TWIN FALLS • Seventeen young women will compete during the Miss Magic Valley Scholarship Program this weekend.
Nine of them, ages 17 to 24, will vie for the title of Miss Magic Valley.
The top two winners will have nearly a year to prepare for the Miss Idaho competition in the summer of 2014.
“We consider it a year of service promoting their personal platforms,” said Caitlin Boer, associate director for the Miss Magic Valley Scholarship Program.
During Saturday’s competition, eight girls ages 13 to 17 also will vie for the title of Miss Magic Valley Outstanding Teen.
The top two finishers advance to Miss Idaho’s Outstanding Teen competition in March 2014.
Typically, about $5,000 worth of scholarships are awarded to Miss Magic Valley contestants.
“This year, we’re able to do a little more than that,” Boer said.
Many people don’t realize how many scholarships are awarded and that contestants do hundreds of hours of community service a year, she said.
A panel of five judges will score the entrants based on four events – lifestyle and fitness, evening wear, talent and the on-stage question.
But a large part of the score is based on something audience members don’t get to see – an in-person interview conducted that morning.
The interview is an “important part of who we pick,” Boer said.
Contestants will dress for a 1920s theme, complete with lots of pearls and sequin headbands.
“We kind of took on ‘Great Gatsby,’ and we thought that was trendy and fun,” Boer said.
In recent years, Miss Magic Valley contestants have placed in the top 10 during the Miss Idaho competition.
“The Magic Valley has been successful at state for the past three years,” Boer said.
Since the scholarship program began 62 years ago, a few locals have even been named Miss Idaho.
Kalie Wright, the current Miss Magic Valley, has been working for the past year to promote her platform, The W.O.R.T.H. Project (Willpower, Open your mind, Realize your value, Trust yourself, Have goals). .
“The mission of The W.O.R.T.H. Project is to salute those who dedicate their lives to protect us, use that as inspiration to serve others, find worth in making a positive impact, and ultimately succeed in all things,” says her website.
Over the past year, she has spoken at schools and raised money to give a scholarship to a student from the Magic Valley.
“Miss Magic Valley has just been a way that I’ve gotten to implement this platform throughout the community,” Wright said.
Through her experiences as Miss Magic Valley, she has met people from throughout Idaho, including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.
Wright, 20, is a Kimberly High School and College of Southern Idaho alumna.
She said she has received a lot of scholarship money through Miss Magic Valley.
Wright said she may pursue a bachelor’s degree in business at Boise State University, and she plans to continue with the Miss Idaho program.
During the Miss Idaho competition earlier this month, she won the Idaho Outdoor Heritage Award.
The Miss Magic Valley Scholarship Program has a great group of young women competing this year, Wright said.
It’s a bittersweet feeling handing down the Miss Magic Valley title, she said, but she’s excited for the next person to receive it.