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South Valley Journal

Sarah Strong wins Miss Bluffdale Scholarship Pageant

Jul 03, 2019 02:22PM ● By Clinton Haws

Miss Bluffdale 2019 Royalty - Whitney Thorell (left) Sarah Strong (center) Victoria Barlow (right) (Natalie Hall)

By Clinton Haws | [email protected]

This year's Miss Bluffdale Scholarship Pageant was awarded to Sarah Strong, 17, who will be a senior at Riverton High School. It was the first pageant that Strong has entered. She is excited about the opportunity to meet people in the community, volunteer and service. She said she learned a lot and that the entire experience was rewarding.

“I am also excited about receiving the scholarship award, obviously,” Strong said. “It was a great experience, and the fact I was able to do it with my mother made it special.”

Sarah Strong was crowned Miss Bluffdale in early May. Her platform is Read, Lead, Succeed — finding passion in reading. She believes that children and adults who read do better academically and in other areas of their lives. She ran a book drive for a women’s shelter and plans to start community book clubs and have other reading programs throughout the year. She will receive a $2,500 scholarship.

“I am promoting diversity in reading as well,” Strong said. “Providing resources and tools that I help people gain reading skills leads to success in other aspects of life. Obtaining diversity that through classic literature is my hope.”

She wants to create and provide opportunities for those that usually would not have them. Creating possibilities that otherwise would not have been there through reading and works of literature for people from diverse backgrounds is important she says. 

“I am kind of a nerd, my favorite book is The Scarlet Pimpernel,” said Strong. “Right now, I am considering going to BYU-Idaho after high school. I want to study cosmetology or family counseling.”

Strong sings in the Riverton High choir and sang two songs during the pageant. Both from “Annie Get Your Gun.”

The 1st Attendant is Whitney Thorell with a $2,000 scholarship, and the 2nd Attendant is Victoria Barlow with a $1,750 scholarship. Bluffdale Royalty will attend a parade almost every weekend, participate in the Movies in the Park event this summer, Old West Days rodeo in July and Old West Days week in August. They will also represent Bluffdale at other various events.

The judging comprises five different categories of four different judges in the Miss America pageant system. Each contestant receives a score from one to 10, and it is calculated based on percentages. The contestant with the highest score is crowned Miss Bluffdale.

“Scoring comprises the interview, which is 35%; the talent segment is 20%, participation is 15%, eveningwear is 15%, and stage presence and stage question is the remaining 15%,” said Natalie Hall, the scholarship pageant director.

“I chose to sing two songs for my talent,” said Strong. “I sang ‘I Got the Sun in the Morning and the Moon at Night’ from ‘Annie Get Your Gun.’”

Miss Bluffdale has been a tradition for Bluffdale since 1959. This year, there were eight contestants. They participated in workshops from February through April. The workshops consisted of makeup and hair, stage walking, interviews and a day of service. Miss Bluffdale also has the tradition of involving girls ages 5 to 10 in the Little Miss program. This year, the older contestants and the Little Miss contestants brought their mothers for a tea party as one of their workshop events.