It’s time for Beaver County memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. A Beaver County Tradition in the spring for over five decades has been the annual Junior Miss Pageant, now known as the distinguished Young Woman Program WBVP and WMBA sportscaster, and emcee of the event every year, Bob Barrickman, helped recap these memories from the Junior Miss and Distinguished Young Woman events through the years.
Junior miss came to beaver county in 1962. Eleanor Kay Shenesky of beaver falls was named Beaver County’s first ever Junior Miss for 1963. Shenesky then went on to become Pennsylvania’s Junior Miss at the state program held in Reading. Shenesky was lnamed fourth runner-up at the Junior Miss national finals in Mobile, Alabama later that year. Interestingly, the national winner that year was Diane Sawyer of Kentucky, a long time anchor for ABC news. Long time KDKA radio morning newsman Ed Schaughency, a native of Beaver, was the emcee when Shenesky won the local program. Other Pennsylvania junior miss winners from Beaver County were Gayle Conover of Ambridge in 1971, Brittany Rexroad of freedom in 2002 and Carly Koza of beaver in 2013. Long time WBVP radio morning man, Jim “The Teddy Bear” Reynolds, was the emcee for the 1972 local junior miss program. Current WBVP and WMBA sports caster, Bob Barrickman continues to serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
Junior Miss underwent some name changes through the years. The program was renamed Young Woman Of The Year in 1991 before going back to Junior Miss four years later. Among many other local programs in Pennsylvania, Beaver County broke away from Junior Miss in 1999 to form Outstanding Young Woman. The state O.Y.W. program continued to be held in Reading before discontinuing in 2013. Beaver County decided to rejoin Junior Miss, which was renamed Distinguished Young Woman seven years ago. Alexandra Adams of south side high school is the current beaver county Distinguished Young Woman and the 56th annual program will be held May 6, 2017 at the Beaver High School auditorium beginning at 7 P.M. This will be the 48th year that the local program will be held in beaver. Other schools which have hosted the program include Blackhawk, Rochester, Freedom and Hopewell. The Distinguished Young Woman is sponsored and organized by the Beaver Area Jaycees.
Perhaps the most famous person to take part in the beaver county program is Amber Brkich. Brkich, who was the $1,000,000 winner of the C.B.S. Show Survivor in 2004, was one of the judges in the 2009 Beaver County program. Amber’s sister, Nicole was the second runner-up in the 1991 local program. Laura Alexander of Hopewell, the third runner-up locally in 2008, was also a member of the survivor cast. Carla Bianco, a 1987 local finalist from Center High School, appeared on star search, hosted by comedian Ed McMahon.
This has been Beaver County memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. Tune in everyday at this time for more Beaver County memories, or visit Beaver County Radio dot com for a transcript of this program, as well as archived editions of other Beaver County memories.