2019 Miss Raymond, Jr. Miss Raymond and Little Miss Raymond

Aurora Paci-Burghardt Wins Miss Raymond Crown
By Penny Williams     7-17-19

Aurora Paci-Burghardt took the 2019 Miss Raymond Scholarship Pageant crown July 11, and two days later, Gia Beckford was crowned Junior Miss Raymond, while Laila Merrill won this year’s Little Miss Raymond title.

Despite hot and sticky weather both Thursday night, July 11, for the Miss Raymond Scholarship Pageant and again Saturday afternoon, July 13, for the Junior Miss Raymond and Little Miss Raymond Scholarship Pageants, the auditorium at Raymond High School attracted enthusiastic parents and friends of the contestants. This year is the 30th anniversary of the Miss Raymond Scholarship Pageant, and it was dedicated to former pageant directors and mother/daughter team Kathleen Campbell Belfsky and Lauren Campbell.

The seven candidates for Miss Raymond 2019 were Kathryn Doucette, Maggie Paris, Gabrielle Powell, Alyssa Rogers, Aurora Paci-Burghardt, Dacey Owen, and Olivia Arpin.

Aurora Paci-Burghardt received her crown and sash from 2018 Miss Raymond Elizabeth Wolcott. The 2019 People's Choice Award went to Kathryn Doucette, and the candidates chose Maggie Paris as Miss Congeniality of 2019. Paci-Burghardt was a previous Junior Miss Raymond title-holder, as were Doucette and Paris.

The third runner-up was Dacey Owen, second runner up was Maggie Paris, and first runner-up was Kathryn Doucette.

Seven contestants – Alexia Trowbridge, Makenna Brackett, Lara Finnegan, Jenna Spence, Kiara Lowman, Bianca Bergeron and Gia Beckford - sought the Junior Miss Raymond 2019 title. They ranged in age from 10 to 13, and many of those who competed in 2018 were on stage again this year.

The one sad note was the necessity of Lara Finnegan’s having to withdraw from the 2019 Junior Miss Raymond contest. However, her reason for the withdrawal was a good thing, as Lara was chose as Miss Exeter Outstanding Teen and thus was not eligible to participate in the Raymond pageant.

Bianca Bergeron was third runner-up; second runner-up was Alexia Trowbridge; and the first runner-up was Kiara Lowman.

Gia Beckford received her crown and sash from 2018 Junior Miss Raymond Frankie DiLeo, with Makenna Brackett winning the 2019 People's Choice and Alexia Trowbridge chosen as 2019 Miss Congeniality.

Seven youngsters - Addison Campbell, Charlotte DiMeglio, Justice Beckford, Lilah Beauregard, Genevieve Buck, Laila Merrill, and Rebecca Lowman - competed for the Little Miss Raymond 2019 title. Laila Merrill was chosen as Little Miss Raymond 2019 and received her crown and sash from 2018 Little Miss Raymond Gina Blomster.

Miss Raymond 2017 Sheridan DiLeo, who is assistant director of the Miss Raymond Scholarship Pageant programs, working with program director Christina Vogel, was the host for all three pageants. Doug Vogel was program manager.

Judges for the Miss Raymond pageant were Patrick West of Horne Street School in Dover; Raymond Town Manager Joe Ilsley, Diane Olsewski of Tuckaway Butchery and Tavern, and Cherise Leclerc of WMUR.

Judges for the Junior Miss Raymond pageant included Marianne BornKessel, Kirsten BornKessel, Dr. Deb Nary and Kathy Masso. Judges for the Little Miss Raymond pageant were Jaimie Cooper, Pauline Cherry, Alexandra Doherty, and Emily Vadeboncoeur.

During the eveningwear portion of the Miss Raymond Pageant, members of the Raymond Fire Department, including Chief Paul Hammond, Lt. Trey Bushey, Lt. Richard Nunziato, Firefighter Mike Kilrain, Firefighter CJ Fritton, Firefighter Brian Dion, and Firefighter Kyle Grant - escorted the candidates.

Christina Vogel said it was a pleasure working with all of this year's contestants.  She called the young women “outstanding representatives," and said they represented the program's  "tradition of grace, beauty, dignity, scholarship and service."

DeLeo said it takes $4,000 to put on the pageants and make the scholarship awards. Paci-Burghardt received a $1,000 scholarship; first finalist Doucette received $300, Paris received $200 and Owen received $100, with the other three candidates each receiving $50 for a total of $1,750.

In the Junior Miss Raymond pageant, Beckford received $300, Lowman received $200 as first runner-up, Trowbridge received $100, and Bergeron received $50, with the other two candidates receiving $25 for a total of $700.

The pageants also featured raffles and a fifty-fifty cash award.


2019 Miss Raymond Aurora Paci-Burghardt



Jr Miss Raymond Gia Beckford


Back row: 2019 Miss Raymond Aurora Paci-Burghardt, 2018 Miss Raymond Elizabeth Wolcott,
Front row: 2018 Little Miss Raymond Gina Blomster, 2019
Little MIss Raymond Laila Merrill, 2019 Jr. Miss Raymond Gia Beckford, and 2018 Jr. Miss Raymond Frankie DiLeo



All photos taken by Penny Williams.




















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