McCaslin, Foster and Burgess compete for Miss Illinois titles
May 28, 2014 | 1915 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff Report


Three young ladies from Metropolis will represent Massac County in separate pageants related to the Miss Illinois title.

For the fourth year, the festivities will be held in Marion. The 2014 Miss Illinois, Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen and PreTeen Pageants will be held at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center Monday, June 9 through Saturday, June 14.

Kristin Foster, Miss Metropolis Outstanding Teen 2014, will compete for the title of Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen 2014 on Friday, June 13, and new this year, a preliminary night on Tuesday, June 10.  

Haley McCaslin, as Miss Metropolis 2014, will compete in the Miss Illinois Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, June 14, vying for the title of Miss Illinois 2014.

During three nights of competition, young women from across the state will compete for the opportunity to represent Illinois at the 2015 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J. on Sunday, Sept. 14.

Twenty-four Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen Contestants will vye for the chance to represent Illinois at the 2015 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, Fla. July 29 through Aug. 2.

In Marion preliminary phases of state competition, including lifestyle and fitness, evening wear, talent and on-stage question, will be contested on the nights of Wednesday and Thursday, June 11-12, for the Miss Illinois contestants, Monday, June 9 for the Preteens and Tuesday, June 10 for the Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen Pageant. Preliminaries for the Preteen and Teen are new this year.

However, area residents can vote now at the Miss Illinois website,, for the teen, preteen and princess photogenic competition, which features Miss Metropolis Teen Kristin Foster and Miss Metropolis Preteen Courtney Burgess.

Voting will end at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10. Only one vote per IP address is allowed.  One hundred percent of the audience votes will determine the final winners of the photogenic award. 

Also, again this year, individuals can vote for Illinois’ Peoples Choice in the Miss, Teen and Preteen categories.  It is $1 per one vote and a person can vote as many times as they like or even more money.  The girls with the most votes will become one of the semi-finalists at either Friday night’s Teen/Preteen Pageant or Saturday for the Miss Pageant.

Winners will be announced at the beginning of the Miss Illinois’ Outstanding Teen and Pre-Teen Pageant along with the top 5 or top 10.  

Also making appearances at the Miss Illinois pageant will be Miss Metropolis Princess LivAdiva Lindquist, eight-year-old daughter of Lars and Leila Lindquist.

“We will again enjoy the southern hospitality of the Marion Cultural and Civic Center and the City of Marion, as well as, the surrounding towns like Metropolis.  We are very glad to be here for our fourth year.” said Amalia Schwerdtmann, board chairman.

Tickets are available by phone through the Marion Cultural and Civic Center box office by calling 618-997-4030 or go to Special package pricing is available.

Foster won the Miss Metropolis Outstanding Teen Pageant in August and has since been making appearances and promoting her platform LOVE — Leading Others To Volunteer Everywhere.  

She has been an unofficial assistant Girl Scout leader, was nominated as the National Honor Society Group Projects Chairperson, and she set up appearances for herself and other titleholders at the United Way Trivia.  

Along with speaking at local groups and organizations about volunteering, Foster has volunteered at the Metropolis Elementary School (MES) Thanksgiving dinner, Rebuilding Together dinner, Pancake Day at IHOP and will be singing the National Anthem to kick off this year’s Relay For Life festivities on Saturday.  

The Miss Illinois Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant is part of the Miss America Organization.

Foster, 17, is the daughter of Preston and Leesa Foster.

McCaslin won the title of Miss Metropolis in August.  Her year of service platform is One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. She has spoken at local groups and organizations about the dangers of distracted driving, and has developed a flier that she will be distributing this weekend in Springfield while collecting money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, a pet charity of the Miss America Organization.   

McCaslin, 18, is the daughter of Brad and Karri Leach.

Back in August, Burgess was named Miss Metropolis Outstanding Preteen.

Her platform has been Need to Read to Succeed, which promotes pinpointing what areas people may need help with to get them and keep them interested in reading, and the importance of knowing how to read.

Burgess has been volunteering weekly at the Metropolis Public Library and has helped with many of their events like the Princess Party and Fall Festival.  She has read to children at a daycare, helped with the MES Book Fair and has spoken at local clubs about her platform.       

She is the 12-year-old daughter of Matt and Dandi Burgess.

The Miss America Organization is one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and providers of scholarship assistance to young women.

Last year, the Miss America Organization, along with its state and local organizations, like Miss Metropolis, made available more than $40 million in cash and scholarship assistance.

Plans are underway for the 2015 Miss Metropolis Scholarship Pageant tentatively planned for Saturday, Aug. 30.  It is open to young women, ages 17-24, who lives, works or attends school in Metropolis.

The Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant, for girls ages 13-17, and the Outstanding Preteen, for ages 10-12, will also be tentatively held in August.

In conjunction with the local pageant is the Princess Pageant.  Open to girls, ages 5-12, the winner is mentored by the local titleholder who will be competing for the title of Miss Illinois.

For more information, contact Sandy Farmer, local pageant coordinator, at 618-645-0363 or after July 1.

Other titleholders competing in Miss Illinois from Massac County this year include:

• Emily Travis, 23-year-old daughter of Dwight and Larenda Travis, currently holds the title of Miss Marion Main Street 2014. Her platform is Through Fragile Beginnings Shines Hope:  Living With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

• Mackenzie Meadows-Puckett, the 19-year-old daughter of Robert and Doris Puckett, is Miss Central Valley 2014.  Her platform is: Heart Smart — Fighting Childhood Obesity.

• Kelsey Strong, the 17-year-old daughter of Chris and Teresa Strong. is the reigning Miss Metro East Outstanding Teen 2014, and her platform is Keeping Music Alive.

• And, Ashlynn Kommer, the 12-year-old daughter of John and Dena Kommer, is the reigning Miss Shawnee Sweetheart Outstanding Preteen 2014.  Her platform is Adopt A Pet  

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