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Miss Huntley Pageant Official Answers Question About Contestant's Residency

Pageant has 10 contestants who will compete at Huntley High School on Friday, June 1.

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.

A. Smith May 30, 2012 at 11:30 PM
This same "official" paid to sponsor the 2008 winner of Miss Huntley (who already competed at the county pageant) to compete against the 2009 winner of Miss Huntley at county a second time! She did it again in 2010; paid to sponsor a girl who did not win the Miss Huntley title to go up against her 2010 winner of Miss Huntley! This is not "doing right" by the girls in my opinion! I feel for the girl from Crystal Lake, but what example are we if we as adults do not follow the rules? Doing right for one should not be at the expense of the 9 others! Of course no one is going to object to the directors as they fear having it held against them. A lot of time and money is put in by the girls and their parents. Lets cut the "drama" excuse, and do right by these girls! Unlike this official, I am a 12 year resident of this town, and want to see Huntley kept honest, and remain a town of integrity!
Kathie May 31, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Why is it called the Miss Huntley Pageant, if anyone can be picked out of whatever town Ms. Lovena Hunter chooses. Since this girl has been hand picked why then are the other girls even competing. The winner had already been chosen, that is why most of the parents already know the judges are in Ms Hunters pocket. According to Pageant rules (yes there are rules) apparently not for Huntley or any pageant Ms Hunter is a part of is exempt to those rules. I feel this wil not be the last of the controversey on this pageant. Perhaps next year instead of Miss Huntley we should call it the "Miss Hunter Pageant". This is not fair to anyone, least of all these young women who are sincere in their desire to compete for the title. he only "Drama" in this pageant is Ms Hunter and her hand picked contestant.
Vicki May 31, 2012 at 01:01 PM
A. Smith, Kathie, Are you saying the pageant organizer, Ms. Lovena Hunter, is able to pick a contestant she believes can win and pay to sponsor them, regardless of where the girl lives? Does Ms. Hunter also coach her contestants? Is this a business for Ms. Hunter? Didn't the pageant used to be run by the Chamber of Commerce and is now run by Ms. Lovena Hunter? I have all sorts or questions now as to what this pageant is really about.
Kathie May 31, 2012 at 02:25 PM
yes I am, yes she can, and yes she does. and yes. yes she coaches, and yes this is a business for her. yes Vicki we all have questions, this is a pre slated, pre selected pageant. why call it the Miss Huntley Pageant, it should be called the Miss Hunter Pageant. Hey I have a girl from Antioch who wants a pageant to compete in, can she come to Huntley and compete as well???
A. Smith May 31, 2012 at 04:50 PM
My friend was a judge in 2010. She received a call from Ms Hunter the next day asking why she hadn't scored another girl higher, than the one who won. This same girl ended up being the one that she sponsored to go to county, to compete against the winner of Miss Huntley. My friend though it was odd that the scores were kept and reviewed, and that she was called.
Vicki May 31, 2012 at 07:15 PM
I had my child speak with a friend who is a current contestant in the Miss Huntley pageant. She says she was never approached by anyone and asked if she felt "comfortable with having the girl compete". "Everyone was open to the idea." Really Ms. Hunter? I didn't want to believe the things I had heard about the pageant. Shame on you for your deceptive practices on our girls and the Huntley community. Does anyone know if there is any oversight of this pageant by anyone other than the organizers?
Amy June 01, 2012 at 04:12 PM
This young lady could compete in the county pageant. The county pageant was opened up because towns have stopped having pageants. Lovena has set a precedence and now anyone who does not have a town pageant can run for Miss Huntley. As a former Miss Huntley it is a complete disgrace to the title. You are suppose to be an ambassador of the town. How can you represent something you do not know or care about? It is more than winning the title and scholarship it is pride in the community. I hope someone else in the town steps in and over turns this decision.
A. Smith June 02, 2012 at 02:38 AM
Well friends...we all know what the Crystal Lake girl's surprise was that was mentioned in the article...She's the new Miss Lake in the Hills! So good to know that the Miss Huntley Pageant is now two pageants in one...and it's also great that you can go into a pageant already a winner! This reminds me of another pageant system that is full of the same crap! I wish the Huntley Chamber would take back the pageant from these two "volunteers" and make it back into what it used to be!
Jackie June 02, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Oh lord all this drama over a pageant .... I'll stick to sports with my kids!!!
A. Smith June 02, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I'm sure it seems foolish to you, but when things aren't on the up and up in your sports, how does that make you feel? Always good to uncover what people feel are the injustices to young people...if we do not speak up for them, then who will? Hopefully it keeps those in charge of these girls honest and gives a heads up to those who plan to participate!
A. Smith June 02, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Whatever the activity, it should be run with integrity!
Kathie June 03, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I am sure if there was a ringer brought in to compete against your child you too would stand up for them. If you child wanted to play baseball and some kid who plays perhaps better than your child lives in another town, is brought in to play against your childs team I am sure you would stand up with the other parents for your child.
Kathie June 03, 2012 at 12:29 PM
A. Snith there should be dignity and respect, how does this make the girls feel? Has anyone even asked them???

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