CLAYTON, NY -– The Miss Thousand Islands Pageant, a fixture in Northern New York for more than half a century, will not renew its franchise for 2020, dissolving as an organization. The competition was an official Miss America preliminary pageant longer than any other in New York State.
“It has been our team’s privilege to send a young woman to the Miss New York Pageant every year, and to mentor and work with some of the brightest individuals in our community,” said Shelby Cohen, Miss Thousand Islands co-executive director. “However, the Miss America Organization has gone through immense changes in the last two years, and its priorities and criteria no longer align with those of our all-volunteer board of directors.”
Rachel Salmon, from Turin, served as Miss Thousand Islands 2019, and competed in Miss New York this past week in Peekskill. She won the non-finalist talent award at the competition. She is a student at Syracuse University.
Former Miss Thousand Islands have gone on to become healthcare professionals, teachers, musicians, lawyers, television stars, nonprofit leaders, and marketing managers. Past titleholders finished in the Top 10 and Top 5 at Miss New York, and one captured the state crown: Mary Hinterberger, in 1976, after Tawny Godin won Miss America. The organization also crowned teen and princess-level titleholders, increasing the number of young women in the region the pageant touched and helped to develop community service projects, prepare for interviews, and improve in other disciplines necessary to succeed in pageantry, and life.
“We are incredibly grateful for the countless volunteers, sponsors, parents, and judges who have helped us make dreams come true for our titleholders over the last 55 years,” said Cohen. “The young women of the North country, whether they wore the crown or merely competed for it, have benefited immeasurably from the generosity and support of our community.”