O'Fallon Progress

Meet the 2019 Miss O’Fallon Pageant contestants, say farewell to reigning 2018 Queen

New Miss O’Fallon crowned

Ava Hipskind was crowned Miss O'Fallon 2017.
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Ava Hipskind was crowned Miss O'Fallon 2017.

The following six contestants are vying for the title of Miss O’Fallon 2019. Additionally, reigning 2018 Miss O’Fallon Adrianna Scagliarini provided her farewell speech. She will crown the winner of the 2019 pageant, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 2, at the O’Fallon Township High School Milburn Auditorium.

Hannah Bennion

Hannah Bennion, 17, is the daughter of Dustin and Lisa Bennion. Born and raised in O’Fallon, Hannah is the oldest of four kids. She is excited to enter her senior year at OTHS this Fall. After highschool, Hannah plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She also looks forward to serving an 18 month mission for her church.

Throughout highschool, Hannah has been a three-year member of OTHS’s show choir, Great Expectations. In the Chamber honor choir, she had a blast playing the comedic Jester role in this past year’s Madrigals performance. From one of Shrek’s 3 blinde mice to a friendly statue in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hannah has thrived in every school play and musical for the past six years. By fellow students, she is well known for her kind heart and optimism.

Outside of school, Hannah enjoys spending her free time with family. They are her greatest support system and best friends. When she isn’t with family and friends, Hannah has had the privilege of serving in leadership positions for her church’s youth organization. One month ago, she was a keynote speaker for over 50 teenage girls about self worth. With her dad, Hannah has traveled to several church services to speak to their congregations.

At a memorable youth camp in Utah, she had the privilege of speaking in front of well over 1,000 attendees. While speaking is a passion of Hannah’s, she enjoys doing small acts of kindness to make others smile. From singing at the senior center to picking up litter, Hannah loves serving her hometown.

If Hannah receives the honor of being crowned Miss O’Fallon 2019, she will represent kindness, service, and moral values in her community. Because the people of this town have blessed her with a memorable childhood, Hannah will seek opportunities to serve her community as a way to give back, even if that means getting her hands dirty.

She will continue to smile at unfamiliar faces and promote positivity through example. Amongst other responsibilities as Miss O’Fallon, Hannah’s main goal would be to show all ages their ultimate worth and potential.

Ashleigh Farmer

Ashleigh Farmer, 17, daughter of Bob and Christina Farmer, has lived in the O’Fallon area all of her life. Throughout the years, she has participated in sports like soccer and softball, and she has attended multiple camps through OTHS including volleyball, tennis, and dance.

In addition to being an O’Fallon honor roll student, Ashleigh is a four-year member of the Golden Girls Dance Team (serving two years as a captain), a three-year member of Student Council, a two-year member of the Athletic Leadership Council, a member of the Friends of Rachel Club, and a member of both the Spanish and National Honor Societies.

Ashleigh has been dancing at the Belleville School of Ballet for fourteen years and has danced in the studio’s annual production of “The Nutcracker” since she was 3 years old.

On the weekends, Ashleigh volunteers her time assisting in the preschool Sunday School class at Faith Lutheran Church in O’Fallon. Through this three year opportunity, she has come to believe that if youth learn about God’s word at an early age, they will embrace His power and love forever.

Ashleigh also volunteers as a ‘buddy’ for children with disabilities at Without Limits Dance Company. She believes everyone should have the opportunity to do what she loves to do the most: dance. She knows these children are just as passionate about dancing as she is, so she loves to help them succeed in their weekly jazz and ballet classes.

Ashleigh is very interested in the medical field. In fact, she volunteers at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s to help out and gain firsthand knowledge of where she could potentially work one day.

Ashleigh is very excited about life after high school. She plans to attend a university and major in biology on a pre-medicine track. Ashleigh hopes to be a dermatologist one day.

If given the privilege to serve as Miss O’Fallon, Ashleigh would strive to be a positive role model for kids in the community and enthusiastically share with others all of what O’Fallon has to offer. Ashleigh would love to represent the city that continues to give her so many opportunities to express herself and be her own person.

Ailayna Gaffney

Ailayna Gaffney, 17, is the daughter of Dr. Dawn Jones-Gaffney and retired Colonel David B. Gaffney. She has lived in O’Fallon for the last four years after moving from Fairfax, VA. Growing up as a military child, she has been able to live in a variety of places but having lived in O’Fallon the longest is happy to call this place home. Since moving to the area Ailayna has made several friendships and connections with those in her school and the community and credits several of those people with helping her become who she is today.

Through school, Ailayna is a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Club, National Society of High School Scholars, received the state commendation towards biliteracy in Spanish, and attended two National Youth Leadership Forums on Cybersecurity in 2016 and Medicine in 2017.

