Oklahoma Teen Chosen Winner
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) _ Allison Brown, a 17-year-old from Edmond, Okla., was crowned Miss Teen USA on Tuesday night, winning $150,000 in cash and prizes.
The blond, green-eyed Miss Brown, who said her mother was a feminist and had once picketed beauty pageants, was selected over first runner-up Miss Texas Becky Pestana, also 17, of San Antonio.
The second runner-up was Miss New York Claudia Liem, 15, of Glendale; third runner-up was Miss Virginia Angela Thigpen of Portsmouth, 15, and fourth runner-up was Miss South Dakota, Valerie Marsden, 17, of Rapid City.
Contestants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia were judged in swimsuit and evening gown competitions in the nationally televised pageant at the Ocean Center.
Other semifinalists were Miss West Virgina, Jody Caldwell, 15; Miss Louisiana, Shasta St. Angelo, 16; Miss New Mexico, Kerali Hansen, 17; Miss Florida, Stefanie Smith, 16; Miss New Jersey, Rosalie Cecelia Cuozzo, 17.
During the show, Miss Brown said her mother, Suzanne Brown, an author of historical books, had once picketed beauty pageants.
″But she supports me now,″ said Miss Brown, a student at Edmond Memorial High School.
Hosts for the fourth-annual pageant for girls ages 15 to 18 were television personality Michael Young and actress Morgan Brittany. They also were hosts of the first pageant.
Also featured in the show were celebrities Bobby Rydell, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, the Commodores and the Solid Gold Dancers.
Demonstrators marched peacefully outside the hall, carrying placards such as ″For This We Pay Taxes″ and ″Taxes Should Not Fund Sexist Events.″
Bonnie Berns of the Volusia-Flagler chapter of the National Organization for Women, which organized the protest, said her group has asked the state attorney’s office to investigate if $100,000 of the $250,000 the Volusia County Council spent to promote and help produce the contest was a legal contribution.
Ms. Berns said the council should not have voted to use funds from the state sales tax without a general ordinance. She also wants investigated whether the donation violates a county ordinance against spending property tax money on the center.
Council members and other pageant supporters say the show will provide the county with millions of dollars worth of advertising and will boost tourism.
″I think they had every right to do what they did,″ said County Attorney Warren Tiller.
Jeffrey Dees, executive director to State Attorney Stephen Boyles, said Monday he asked county officials to supply some information in connection with Ms. Berns’ request for a probe. A decision on investigating the pageant funding will not be made until after the information is reviewed, he said.
Publicists have estimated 70 million people will watch the pageant, to be televised nationally by CBS.