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12 to vie in Miss Seminole pageant

The pageant on Feb. 19 offers $3,800 in scholarship money and the chance to be Miss Florida.

Twelve women will compete for the title of Miss Seminole 2000 at the 33rd annual Miss Seminole Scholarship Pageant at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Seminole High School auditorium, 8401 131st St. N.

Yolanda Fernandez, television anchor and reporter orter for Newschannel 8, will be the mistress of ceremonies.

To be eligible, all contestants must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 17 and 24. They cannot have been married and cannot have children, and they must live, work, volunteer or go to school or have attended school in Pinellas County.

This year's candidates are:

Seminole High School students Jennifer Lynn Cole, 18, daughter of Richard and Antoinette Cole; and Jonna Harrold, 18, daughter of Edward and Jane Harrold.

Clearwater High School student Annie Hall, 17, daughter of James and Racine Hall.

St. Petersburg Junior College students Jennifer Tuhro, 19, daughter of Gary and Lynn Tuhro; Susan Burts, 20, daughter of Al and Mary Burts; Ellen DeSando, 20, daughter of Ronald and Ruth McNeil; and Kimberly Kolinski, 22, daughter of Cathy Kolinski.

University of South Florida students Rosanna Saraceno, 24, daughter of Salvatore and Barbara Saraceno; Kristi Hendricks, 21, daughter of Randy and Kati Hendricks; Terra Bredeson, 21, daughter of Clifford and Bobbi Bredeson; Suzanne Metzler, 19, daughter of Jamie and Marlene Metzler; and Cynthia Hernandez, 20, daughter of Rafeal and Enriqueta Hernandez.

The Miss Seminole Scholarship Pageant is a preliminary to the Miss America Pageant. The 12 contestants will compete for $3,800 in scholarship money, with Miss Seminole getting $1,800; first runner-up, $800; and second runner-up, $600. They compete in four areas: talent, which accounts for 40 percent of a contestant's score; interview, 30 percent; evening wear, 15 percent and physical fitness in swimsuit, 15 percent.

In addition, two non-finalists will be selected in the talent and interview categories. They'll each receive $250. Finally, the contestants themselves vote on Miss Congeniality, who receives a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

Miss Seminole 2000 will represent the community in the Miss Florida Pageant in June. The winner there competes in the Miss America competition in October.

The Miss America organization awards more than $39-million in scholarship money on the local, state and national levels, said Henny Hlas, president and executive director of the Miss Seminole Scholarship Pageant. The national organization is considered the largest source of scholarship assistance for young women in the world, she said.

Tickets for the event are $7. They may be purchased at the Greater Seminole Area Chamber of Commerce office, the Seminole Mall information center or at the door the night of the pageant. For more information, call Hlas at 397-1719.