Rebekah Paulakis named 2008-09 Miss Sunnyside

The 2008-09 Miss Sunnyside Pageant was held this past Saturday night, with 10 young ladies competing to make this year's court.

With a "Be true to your school" theme the girls danced and sang their way through the competition.

In the end it was Rebekah Paulakis who was named Miss Sunnyside. Avalon Valencia was named first princess, Ivette Torbay was named second princess and Audra Hays was named third princess.

"I'm still in shock," Paulakis said the next day. "I was like, did she just call my name. It was probably the greatest moment I've ever experienced."

Paulakis said she was also honored to be named Miss Congeniality, noting the fact that the other contestants appreciated her was almost more special than being named Miss Sunnyside.

Paulakis said she had a trick to calm her nerves. Each time before she went on stage she would say a little prayer. After that, she said she never felt nervous.

Valenica said her experience felt like a dream.

"It felt like practice with glimpses of reality," she said. "It felt really good."

The notion of making the court didn't hit her until she was being asked for her picture.

"This whole experience has helped me grow as a person," she added. "I felt like I put myself out there for something I really wanted. It was fun."

Torbay said she got emotional even before the new court was announced.

"This whole year will be fun," she said. "It will help me grow as a person. It will be a worthwhile experience."

Hays said she didn't know how to explain her feelings of being named to the court. She said all of her practice paid off.

"It was fun," she said of the pageant and getting prepared for it. "I gained so many new friends. It was a blast getting to know them."

Hays was named most photogenic, as well.

The evening was filled with talent as the girls sang songs, did humorous monologues and danced.

The outgoing Miss Sunnyside Court had the crowd laughing as they performed a skit about having to give up their crowns they had worn for the past year.

Only four girls made the court but there were really 10 winners on stage Saturday night.

"I wish everybody could have made it," Hays said. "Watching everyone work so hard and not make it is kind of sad."

Corey Russell/Daily Sun News

A new Miss Sunnyside Court was selected this past Saturday at Sunnyside High School. The 2008-09 court includes (L-R) Miss Sunnyside Rebekah Paulakis, first princess Avalon Valencia, second princess Ivette Torbay and third princess Audra Hays.


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