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Junior Misses to face off
in Oyster Eating Contest

After a long weekend of rehearsing for the 49th Annual National Finals, the America’s Junior Miss Class of 2006 are preparing themselves for a different kind of competition – the annual AJM Oyster Eating Contest at Wintzell’s Oyster House on Dauphin Street.

The young women will compete on Monday to see who can slurp  down the most raw oysters. Many of them will try the slippery Southern treat for the first time. The girls will also enjoy lunch at Mobile’s most famous seafood restaurant.

The competition and lunch will take place from 11:45 to 12:45.

The contestants will continue preparations for the National Finals Monday morning and Monday afternoon. It will be their first day to rehearse at the Mobile Civic Center, where the finals will take place June 28-30. The 50 young women will compete for a share of $121,000 in college scholarships and the title of America’s Junior Miss 2006.

The young women who will compete in the 2006 National Finals are as follows:

AlabamaMegan Butler; Dothan; Houston Academy; James & Ann Butler; Furman University

AlaskaJennifer Werth; Soldotna; Soldotna High School; Fred & Marian Werth; Martin Luther College

Arizona Neha Giridharan; Chandler; Chandler High School; T. Giridharan and Beenu Govind Rao; University of Arizona

ArkansasTina Korbe; Springdale; Springdale High School; Greg & Lois Korbe; University of Arkansas

California Raechel Paine; Bakersfield; Bakersfield High School; Edward & Maria Paine; Stanford University

ColoradoBeth Dressen; Pueblo; Centennial High School; Don & Becky Dressen; University of Denver

ConnecticutJessica Ray; Avon; Avon High School; Charles & Sara Ray; American University

DelawareGalen Giaccone; Camden Wyoming; Dover High School; Douglas & Liza Giaccone; University of Delaware

Florida Laura Beard; Ponte Verde Beach; Allen D. Nease High School; Murray & Elise Beard; University of Florida

Georgia Blair Harshbarger; Milledgeville; Baldwin High School; Bruce & Debbie Harshbarger; Harvard University

Hawaii Jakara Mato; Honolulu; Iolani School; Stanton & Melanie Mato; Yale University

IdahoMartha Harper; Blackfoot; Blackfoot High School; Kirk & Cherie Clawson; Brigham Young University

IllinoisAnn Elise DeBelina; Palatine; Saint Viator High School; James & Mary Lee DeBelina; Dartmouth College

IndianaAlex Trees; Frankfort; Frankfort Senior High School; Darell & Jolene Trees; Indiana University

IowaMargaret Hlebowtish; Iowa City; Iowa City West High School; Peter & Erica Hlebowtish; Northwestern University

KansasKendra Brown; Belleville; Belleville High School; Robert & Rebecca Brown; University of Kansas

KentuckyTaylor Phillips; Versailles; Woodford County High School; John & LeAnn Phillips; Stanford University

LouisianaMary Lindsay Gunn; Shreveport; C.E. Byrd High School; Frank & Lydia Gunn; Baylor University

Maine Jordyn Rossignol; Caribou; Caribou High School; Mark Rossignol and Colleen Duplissie; University of Maine at Orono

Maryland Mary Lee Adams; Columbia; Wilde Lake High School; Mike & Terri Adams; Florida State University

MassachusettsColleen Megley; North Attleboro; North Attleboro High School; Sean & Michele Megley; Connecticut College

MichiganAmiAnn Bobo; Plymouth; Plymouth High School; Thomas & Angela Bobo; Wayne State University

MinnesotaAllie Ellingson; Willmar; Willmar High School; James & Amy Ellingson; University of Minnesota

Mississippi Virginia Fox; Hattiesburg; Alabama School of Fine Arts; Creed & Connie Fox; Oklahoma City University

MissouriNikki Saffo; O’Fallon; St. Dominic High School; John & Maureen Saffo; Lindenwood University

MontanaJosie Adams; Helena; Helena High School; Charles & Marianne Adams; Webster University

NebraskaErin Baker; Auburn; Auburn High School; Brian & Deb Baker; Huntingdon College

NevadaAlicia Westmoreland; Elko; Elko High School; Larry & Janelle Westmoreland; University of Utah

New HampshireKayla Shepard; Manchester; Home Schooled; Robin Dupre; The Boston Conservatory

New JerseyMichelle Rodio; Hammonton; Hammonton High School; Henry & Tammy Rodio; Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

