By Wendy OSHER
LAHAINA-Six young women on Maui earned titles in the 37th Annual Miss Maui Scholarship Pageant held over the weekend at the Ulalena Theater in Lahaina.Â The winner of theÂ island’s new Miss Maui 2009 title is 19 year old Cierra Rauch of Kula.Â Cierra is the daughter of Matthew Rauch and Georgette Batoon.Â Rauch performed a Martial Arts Demonstration for her talent and selected a Platform that promotes environmental sustainability awareness.Â She is a freshman at Maui Community College Majoring in Liberal Arts with a minor in Sustainability.Â Cierra takes home a 2009 Miss Maui Preliminary Crystal Signature Crown, a $1,000 tuition waiver for 2010, a $500 cash scholarship, a Miss Maui pendant by Jere Diamonds of Maui, in addition to a variety of other prizes.
Five othersÂ also advance to the Miss Hawaii event this summer after winning distinctive titles on Saturday.Â 20-year-old Ashley Jardine of Kapalua, was crowned Miss Valley Isle.Â Ashley is the daughter of Cory & Christian Rodrigues.Â She is currently a freshman attending Maui Community College with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Early Childhood Education.Â Ashley danced a Tahitian `Ori for her talent and chose a platform of empowering the youth of today, for a successful tomorrow.
Marissa Petsas of Kihei was named Miss `Ulalena.Â Marissa, 20, is a sophomore at Maui Community College, majoring in Liberal Arts.Â She is the daughter of George and Lei Petsas.Â Marissa danced a Tahitian `ori & `otea for her talent and chose Conservation and Preservation as her platform.
Erika Daniels of Lahiana was crowned Miss Lokelani.Â Erika is 20-years-old and attending the Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu.Â She is currently a sophomore with a major in Justice Administration and a minor in Psychology.Â During the talent portion of the competition, Erika performed an interpretive dance to Faith Hill’s “If I Should Fall Behind.”Â Her platform is, “Preventing Domestic Violence and its effect on Children.”
Natasha Thorell of Kahului was named Miss Silversword.Â She is 21-years-old, and a Maui Community College student majoring in Liberal Arts.Â Natasha is the proud daughter of Ana and Freddie Rivera.Â She danced an `auana hula for her talent and selected “Body-Image Awareness” as her platform issue.
Malia Avila of Wailuku was crowned Miss Haleakala.Â Malia is a 20-year-old student that will be pursuing a career as a Dental Assistant.Â She performed a vocal rendition of “To Sir With Love” as her talent and selected “Malama Makena” as her platform.Â Malia parents are Jennifer Ching and Luane Aiu.
1st Runner-Up Princess titles were also awarded to Jocelyn Belden of Napili and Poerava Tehiva of Hamoa who have the opportunity to compete in the 2009 Miss Molokai/Friendly Isle Scholarship Program.
Others competing in this year’s pageant were:Â Miss Hana, Shandi Ho’opai; Miss Keanae, Napua Hueu;Â Miss Wailea, Amanda Padilla;Â Miss Kihei, Taryn Kiyota;Â Miss Makena, Wainani Wendt;Â Miss Honolua Bay, Kahai’a Lilikoi;Â Miss Ho’okipa, Brandy Pa’o;Â Miss Waiehu, Curstyn Kalahiki-Salis;Â Miss Haiku, Bree Enovijas;Â Miss Hali’imaile, Morea Samaoang;Â Miss Maiapilo, Danielle Cadiz;Â Miss Maile, Kellene Chun;Â Miss Awapuhi, Kailani Hess;Â Miss Pua Melia, Ashley Correa;Â Miss Pikake, Jasmine Crisologo;Â and Miss Okika, Tia Michelier.
(Posted by Wendy Osher:Â Monday, January 26, 2009)Â (Photos by Wendy Osher: Â© 2009)