As one of four captains of the Varsity Golden Girls, Ailayna loves showing spirit and support for her school through half-time dances and cheering on the sidelines. Recently at the teams Elite UDA Camp, Ailayna was selected to be an All-American Dancer and take part in a parade in Rome, Italy and won the Drill Down Competition where she was crowned the Drill Down Queen.

Outside of school Ailayna is an active member of the St. Clair County Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc. where she was most recently president. In the past has held other positions such as vice president, treasurer, financial secretary, and historian. She first joined the organization at the age of two but has continued to be a member no matter where she had moved to.

Through this group, Ailayna has been able to learn the importance of community and giving back to those who are in need. During her time in Jack and Jill Ailayna has accumulated over 250 hours of community service and hopes to continue more into her senior year.

Upon graduating, Ailayna plans to attend either the University of Connecticut or Missouri State University and major in sociology while minoring in criminology. If awarded the opportunity to be Miss O’Fallon, Ailayna would love nothing more than to represent and serve this community and give back to those who have given so much to her.

Hanna Holland

Hanna Holland is proud to be a senior at O’Fallon Township high school. She has been fortunate to be born and raised in O’Fallon. She embraces the small town feel of O’Fallon, “it just feels like home.”

This year Hanna has earned the privilege of being a leader and captain of the varsity dance team. She is an active member of Saint Nicholas Parish and enjoys working at the YMCA.

Hanna has a passion and a gift for working with children. She currently teaches gymnastics and babysits for her family and friends. Hanna looks forward to furthering her love for children by pursuing a career in pediatric nursing.

Hanna considers participating in Miss O’Fallon as an honor and privilege. She had set her sights on being part of this experience ever since she attended her first pageant in grade school.

Holding the title of Miss O’Fallon will allow her to grow personally, and give back to the community that has given so much to her. She looks forward to accepting the responsibility of being a role model for future generations.

Wynne Radcliffe

Wynne Radcliffe is the daughter of Rodney and Kristin Radcliffe. She is 17 years old and will be a senior at O’Fallon Township High School in a few weeks. She moved a lot as a young kid, being born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, moving to Alabama, Germany, and then here. Wynne attended Laverna Evans Elementary, Carriel Junior High School, and OTHS. She has spent all of the life that she can remember being a part of the O’Fallon community, and she is proud to wear the blue and gold of her hometown.

Wynne is very serious about her academic studies as her cumulative GPA of 4.202 shows. She is ranked number 4 in her senior class and will continue to push herself to her best by taking five AP classes next year. Last year in May, Wynne was inducted into the National Honor Society and Delta Epsilon Phi, the German National Honor Society.

Due to her excellent academics, Wynne was a prom escort her sophomore year and a candidate for prom princess in her junior year. She takes her studies very seriously, putting them at top priority.

Within OTHS, Wynne has been a member of the Mock Trial Team for the past two years. She was an alternate her first year but had to quickly memorize two other members’ parts within a week of the state competition.

Wynne has also been an active member of the German Club throughout high school, being elected vice president her sophomore year and an executive board member her junior year. Last fall, Wynne was invited onto the Leadership Council where she learned more about herself and other like-minded individuals.

Outside of school, the biggest part of Wynne’s life is taekwondo. She has been practicing the martial art since she was seven years old and just earned her third-degree black belt a few weeks ago. Taekwondo has become Wynne’s passion as she is there every night of the week, whether she is teaching students or perfecting her own skills.

Wynne has competed at the Illinois State competition for three years in taekwondo, and last year, she was named the eighth best in the state for her division. Wynne has also won five Grand Champion awards at various tournaments, one of which was in Family Form, a competition with her brother, Kaeden, who is a second-degree black belt.

Wynne likes to do all she can to educate the young children of the O’Fallon community. She was named an assistant instructor at taekwondo for her hours of teaching the younger students the art. She has helped at many summer camps as well, leading students through activities. In junior high, Wynne helped tutor young elementary-age children at EK Elementary. She always wishes to further the minds of the young people in O’Fallon.

Upon graduation, Wynne hopes to attend either the University of Kentucky or Northwestern University to study anthropology and criminology. She hopes to become a medical examiner and fulfill her childhood dreams of working for the FBI.

If given the privilege of being crowned Miss O’Fallon, Wynne wants to be a role model to all of the girls who feel that they aren’t pretty enough, not popular enough, etc. to achieve great things. She has never felt to be of the “popular crowd”, and she wants people to embrace their differences and be proud of who they are, and, of course, she wants to be the best representative of this small Illinois town.

Paige Zywicki

Paige Zywicki is the daughter of Brian and Angela Zywicki. She is 17 and is about to begin her senior year at Ofallon Township High School. Paige has lived in Ofallon her whole life attending both Moye Elementary School and Marie Schaefer Elementary School, as well as Fulton Jr. High School.

