A new Miss Seal Beach is crowned

Newly crowned Miss Seal Beach 2012 Joy Knepper adjusts her crown. Photo by www.kaybradford.com.

It was a night of magic for the contestants on the stage of McGaugh Elementary School auditorium.

The Miss Seal Beach Pageant, an event that is steeped in the seaside city’s history was back after a year hiatus thanks to the efforts of Rosie Ritchie, a local realtor and a former Miss Seal Beach. She had picked up the responsibilities of producing the event after Barbie Meyer, who had run the pageant for decades retired from running it more than a year ago.

“Definitely, all the hard work paid off,” Ritchie said. “We now have Joy Knepper as Miss Seal Beach and Krista Tamarea, the Junior Miss Seal Beach.”

The two were crowned on Saturday evening along with their courts including Samantha Savage, Megan Boyd and Brook Stinson of the Miss Seal Beach court and Mikayla Rothwell, Clara Hunt and Jessica Winslow in the Junior Miss Seal Beach court. The young women beamed with happy emotion as they glowed on the stage.

“It has been so nice seeing how much all the girls have grown just from the first meeting,” Ritchie said. “They went from being shy and quiet to standing tall with beauty, grace and confidence.”

All of the contestants had come together for pre-pageant events, which included the meeting with the Seal Beach Lions Club at Khoury’s Restaurant, where they arrived in black cocktail dresses and greeted all the members.

“They each got to practice getting in front of a crowd and speaking, it was enjoyable for the girls as this was the first time for so many of them,” Ritchie said. “From there Bay Boat Rental so kindly invited all the girls to a Duffy boat ride around Naples Canal.”

The girls enjoyed getting to know each other and had an evening at McKennas on the Bay with their sponsors.

The Judges included Jill Ingram, Seal Beach city manager, David Moellencamp, Los Alamitos High School Choir director, Cara Howard from The Sun Newspaper, Denny Lund, owner of Schooner or Later and Tantalum), and Priscilla Dill (Competition Cheer Coach).

The Los Alamitos High School Mens Competitive Choir, “Extreme,” opened the program with an entertaining number.

“The city has been great with all the support this last few months and the girls look forward to representing Seal Beach with style and class,” Ritchie said. “For me it was all about giving the girls a experience to remember, polishing their skills allowing them to use what they’ve learned here in the future, from college applications to job interviews.  I’m so proud of each and every one.”

Organizations or groups that would like to have the Miss Seal Beach queens and their courts assist with upcoming events, should call Rosie Ritchie at (562) 810-0078.

Ritchie also thanked photographers Kathy Garr and Tom Gong who worked with Kay Bradford and followed the girls throughout the events, taking photographs.