Parents are questioning why a Lake in the Hills girl who attends a Crystal Lake high school is a contestant in the Miss Huntley Scholarship Pageant, but a pageant official said it’s unnecessary drama.
“I want to do what’s right by the girl. It’s really about community, not boundaries,” said Lovena Hunter, pageant co-chair.
Miss Huntley requires that contestants “must be a resident of Huntley (McHenry or Kane County) with a Huntley mailing address OR … Resident within the Huntley School District 158 boundaries,” according to the bylaws.
However, Hunter said an exception was made this year for a Lake in the Hills contestant because she was not allowed to participate in the Miss Crystal Lake Scholarship Pageant. Lake in the Hills does not have a pageant.
Crystal Lake’s pageant requires contestants live in the city or have a Crystal Lake ZIP code, said Connie Cooke, a staff member with the Crystal Lake Park District. The park district sponsors the pageant. There are no exceptions, she said.
“It’s not my rule, it’s just what I’ve been told,” Cooke said. “It’s been brought up in the past and the people who made the decision have stuck with it. It’s just the way it is.”
“We didn’t think it was very fair,” Hunter said. “We were thinking she lives down the street from our current Miss Huntley, Irina Tuluca, so I had agreed she could compete.
Under the Miss Huntley pageant’s bylaws, directors have the right to make changes or make exceptions to rules, Hunter said. The pageant, unlike Crystal Lake’s, is not sponsored by any group and is run by volunteers.
Hunter approached the contestants to make sure they felt comfortable with having the girl compete. Everyone was open to the idea and welcomed her, she said. No one has complained to Hunter personally although she’s heard some people are not happy.
“This is all drama,” Hunter said, adding the drama will go away at Friday’s pageant. She said there is a surprise for the lone Lake in the Hills contestant but “in all fairness, there will be a Huntley girl crowned in Huntley this weekend.”
Miss Huntley will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., Friday, June 1, at , 13719 Harmony Road. Miss Illinois Hannah Smith, herself a former Miss Huntley, will emcee.
The winner receives a $1,500 scholarship and competes for the Miss McHenry County title. The winner of that pageant competes in the Miss Illinois State Fair Queen pageant.