BY ELIZABETH NAJIM
Contests to determine “who is the fairest of them all’’ have been around at least since ancient Greece and the Judgment of Paris. According to legend, a poor mortal goatherd, Paris, was called upon to settle a dispute among the goddesses. Who was the most beautiful: Hera, Aphrodite, or Athena? All three goddesses offered bribes. According to the writer Apollodorus, “Hera said that if she were preferred to all women, she would give him the kingdom over all men; Athena promised victory in war, and Aphrodite the hand of Helen.” When Paris selected Aphrodite in exchange for getting Helen of Troy, the most beautiful mortal of the time, he inadvertently started the Trojan War.
Luckily, the Miss Syracuse pageant here in Utah has not started any wars.
The Miss Syracuse Pageant officially originated in 1955, when the Syracuse Lion’s Club began a scholarship competition for young women to earn money for college. In 1963, the Syracuse Lady Lions took over sponsoring the pageant. It ran until 1974. There was a break for several years until 2000, when it was brought back. Miss Teen Syracuse was added in 2005 in conjunction with Miss Utah/Miss America adding a Miss Teen category.
The Miss Syracuse Pageant represents and promotes community, service, and self-care. Their mission is as follows: Beyond talent and beauty, the Miss Syracuse Pageant represents the ideals of our community. We teach and encourage healthy living, self-confidence, creative accomplishment, community service, and the pursuit of scholastic achievement among young women. Our goal is to inspire, motivate, and lift young women to the realization that they are strong, independent, capable young ladies who can accomplish anything they set their minds to. We, as a committee, are dedicated to that dream and promise to do our best to make it possible. We choose to not only look for but to cultivate potential and to never put anyone down. We hope that each of these young women in our community come away with more than just a title. We hope they see that the effects of a positive attitude, self-respect, respect for others, and the fulfillment of knowing that they are good role models will last much longer than beauty or a crown. The main focus on Miss Syracuse is the girl’s community service project and how it benefited the local area.
Winners of Miss Syracuse and Miss Teen Syracuse receive a scholarship to Weber State and a cash scholarship awarded towards educational expenses. Titleholders also contribute community service hours per quarter, which include appearances at city-held events.
Congratulations to this year’s winner, Brooklyn Piper!