At OTHS, Paige participates as a captain on the Varsity Golden Girls Dance Team, where she has held a spot for the last three years. She is also a member of FOR club, Spanish club, and Leadership Council. In addition, she is a part of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Social Studies Honor Society.

Paige has also been a part of her dance studio, Taylor’s Academy of Dance, for 14 years. At her studio, she has taken numerous classes, volunteered as a student teacher, and within the last two years became employed. While teaching and student teaching, Paige discovered her love for teaching kids to dance. Because of that, for the last year she had been volunteering at Without Limits Dance Company to be a buddy to children.

After high school Paige hopes to attend the University of Missouri to major in business with a double minor in Spanish and marketing.

If chosen to represent the city of O’Fallon, Paige hopes to be a positive role model for young girls in the community and serve this city with grace and passion.

2018 Miss O’Fallon Adrianna Scagliarini’s farewell speech

O’Fallon, such an amazing city and a place I have had the privilege to call my home for the past 18 years. Love and compassion are two of the traits I have found this city to encompass along with lots and lots of kindness. Everyone in this community is so incredibly supportive not only to each other, but also to me throughout my reign. I am so proud to call myself apart of this wonderful city and there is no other place I would have wanted to call my home.

Being Miss O’Fallon was a childhood dream and I can definitely say my reign has gone above and beyond any expectations I could have had going into my exciting year. As Miss O’Fallon 2018 I have had the privilege of meeting a ton of new people and came to find that O’Fallon is filled with so much talent. My year has been very exciting as I had participated in several parades, ribbon cuttings, memorial services, city events and I attended Shiloh elementary school as a guest speaker.

Of all the amazing events I was able to attend, I have two that I found extremely rewarding. The first of these two was the Shriners parade where I rode in a convertible driven by the one and only Mike Cook and had an absolute blast.

Although we had some stops along the way, like when one of the three-wheeled motorcycles broke down and the parade came to a stop, I was blessed to talk to little girls and boys along the parade route and learn all about their lives. My favorite memory of that parade was when I made a stop to talk to some little boys on the parade route.

One of them, around the age of 6, told his 4 year old little brother that I was a queen and they needed to bow down because I was the most beautiful in the land. The second event I attended was for one of my good friends I made at my old dance studio. Her name is Jenny and she has autism. She invited me to a dance with her and all of her friends where I got to meet all of the people she loves most and that meant the world to me.

The Miss O’Fallon Scholarship pageant and this past year have been amazing blessings and I would not have been able to do any of it without the help of the Miss O’Fallon committee. Without all of their time and commitment they give to this event, along with the super excited girls attending Miss O’Fallon practices throughout the summer and the pageant itself, it would not have been possible.

A thank you to Kristy Schulte for scheduling all of my numerous events and for helping me throughout my reign. Another thank you to Mike Cook for allowing me to ride in your beautiful convertible and being the best parade driver in town. I appreciate it. Heepwah!!

Thank you to the scholarship donors as I continue my education at Saint Louis University to major in international business. Thank you to Debbie Martinez for notifying me of all the ribbon cutting ceremonies, allowing me to be a part of them, and making me feel welcome. A big thank you to mayor Herb Roach for being an amazing guy to talk to while waiting in the blazing sun for the memorial day service to start. I always enjoy our conversations and I appreciate everything you do for our amazing city. Can’t wait to be a Billiken!!

Another thank you goes out to my amazing friends and my boyfriend for being so supportive of me and my reign as Miss O’Fallon 2018. I appreciate you all so much. Last but not least, my family. A big thank you to you all, Mom, Dad, and Romeo. I love you all and I could not have had this amazing successful year as Miss O’Fallon 2018 without all of your support, love, and care. Mom, a special thank you for just you.

Thank you for attending all of my events with me over the year and being my best friend and my biggest supporter. You are truly my number one fan. I know I am leaving soon for college, but I would like to say thank you for teaching me to follow my dreams and pushing me to be the best I possibly can be in life.

Miss O’Fallon has taught me so many lessons and has helped me start to mature into the bright young lady I aspire to be. Not only did I have the task of representing our beautiful city as Miss O’Fallon 2018, but I also had the privilege to give back to this wonderful city and see the outcomes.

I am beyond blessed for the opportunities I have had over the past year, for the reign I was bestowed, and for all of the memories it gave me. I will cherish them forever. Thank you O’Fallon. For everything you have done for me. Showing me what a real community, filled with love and kindness, really looks like and allowing me to grow up in it. I am grateful and blessed to have had the opportunity to be crowned and serve as Miss O’Fallon 2018.

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