Payson Girl Has Miss Teen Arizona Pageant Dreams

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Lacy Donovan will be one of more than 70 competitors in the 2008 Miss Arizona Teen USA pageant October 2007.

"This one is the big leagues. A lot of teens want to participate, but not many get to," Donovan said of the contest that feeds into the National Miss Teen Pageant sponsored by NBC and Donald Trump.

Miss Teen USA will be Donovan's fourth pageant.

Previously she won "Miss Spokesmodel," Miss Personality" and "Spirit of America" as a competitor in American Co-ed Pageants.

She is proud of the Spirit award for her interaction with other competitors.

She also took third-runner-up places in two of those pageants.

When she began competing, Donovan said she was not into "girlie stuff," but the fun her sister was having at pageants gave her the impetus to dress up.

Donovan danced at American Co-ed pageants, but there is no talent portion at Miss Teen USA.

If there was a talent competition this time, she would play the instrument she has been practicing for eight years -- the flute.

"I have had so much fun, I have to continue," Donovan said.

The Trump pageant is more expensive to enter ($900) but the return in college scholarship money is equally greater.

Donovan works as a checker at Bashas' to raise the money and is seeking sponsors.

The girl crowned Miss Arizona Teen receives a $1,500 scholarship, thousands of dollars in gift certificates and a wardrobe package worth about $5,000, that includes a custom evening gown and interview outfit for the national event.

"Of course the prizes are a lot of fun for a girl, but it is the scholarships I am really interested in," she said.

If Donovan were to win again at the national pageant, the scholarship money increases tenfold.

Wearing a crown offers her a chance to give voice to causes she believes are important.

Her aunt died of ovarian cancer, so Donovan feels passionately about women's heath issues.

Working as a bagger at Bashas', she learned that it takes 1,000 years for plastic grocery bags to decompose.

"I bought my mom new sacks. It is something little, but if everyone used alternative sacks for their groceries each time they shopped, it would make a huge difference," Donovan said.

The selection committee looks at each participants grade point average and community involvement. They conduct a phone interview with each girl who fills out an application.

Girls in this pageant get to meet teens from all across Arizona and that promotes diversity, Donovan's mother, Corey Houghton said.

There is stress looking for the right dress, obtaining sponsors and just plain nerves.

"The weekend of a pageant you are nervous because only one girl gets the crown," Donovan said.

She enjoys drama and hopes to major in theater arts. The pageants give her the opportunity to be seen by talent scouts.

"I'll get my moment to shine," Donovan said with a broad smile.

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