Titleholders crowned for 2023 during “Miss Gastonia Christmas Spectacular”
The 2023 Miss Gastonia/Miss Gaston County/Miss Mount Holly and Outstanding Teen competition was held on November 20, 2022 at Stuart W. Cramer High School.
At the end of the show, six young women emerged as winners and will represent the greater Gaston region in the 2023 Miss North Carolina and Miss North Carolina’s Outstanding Teen competition in June in High Point. The winners are:
▪ Miss Gastonia 2023 Haley Price. She is the 20-year-old daughter of Jeff and Angie Price and a student at East Carolina University majoring in business administration with a minor in marketing/fashion merchandising. For the talent competition, she performed a lyrical dance to “It’s Always Been You.” Her community service/social impact initiative focuses on supporting families that are experiencing financial hardships.
▪ Miss Gaston County 2023 Erin Emiroglu. She is the 22-year-old daughter of Remzi and Lynette Emiroglu. She is a graduate student at UNC-Charlotte pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Winthrop University. For the talent competition, she performed “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on the violin. Her community service/social impact initiative is titled “Strides for Strength: Supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.”
▪ Miss Mount Holly 2023 Jaime Logan. She is the 24-year-old daughter of Mike and Bev Logan. She is a graduate of Methodist University with a Bachelor of Science degree in sports management and business administration and West Virginia University with a Master of Science degree in sports management. For the talent competition, she performed a contemporary dance to “Where Our Dreams Begin.” Her community service/social impact initiative is titled “All In: Everyone Belongs in Sports.”
▪ Miss Gastonia’s Outstanding Teen 2023 Ava Socarras. She is the 14-year-old daughter of Whitney Mason and a student at Ardrey Kell High School. For the talent competition, she performed the vocal selection “On My Own.” Her community service/social impact initiative is titled “Baseline: Advocating for Your Health” and focuses on kidney disease.
▪ Miss Gaston County’s Outstanding Teen 2023 Madelyn Evans. She is the 16-year-old daughter of David and Sandra Evans and a student at West Bladen High School and Bladen Community College. For the talent competition, she performed a jazz dance to “Venus.” Her community service/social impact initiative is titled “Hope You’re OK” and focuses on mental health.
▪ Miss Mount Holly’s Outstanding Teen 2023 Reece Williams. She is the 15-year-old daughter of Cody and Amanda Williams and a student at South Point High School. For the talent competition, she performed a musical theater dance to “Almost There.” Her community service/social impact initiative is titled “Charlie’s Angels” and focuses on shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma prevention.
The first runners-up were Rieonna Weldon (Miss) and Emma Travis (Teen), and Morgan Kimrey (Miss) won the Etha Hawkins Bumgardner Congeniality Award.
The Miss Gastonia Scholarship Association, Inc. sponsored the competition, which featured 21 contestants. Click the videos below to see pictures of the contestants.
The “Miss Gastonia Christmas Spectacular” was the production theme and various holiday songs were featured. The show included performances by the Miss Gastonia dancers and princesses from Studio Elite in Cramerton, and Stacie Bell, who served as the guest vocalist. Also featured in the production were the 2022 titleholders: Miss Gastonia Sharidan Costner, Miss Gaston County Bailey Beam, Miss Mount Holly Andersen Raines, Miss Gastonia’s Outstanding Teen Lorelei Elberson, Miss Gaston County’s Outstanding Teen Morgan Wuest, and Miss Mount Holly’s Outstanding Teen Zoe Gambino.
Highlights of the pageant included the presentation of the “key to the city” to Mount Holly titleholders Andersen Raines and Zoe Gambino by city councilman David Moore and the recognition of Cathy Layton-Aupied, who has served as the pageant’s choreographer and producer for 21 years. It was the last pageant for Layton-Aupied, who is moving to Las Vegas to be with family.
This year, a total of $218,700 in cash and in-kind scholarships were made available to the contestants. Hagans Real Estate, Tindol Ford Subaru Roush, and the City of Mount Holly sponsored the $1,000 scholarship for Miss Gastonia, Miss Gaston County, and Miss Mount Holly, and Belmont Abbey College, Gardner-Webb University, Gaston College, and Paul Mitchell - The School in Gastonia provided in-kind scholarships. Additional contributions to the scholarship fund were made by Nicole Southgate Lowe, the first Miss Gaston County, and the Clary family in honor of Chloe Clary, Miss Mount Holly’s Outstanding Teen 2017. Flowers for the winners were given by Gaston Floral Gardens in Dallas, and wardrobe gift certificates (discounts) were provided by Tracy’s in Hickory and The Foxy Lady in Myrtle Beach.
Click here for a PDF of the competition program.
Click here for a list of the scholarships and awards.
Click here for pictures from Lenn Long and Pageant Pics.