Competitors from off-island in running for Miss Kauai title

Kaua’i is apparently lacking in women who want a venue to spread the word about important issues and to win scholarship money for a private university on O’ahu.

Four of the six girls competing for Hawaii Pacific University scholarships this year are from Kaua’i, but two have been living on O’ahu, one is originally from O’ahu, and one is from the Big Island.

The winners of preliminaries in each town, such as Miss Kauai and Miss Garden Isle, advance to the Miss Hawaii contest, and the winner goes to the Miss America pageant. Contest rules allow girls to compete in any preliminary in the state in which they live.

Miss Kauai pageant director Rose Dahle says that girls from the Neighbor Islands like to compete on Kaua’i “because we put on a good show.”

“The reason the girls from the other islands come here is because they want to win the scholarship money,” Dahle said. She admitted that girls do travel to other islands to “check out the competition,” but being that Miss America is a non-profit organization, the girls or their sponsors have to foot the expense bill.

Besides, Dahle said that not enough young women from Kaua’i want to compete. Throughout the year, she and about a dozen volunteer committee members scout the island and gather telephone numbers for those they think would be good candidates.

Getting them to commit is difficult, she said, and she doesn’t know why.

“Beauty is in your heart, not on your face,” Dahle said. “Most of the ones I’ve had the experience of working with in the program are not shallow. They’re very strong, smart women who know what they want in life. The whole thing about this is building confidence and self esteem.”

“The fact that they’re beautiful is just a plus,” she said. “It does take a certain type of woman – it has to take a strong woman first of all, a woman with conviction.”

Staff Writer Kendyce Manguchei can be reached at mailto:kmanguchei@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 252).

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