As she competed in her very first beauty pageant last December, Hannah O’Donoghue could hardly believe it as her named was called out as winner of the Miss Butler County USA contest
“It was awesome,” she said. “I cried.”
The Cranberry teen now has a chance to bring home an even bigger title—Miss Pennsylvania USA.
A senior at Seneca Valley High School, O’Donoghue, 18, will compete for the crown at the Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant this weekend at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon.
As Miss Butler County USA 2012, O’Donoghue receives automatic entry into the Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant, where contestants range in age from 18 to 26. The winner of the contest moves on to the nationally televised Miss USA Pageant. The Miss Teen Pennsylvania USA pageant also takes place this weekend.
“I am a little nervous, mainly just for the final show,” O’Donoghue said of going into this week’s pageant.
An honor roll student and a member of Seneca Valley’s Graphic Arts and Arts clubs, O’Donoghue said she became involved in the pageant world last year after the Marilyn E. Kane Modeling School and Agency set up a booth at her school to seek out prospective pageant candidates.
As the urging of friends, and later, her mom, O’Donoghue said she decided to take part in the Miss Butler County USA pageant.
“I did it just for fun and I ended up winning,” she said.
Along with Miss Butler County USA, the Marilyn E. Kane Modeling School and Agency are O’Donoghue’s sponsors in the Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant.
Taking place over three days, 53 contestants from across Pennsylvania will compete in interview, swimsuit and evening gown competitions. O’Donoghue also will attend rehearsals for a group dance and a photo shoot.
Although the weekend will be a whirl of events, O’Donoghue, who also works as a supervisor at YuM Frozen Yogurt in Cranberry, said she is most looking forward to meeting her roommate for the weekend.
In case there are any attacks of nerves, O’Donoghue also has a few past contestants from Cranberry to lean on.
O’Donoghue said Kelly Cundiff, who was crowned Miss Butler County USA in 2011 and was a finalist in the 2012 Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant, and Alex Pacinda, a semifinalist in the Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA pageant, both offered her advice for the weekend—as have her parents.
“They’re really supportive,” she said. “They just want me to go out there and have fun and not stress about it too much.”
Want to support Hannah as she competes for the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA this weekend? Wish her luck in the comment section below!