By Brannigan Watson | Reporter
Your Distinguished Young Woman of Avon of 2016 is contestant number 9, Cassy Stall.
Stall, a senior, participates in FCA, Interact Club, National Honors Society, Spanish Honors Society and tennis. She said she did the DYW program because she was asked to be a little sister for the program last year and the contestant who picked her won and convinced her to continue.
The DYW of Avon is like a pageant and used to be known as Avon Junior Miss. Connie Leak, chairman of the program, has been working with DYW since 1988 and oversees all of the portions of the event and helps the girls with getting prepared. She also takes care of their food for rehearsals and organizes community opportunities for the girls such as working Rib Fest and helping with Summer Lunch Bunch.
“Understand it is a commitment,” Leak said.
Leak also explained what the portions of the program are and how they work. There are different categories and portions to the event. All of the categories have different weighting to the scores. The judges take score for each portion of the event and that is how the winners of each category are determined and those scores are put together for the overall scores. The events include self- expression and fitness, which are both choreographed group routines, as well as solo interviews and talents.
There are also awards given for the contestants’ academics. For the scholastic awards, judges look at each contestant’s transcript and college entrance exams.
Stall participated in all of these events and came out as the Distinguished Young Woman of Avon 2016-2017.
Stall’s talent, painting, drew a big reaction during the competition. Within the 90-second time-frame, she painted a blue horse — upside down.
“I painted an abstract, blue horse. I painted it upside down and when I was done I turned around to the audience and said ‘what is it’ and then I said ‘ah ha’ and flipped it over and the crowd was saying ‘oh my goodness’ and one of the judges threw his hands up in the air and it was great to see the reaction,” Stall said.
Stall decided to join as a contestant after being a little sister for the event for the 2015-2016 program. In the program the girls normally have a younger girl that they call a “little sister” that helps them with things like getting ready for the show and being moral support through every step of the way.
“My big sister won last year, her big sister won the year before that, and her biological big sister won the year before that, so it was kind of a legacy,” Stall said.
Stall chose sophomore Katie Sesslar as her little sister for the 2016-2017 competition because they became close during tennis the year before, and Stall thought that Sesslar would enjoy it.
“I do plan to participate in DYW when I am a senior. Cassy showed me what it is like and I would love to follow in her footsteps,” Sesslar said.
Stall and Sesslar both enjoyed becoming closer and growing as friends over the course of the program. Sesslar hopes to pick a little sister like herself when she becomes a contestant.
“I would like a little sister who looks up to me and always believes in me no matter what. Just as I was like to Cassy, not only will we be close but best friends throughout this whole journey,” Sesslar said.
Stall also really enjoyed the part of the program when she got to build friendships with the other contestants.
“I’ve seen them in the hallway but, it was nice to know more than just their name and now we’ve formed lifelong bonds,” Stall said.
Stall said that girls came from different teams, groups, and clubs but all came together for the event and wanted to show her appreciation for them.
“I want to thank Morgan, my big sister from last year, the other girls for pushing me to be a better me, and the girls’ parents for raising them that way because they weren’t born like that,” Stall said.
Other Awarded Contestants:
- First Runner up: Amber Greaney
- Second runner up: Abigail Handlon
- Scholastics Winner: Cassy Stall
- Scholastics first runner up: Amber Greaney
- Scholastic second runner up: Samantha Selge
- Spirit of DYW of Avon: Samantha Selge
- Interview: Amber Greaney and Cassy Stall
- Self-expression: Lauren Crandall and Alexandra Perkins
- Talent: Samantha Selge and Jasmine Stone
- Fitness: Jasmine Stone and Alexandra Perkins
- Excellence in Fundraising Scholarship: Cassy Stall
- The Virginia and John Sinclair Family Foundation Book Scholarship: All Contestants #1-13.
- Megan Cox, Contestant one
- Kasia Crain, Contestant three
- Olivia Krober, Contestant six
- Nina Mcgrew, Contestant 11
- Tori Swisher, Contestant 12
- Jennifer Bair, Contestant 13