The Miss Hardyston Pageant was held on Friday, June 3 at 7.30 p.m. at the Hardyston municipal building on Wheatsworth Road. There were over 70 people that attended to celebrate all the nominees and winners. The pageant was sponsored by the Hardyston Township Recreation Department.
Hardyston Town Councilman Stanley Kula was the master of ceremonies. Dana Vitz, confidential executive assistant and deputy registrar, coordinated the event. The judges were Dave Van Ginneken, Jodie Mix, and Mary Ann Murphy — all members of the Hardyston Recreation Committee.
There were five categories: Little Miss Hardyston, ages 4 to 7; Little Mister Hardyston, ages 4 to 7; Jr. Miss Hardyston, ages 8 to 12; Teen Miss Hardyston, ages 13 to 16; and Miss Hardyston, ages 17 to 21.
The nominees for Little Miss Hardyston were Brynlee Greco, age 6, who attends kindergarten at Hardyston Elementary School; Aubrey Greco, age 7, who attends second grade at Hardyston Elementary School; and Irelynn Graham, age 5, who attends Hardyston pre-K.
The nominees for Little Mister Hardyston were Connor Lamphear, age 6, who attends kindergarten at Lafayette Elementary School, and Nicholas Phillips, age 7, who is in third grade at Hardyston Elementary School.
The nominees for Jr. Miss Hardyston were Gabriella Lentini, Kylie Washer, and Demi Mia Lesina. All three contestants were nine years old and attend Hardyston Elementary School.
The nominees for Teen Miss Hardyston were Hailey Phillips, age 13, who is in seventh grade at Hardyston Middle School; Adrianna Romeo, age 13, who is also a seventh grader at Hardyston Middle School; and Samantha Kemp, age 15, who is in ninth grade at Pope John XXIII Regional High School.
The nominees for Miss Hardyston were Emily Carey, age 17, who is a junior at Wallkill Valley Regional High School; Elizabeth Deery, a 19-year-old junior at Jefferson University in Philadelphia; and Haleigh Wolverton, age 18, who is a senior at Wallkill Valley Regional High School.
The winners were:
Little Miss Hardyston: Aubrey Greco
Little Mister Hardyston: Nicholas Phillips
Jr. Miss Hardyston: Demi Mia Lesina
Teen Miss Hardyston: Samantha Kemp
Miss Hardyston 2022: Emily Carey
When Greco was asked what she would do is she had $1,000, she said, “I would give it to the homeless people.” She also said she was looking forward to going to the beach this summer, and if she had one wish, it would be for a puppy, maybe a poodle.
Councilman Kula asked Phillips what he likes to do and, he said he likes to ride his bike and is looking forward to going to the pool this summer. “I want to be an astronaut,” Phillips said when asked what he wants to be when he grows up.
Kula asked Lesina her about the school activities she’s involved with, and she said she plays soccer and sings in her school. Kula also asked Lesina what her one wish would be. She said, “I wish the war to be over.” She also wants to be a singer one day. Lesina said she loves living in Hardyston because she likes all her friends in Hardyston.
When Kemp was asked what she likes to do for fun, she said she loves to read and write. She plays volleyball and takes theater at her school.
Carey is in the National Honor Society at Wallkill Valley Regional High School. She is a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, an organization that builds one-to-one mentoring connections with children starting at age five.
In school Emily Carey on the tennis team and spring track. When Carey was asked by Kula what she hoped to give back if she won Miss Hardyston, she said, “I want to get more involved with community-based events and fundraisers for local charities.”
Carey stated that the reason she loves living in Hardyston is because she “loves the community, and the people flourish here.”
Hardyston Councilman Kula shared with the crowd that “one thing that brings us together is events like this.” Kula assured the nominees that if they were nervous they were among friends, adding, “We’re going to have fun tonight.”
Dana Vitz also updated everyone on upcoming events. There will be outdoor concerts in July at the Wheatsworth field and movie nights in August shown on a new screen.
All the participants in the Miss Hardyston pageant received gifts from the area sponsors: Hardyston Township PBA provided the cash prize, Skylands Ice World provided gift certificates, Sussex County YMCA gave out a three-month family membership, Master Ken’s Xtreme Martial Arts Center in Hamburg gave out Taekwondo lessons, Avon representative Jeannette Chardavoyne provided gift bags, Painted Grape in Hardyston gave out paint kits and gift cards, Stylz Salon also provided gift bags; and Hardyston Township Recreation provided gift cards.
It was a fun night and all the contestants were celebrated.