New MexicoRachel Boyd; Peralta; Los Lunas High School; Ivan & Renee Boyd; University of New Mexico

New YorkLisa Bavisotto; Amherst; Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart; Robert & Susan Bavisotto; Slippery Rock University

North Carolina Molly Bales; Rocky Mount; Rocky Mount Senior High School; Donald Bales and Margaret Sowerwine; Harvard University

North Dakota Krissy Hatt; Manvel; Grand Forks Central High School; Henry & Catherine Hart; University of North Dakota

OhioBarbara Jo Bednarczuk; Nashport; Zanesville High School; Michael & Mary Jane Bednarczuk; Miami University

OklahomaKayley McCoy; Stillwater; Stillwater High School; Scott & Rana McCoy; University of Oklahoma

OregonMiriam McSpadden; Hillsboro; Hillsboro High School; William & Christie McSpadden; Azusa Pacific University

PennsylvaniaShalia Sakona; Bellefonte; Bellefonte Area High School; Dean & Kathy Sakona; American University

Rhode IslandKatie Rei; North Providence; La Salle High School; Manny & Jacqueline Rei; Providence College

South Carolina Sarah Hannah Newman; Camden; Camden High School; Mike & Melanie Newman; Wofford College

South DakotaAmanda Gray; Aberdeen; Roncalli High School; Roger & Lora Gray; Creighton University

Tennessee Holli Smith; Hixson; Chattanooga High School Center for the Creative Arts; Michael & Ann Smith; University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Texas Aida Jobe; Irving; MacArthur High School; Balla & Vonda Jobe; Texas Tech University

Utah Stephanie Brinton; Salt Lake City; East High School; Gregory & Sally Brinton; Harvard University

Vermont Laura Hall; South Burlington; Williston Northampton School; Christopher Hall and Meg Collins; Assumption College

Virginia Sara Rose; Richmond; Monacan High School; John & Anita Rose; James Madison University

Washington Tanae Bergeson; Moses Lake; Moses Lake High School; Brett & Janet Bergeson; Brigham Young University

West Virginia Kathryn Greer; Bridgeport; Bridgeport High School; Robert & Mary Kay Greer; Marshall University

Wisconsin Amy Elbert; Brookfield; Brookfield Central High School; Kenneth & Mary Elbert; Brigham Young University

Wyoming Caroline White; Cheyenne; Cheyenne Central High School; Daniel & Diane White; University of Virginia

The AJM Class of 2006 will participate in the following events during their visit to Mobile:

Monday, June 19         AJM Arrival Ceremony

Tuesday, June 20        Welcome Breakfast at Mobile’s famous Bellingrath Gardens

Wednesday, June 21   Lunch with Mobile Kiwanis Club

Luau with residents of Gordon Oaks Retirement Community

Thursday, June 22      “AJM Day of Caring,” sponsored by Junior League of Mobile

                                   (Contestants to participate in community service activities at Dearborn YMCA, United Cerebral Palsy Summer Camp, and Habitat for Humanity build-site)

                                   Mobile BayBears baseball game

Saturday, June 24        Colonial Mall Bel-Air Meet and Greet

Monday, June 25   Wintzell’s Oyster House                                       Oyster Eating Contest

Tuesday, June 27        Lunch with Lions Club of Mobile                                                       AJM Community Night

Wednesday, June 28   National Finals – 1st Preliminary        

Thursday, June 29       National Finals – 2nd Preliminary

Friday, June 30           49th Annual National Finals

Major sponsors for 2006 are the City of Mobile, Mobile County, and the Mitchell Company. Category sponsors are Alabama Power, Encore Rehabilitation, Mobile Gas, Regions Bank, and Wintzell’s Oyster House.

America’s Junior Miss (AJM) is the nation’s oldest and largest scholarship program for college-bound high school seniors. The program, headquartered in Mobile, AL, began in 1958. Since then, AJM has awarded $87.7 million in college scholarships at the local, state, and national levels. Over 700,000 young women from all over the country have participated in Junior Miss programs. AJM is assisted by more than 17,000 volunteers throughout the United States, who help to make the Junior Miss program successful at the local and state levels. 

For more information, please contact Mary Lee McCrory, AJM Public Relations Director, at 251-438-3621 or marylee@ajm.org, or visit www.ajm.org.