The pageant spanned six days in mid-July and included competition in the areas of personal expression, fitness, and formal gown runway modeling. Each state contestant also was interviewed by a panel of celebrity judges. […]
This event was the 20th anniversary of the annual selection of National Miss sponsored by Princess America Pageants. The goal of the program is to provide public appearance and interview experiences to enhance confidence and poise of young women throughout the country. (Essex student runner-up in national pageant)
Participants in the event also raised over $25,000 in funds to donate to the organization Give Children the World.
On the final night of competition, Fortune was selected as a top 10 semi-finalist and was again required to walk the runway in all three fashion classes. As the judging concluded, she was excited to be named as a top five finalist, and then thrilled to be named the third runner-up. (Essex student runner-up in national pageant)
Neely Fortune is majoring in wildlife biology at the University of Vermont, and after graduation, she will be interning at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. In November, she will be competing for the title of Miss Vermont, USA, in Burlington.
Her parents, Essex residents Jan and John Fortune, traveled to Orlando with Neely for the competition and are extremely proud of her placement. For this event, she was partially sponsored by Sim*Vivo, LLC of Essex.