Saturday night, Connie Morgan was crowned Miss Grays Harbor — and she’s likely still in disbelief.
“It’s unbelievable,” Morgan said. “It feels really good, but I can hardly believe it.”
Morgan, 22, smiled and waved as she received her crown from last year’s Miss Grays Harbor, Lauren Kuhn.
“(Morgan) should enjoy every minute of it,” Kuhn said. “This is something really special, especially in a community where everyone is so supportive and we’ve had a program for so many years.”
Along with the crown and sash, Morgan won $2,500 in scholarship money, with an additional $2,600 for winning the scholastic achievement award, the lifestyle and fitness award, the talent award, the interview award and the alumni award.
She’ll use the scholarship money to help pay for her education at Central Washington University, where she is studying economics and public relations.
This is Morgan’s second title in the Miss Grays Harbor program. She was crowned Miss Grays Harbor’s Outstanding Teen in 2007.
Morgan’s platform is the Wounded Warrior Project, a program that assists wounded veterans. She said during her onstage interview that she hopes to bring a Wounded Warrior Project office to Grays Harbor. The program is important to her because several of her family members have served in the military.
“Nearly every one of my male family members has served in the military, including my dad who just rejoined the reserves,” Morgan said.
Her brother is also currently serving.
For her talent, Morgan, who describes herself as “unconventional,” performed a comedic rendition of the childhood classic, “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.” She sang and danced to the song, and squashed a rubber spider that fell from the ceiling. She mourned the spider’s death as the stage lights dimmed, stating that it had fallen victim of arachnophobia.
Morgan and the other contestants also took the stage in swimsuits for the lifestyle and fitness competition, and strutted in glittery gowns for the evening wear portion.
The show featured several songs and dance numbers. The event began with all nine contestants performing a 1950s-style dance. The young women later took the stage with the Miss Grays Harbor’s Outstanding Teen contestants for another dance number.
Kuhn played the piano and sang “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” She also sang “Someday I’ll Be a Miss America” while the Miss Grays Harbor Little Sisters danced.
Recently-crowned Miss Grays Harbor’s Outstanding Teen McKenzie Brooks, 16, performed a saxophone solo to George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” and Miss Grays Harbor’s Outstanding Teen contestant Nora Coffelt danced ballet.
Sydney Rees Chappell, the 2006 Miss Grays Harbor, sang and played the guitar to Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive.”
First runner-up this year was Cora Foss, 17. Chazlyn O’Bannon, 18, was the second runner-up. Blythe Beebe, 18, Kylie Shepard, 17, Reyna Sanchez, 19, Kuinn Karaffa, 18, Stephanie Hornback, 20, and Jess Marie Matthews, 22.
The Miss Grays Harbor Scholarship Program is a preliminary to the Miss Washington and Miss America programs. Scholarship funds are contributed by corporate and individual sponsors.