miss Wolcott Scholarship Competition will be held Saturday at 4 p.m. at Wolcott High School, 457 Bound Line Road, Wolcott. Doors open at 3:30 p.m.