Sunday, November 29, 2015 • 04:27

Lackpour named Miss Valley Center

March 19, 2014
April Lackpour wasn't expecting to walk away from the Miss Valley Center competition wearing a crown, but that is exactly what happened during the pageant held at the Maxine Theater on March 15.

"This was the best thing that's ever happened to me," said Lackpour.

Lackpour, a cross country and water polo athlete and swimmer who has also worked with those having special needs, was crowned Miss Valley Center during the annual pageant. Ashley Herzler was named Junior Miss Valley Center 2014. Other winners include Julie Pregler as Miss Valley Center First Princess, Danielle Yates as Junior Miss First Princess and Tayler Pennell was named Junior Miss Second Princess.

The theme of the 46th annual pageant was Ready, Set, Pageant.

Contestants were judged on their interviews, speeches, impromptu questions, and evening gowns. The interviews were held earlier in the day at 1 p.m.

"I felt very nervous leading up to it then realized in talking with people I feel comfortable. It's just a conversation," said Lackpour.

The pageant began with a dance performance to a fun pop song in which all contestants were joined by Miss Valley Center 2013 Taylor Yates and Junior Miss Victoria Laird.

Junior Essay Winner was Essence Park. Lockpour was Miss Essay Winner claiming the award with her future aspirations of introducing healthy lifestyles into the community by coaching people into adding exercise plans to fit their lives and encouraging others through exercise. Her impromptu question was, if you could change the world what would you do. She recieved extra points with the judges when she responded she would change how we face people by not judging others on physical appearance rather seeing people for who they are on the inside and learning about others that way.

Junior Miss Photogenic was Haley Potter and Miss Photogenic was Pregler. The Cover Girl Award For The Most Money Raised was Yates. Director's Award went to Sheylyn Harrelson and Miss Congeniality went to Vivian Alvarez.

For the final event, the evening gown competition, the contestants were spectacularly dressed in floor-length gowns as they walked across the stage.

"It was like watching a parade of elegant Disneyland princesses," said Lackpour who spent two years involved with Prom and Homecoming events. She was also a member of VC 4-H and visited Japan for two months representing Valley Center.

"The other girls have a lot of big long curls and beautiful faces and here I am with my pixie cut," said Lackpour. "I have a different look, different personality. I brought something different to the plate." Before her name was announced, the winning Miss VC felt closeness with her competitors and a unity with everyone.

"Just this moment for Juniors and Misses, we're standing there clutching each other for dear life. It was a powerful moment," Lackpour said.

Her parents had their heads down, eyes closed, holding on. Her grandmother from Los Angeles grabbed April's father hugging and shaking him after her granddaughter's name was announced as the winning contestant.

"I was stunned," said Lackpour, "feeling every emotion; shock, awe, amazement, gratitude. I wanted to grab the microphone to thank everyone who supported me and voted for me. I felt honored that Valley Center accepted me."

After the event, upon returning to school Lackpour saw that her classmates noticed her more. As Miss Valley Center, she plans to support Relay For Life at Bates Nut Farm to get people out by word of mouth. She intends to support the walk that sponsors the hospital that aided in her own recovery for an eating disorder.

"I think the most important thing for me also is representing girls who didn't win," said Lackpour.

To accomplish this, she is planning a tea party for all the participants because she doesn't want to lose the connection of being close to the others from all walks of life.

"I think it's more than just satisfying that childhood dream,' said Lackpour. "I feel like it was an amazing experience that is going to lead to bigger and better things. This has just gotten the ball rolling. I feel acceptance and confidence in being able to represent Valley Center. It's a tremendous honor."

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