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Ferrell captures Miss Auburn crown
Polished and poised Daniela Ferrell was more than ready for the bright lights of the big stage Saturday night.
She also had some added inspiration.
With her cancer-stricken father in the audience, the Auburn woman shined in all facets of heavy competition and defeated a talented field of 23 contestants to capture the Miss Auburn Scholarship Pageant at the Performing Arts Center.
"I'm just completely overwhelmed. I had no idea," an emotional Ferrell said after receiving the crown, a bouquet of flowers and congratulations from family and friends. "I'm just bubbling with joy. I cannot contain myself.
"I am extremely thankful. I don't think I can express my gratitude enough."
As Miss Auburn, the 19-year-old Ferrell earned a spot in July's Miss Washington Pageant at Renton. She also won more than $12,000 in total gifts, awards and scholarships.
Ferrell, a freshman studying civil engineering at the University of Washington, ran on a platform that hits very close to home – cancer support through bone marrow and blood donation. Her father, Jim – a retired police officer who spent 31 years on the Auburn force – is being treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare cancer.
Her father, who is responding well to a trial drug treatment, ultimately may need a bone marrow transplant. He was strong enough to attend the two-night pageant and watch with joy as his daughter took the top prize.
"I'm very pleased. We know what she's made of, and she showed that," said Ferrell, 58, who shared the moment with Elsa, his wife of 30 years.
First runner-up a year ago, a more relaxed and ready Daniela Ferrell came determined to win this time around.
"I watched last year's DVD. I knew what I needed to improve on, making myself more personable because sometimes I've become very businesslike," she admitted.
"We knew what it was like going in and, from that point on, it was just a matter of nailing what we already knew," Ferrell said.
A classically trained pianist, Ferrell delivered a splendid rendition of Barclay Allen's Latin-esque theme song, "Cumana", during the talent portion of the pageant Friday evening.
She came through with solid showings in interview and wear segments over the course of two nights.
Ferrell, under advisor Tammy Thueringer, was sponsored by Molen Orthodontics.
Elisa Rosin, an Auburn Riverside High student, was first runner-up. Auburn's Stefanie Burger, a student at Central Washington University, was second runner-up. Amanda Hainer, a student at Green River Community College, was third-runner-up, followed by Linda Barboa (fourth runner-up) and Jennifer Davis (fifth runner-up).
Editor's note:The Auburn Reporter will have more on the pageant this week.
For more on the Ferrell family story, please read: http://bit.ly/h1WkIe