Miss Boston, Miss Cambridge crowned

(L-r) Miss Cambridge Summer Foley, Miss Boston's Outstanding Teen Brooke Graves and Miss Boston Maggie Markham were all crowned on Feb. 21 at the Omni Parker House.

(L-r) Miss Cambridge Summer Foley, Miss Boston’s Outstanding Teen Brooke Graves and Miss Boston Maggie Markham were all crowned on Feb. 21 at the Omni Parker House.

At the elegant rooftop ballroom at the Omni Parker House in downtown Boston on Feb. 21, B.U. student Maggie Markham was crowned Miss Boston and Summer Foley, a student of the Boston Conservatory was crowned Miss Cambridge, in a pageant featuring 14 of the brightest, most talented female scholars in the Boston area.

“I feel very shocked,” Markham said, just after her crowning. “I was very surprised.”

Having competed in only one local pageant previously, in her home state of Georgia, Markham is eager to start making appearances in the Massachusetts capitol area, and said she intends to be both seen and heard.

“I think the biggest thing is that I have opinions – I have things to say,” she said. “This entire process is about so much more than appearance. I think it’s so important to use that, and to take advantage of this opportunity.”

The day-long pageant was, in itself, a rewarding experience.

“It was really nice to meet the girls and get to know them,” Markham said. “They are so genuine. It was comforting.”

Markham performed a comedic monologue as her talent – something the theatre major had been honing.

“I’ve been doing acting and performing arts all of my life,” she said. “I chose to do acting, instead of singing or dancing, because that’s where my talents lie, I think.”

Foley had also only competed in two other pageants previously, both in Florida. Like Markham, she was also surprised she won.

“I’m really shocked I took a crown tonight,” she said. “[Many of] the girls here have competed at the state level, and they’re mostly older than I am, and some go to Harvard. I have so much respect for them.”

She is also ready to dive into making appearances.

“I’m really excited to get more immersed in the Boston and Cambridge community,” she said. “I want to get out there and speak as much as I can.”

Foley performed “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now,” by Celine Dion in the talent portion of the competition.

“Actually, I was supposed to sing an opera piece,” she said. “At the last minute, I wasn’t feeling it. It’s fun, but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

After consulting with her older sister, who she said is a role model of hers, the two decided on the song, which they used to sing together in the car.

Both Markham and Foley said they are looking forward to competing for the Miss Massachusetts title this summer.

“It’s scary, but it’s exciting,” Markham said.

“I want to bring home a title for Cambridge. I wouldn’t say I’m confident, but I think I’m ready – I’m ready to be ready,” Foley said.

Earlier that afternoon, 17-year-old Brooke Graves – a student at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols won the title of Miss Boston’s Outstanding Teen, in a pageant featuring 8 young women.

“It’s completely surreal,” she said. “This is actually my first pageant, so it’s crazy. It was crazy to hear my name called.”

Graves said she was urged to compete by her aunt, a former titleholder in Florida.

“She got me into the pageant world,” Graves said. “She even filled out all my paperwork.”

Graves said she’s also excited to work with her platform, Making Major Musicians, which beefs up local music school programs with instrument donations.

“Just having this title is a real opportunity to broaden that, and do more for it,” she said.

Graves will compete in the Miss Massachusetts Outstanding Teen pageant on April 2 and 3 in New Bedford.

The pageants were a star-studded affair, with representatives from throughout New England in attendence, including Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Allie Nault of New Hampshire, who performed and asked the on-stage questions for both the Miss and Teen competitions. Also in attendance were Miss Massachusetts Meagan Fuller, Miss Connecticut Colleen Ward, Miss Maine Kelsey Early, Miss Rhode Island Alexandra Curtis, and local titleholders from Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

For more information visit www.missboston.org or www.missmass.org.


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