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Miss New Hampshire competition kicks off tonight

DERRY - The Miss New Hampshire Scholarship Competition returns to the Stockbridge Theatre on the campus of Pinkerton Academy tonight through Saturday for the 67th annual competition.

Tickets are still available for the preliminary rounds tonight and Friday night and the final competition on Saturday, April 27, as 28 contestants from across the state look to succeed reigning Miss New Hampshire Megan Lyman.

"Everything has been running nice and smooth and we're very happy," said Miss New Hampshire spokeswoman and board of directors member Cindi Rice Conley.

Conley praised the volunteers, who help to make the compitions the best they can be.

"We have a wide range of volunteers," said Conley. "We have one paid employee who works 20 hours per week in the office, and everyone else, including the executive director and the co-directors, are volunteers."

Conley said Lyman has been an outstanding representative for New Hampshire and a great role model for this year's 28 contestants. Lyman is a Gilford native and New England College student and won Miss New Hampshire last year in her third try competing in the event.

Conley said Lyman is an inspiration to several of the long-time program participants.

"We have two young ladies who have competed for five or six years in the program," said Conley. "They will be aging out and this will be their last year in the competition."

For the third year, two of the 12 semi-finalists competing on Saturday night will be chosen by online voters. Conley said the online voting program has been a great success, and more than 2,400 votes were cast for the semi-finalists this year.

For the contestants, it's about more than winning and moving on to compete in the Miss America competition, Conley said.

"Everyone who competes gains poise and self-confidence," said Conley. Part of the program includes performing community service, and she said many of the contestants remain involved in community service long after their competition days have ended.

The preliminary competitions today and Friday begin at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10. The final competition on Saturday begins at 6 p.m. and tickets range from $20 to $50.

Tickets are available at Miss New Hampshire scholarship office located at 20 East Broadway, second floor in Derry or by calling (603) 432-9027.



aswift@newstote.com



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