In 1985, Barbara Gray had a dream. She wanted to start a pageant to coincide with the annual Fonda Fair, as a way to give “girls the opportunity to work at a goal, the goal of learning to be your best…” For nearly a decade she lived out that dream as the director of the Miss Fonda Fair pageant. Helen Buanno took over in 1995 and continued that dream for another 10 years. In 2006, the pageant switched hands and was taken over by Gretchen Salvion, but in 2009 she gave it back to Helen Buano. Finally, in 2011, Jessica (a current Miss America Local Contestant) and her mother Jackie agreed to take responsibility of the pageant. Hopefully the legacy of the Miss Fonda Fair continues as it approaches the 30th anniversay.
This pageant, although not a Miss America Preliminary, has sent representatives to compete in the past, both at the Miss and the Outstanding Teen levels. The contestants are still required to have a personal interview, model an evening gown, and answer an on-stage question. However, they are also required to give a short speech about why they are the best candidate. Additionally, contestants are invited to write an essay for the Mom of the Year award.
Titleholders are required to attend each day at the Fonda Fair during the year they win, but also gain Lifetime Membership to the Fair. They are encouraged to make additional appearances and participate in community service events throughout the year. They also win a rhinestone crown, sash, rhinestone crown pin, trophy, cash award, bouquet of flowers, monogrammed sweatshirt & t- shirt and gifts donated by area businesses. All contestants get a free pass to the pageant, certificate of participation and a ribbon. Runners ups also receive cash prizes.
Many Miss America local titleholders have used the Miss Fonda Fair pageant as a stepping stone into official preliminaries. Nearly a dozen, so far have, have either taken the Miss Fonda Fair title, at large, or gone on to win titles and gone on to compete at Miss New York or Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen.
Miss Fonda Fair Royalty on the Miss New York Stage
- 2012: Miss Fonda Fair Cory Lais competed as Miss Fonda Fair’s Outstanding Teen.
- 2011: Miss Fonda Fair Misty-Lynn Hilts competed as Miss Fonda Fair, at large.
Junior Miss Fonda Fair Kelsey Gray won Miss Finger Lake’s Outstanding Teen (however stepped down because MNYOT interfered with a national wrestling championship).
2010: Junior Miss Fonda Fair Ashley McDuffee won Miss Mohawk Valley’s Outstanding Teen, 1st Runner Up at MNYOT
- 2009: Miss Fonda Fair Lauren Crandall- Miss Mohawk Valley 2014
- 2008: Miss Fonda Fair Courtney Sheridan has won multiple titles, including Miss Mohawk Valley’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Fulton County, Miss Empire Rose, Miss Mohawk Valley, and Miss Central New York
Miss Fonda Fair Princess: Kimberly Sargalis has won Miss Mohawk Valley’s OT, Miss Upstate NY’s OT
- 2005: Miss Fonda Fair Kieren Sheridan: Miss Mohawk Valley, Miss Fulton County
- 2002: Miss Fonda Fair Keelie Sheridan competed as Miss Fonda Fair, at large, as well as many other titles including Miss Brooklyn, where she came in Top 5.
- 2000: Junior Miss Fonda Fair Theresa Tokarowski has won many pageants including Miss Mohawk Valley, Miss Empire Rose, and Miss Jubilee
- 1998: Princess Miss Fonda Fair Courtney Egelston won Miss Fulton County
Are you interested in competing for Miss Fonda Fair?
This could be the first step in your journey to winning a Miss New York local, and going on to win Miss New York and Miss America!
Date: August 26, 2014
Deadline: August 13, 20214
Eligibility: Fulton or Montgomery Counties
Fee: $20.00 (Make checks payable to “Miss Fonda Fair Pageant”. No refunds will be granted.)
ENTER EARLY to Win the Award for First Application Received!