The first competition category was swimwear/sportswear. First runner-up in the Ms. division, Natasha Kamake`eaina-Tom, won the category with an elegant but simple white two-piece. The Ms. Outstanding Teen group, which is an under 17 category, first featured Kylee Dudoit-English in full dirtbike gear, complete with jumpsuit, helmet and boots. Terina Naki came next, ready for volleyball practice, and first runner up Desiree Cavalar posed in her best golf gear.
Between the events, organizer Le`a Tupola presented a sash to Chelsea Simon as Ms. Molokai Junior Teen. Simon takes the pageantry and life coaching classes that Tupola offers free to local residents.
Each of the five contestants danced hula in the talent contest and the eveningwear category finished off the presentation part of the competition. Afterwards, special guests Ms. Kona Coffee and Ms. Hawaii sang and danced respectively. Last year’s winner, Leimana Ritte-Camara, performed a hula to a chant.
At the end of the night, the five ladies gathered for the final question. Ms. Hawaii asked each contestant about hobbies or their platforms. The platform is the subject contests want to educate the public about. Tupola said winning the pageant gives you a “year of service to promote your platform.”
Kamake`eaina-Tom, first runner-up in the Ms. Division, chose teen pregnancy as her platform. Conley, the winner, chose dental health, which fits in with her career goal to become a dental hygienist.
The crowning ceremony that evening brought tears of joy and applause from the audience.
Event organizer, Tupola, grew up with an auntie in the pageantry business and it became a hobby his first year at Kamehameha Schools. He knew a few girls in the Ms. Hawaii pageant and helped them prepare. Last year he decided to bring back the Ms. Molokai pageant after a 22-year hiatus. “Next year will be even bigger and better,” he said.
Tupola offers free classes in pageantry and life and business skills every Saturday at 11:00 at Molokai Outdoor Activities. For more information visit his website at www.kuponoui.com.