And the winners are …

2020 Miss Fulton County winner Marriana Mattice, left, and 2020 Miss Montgomery County winner Victoria Lee Opalka, right, pose after their wins. (The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

GLOVERSVILLE — The 50th Miss Fulton County was crowned along with the 13th Miss Montgomery County during the 2020 scholarship program at Gloversville Middle School Sunday evening.

Marriana Mattice was awarded with the crown for Miss Fulton County and a $4,000 scholarship. Victoria Lee Opalka also won a $4,000 scholarship, along with the Miss Montgomery title. Both young women said they felt honored to receive the crown.

“I’m completely just blown away. I’m extremely happy that I won. I’m so ready for the experience, I just didn’t expect it,” Opalka said. “I was very shocked to hear my name but I’m so ready for the journey ahead.”

Opalka won the title through her original monologue about her recent educational trip to Guatemala. Her social impact initiative is “fostering food security and wellness,” as she wishes to educate the world on proper farming for the family.

Mattice’s social impact initiative is supporting the “crohns and colitis foundation.” She won the judges over through her live painting skills. Mattice also won the overall talent scholarship for $1,000. For young women who were looking to compete in the program, Mattice said to stick to your heart.

2019 Fulton County's Princess, Juliana Forbes, and 2019 Montgomery County's Princess, Bella Romano joined the Bright Stars for a dance. (Opal Jessica Bogdan For The Leader-Herald)

“Always just be confident and be yourself,” Mattice said.

Chelsea Cirillo was the first runner up and received a $2,000 scholarship. If either of the crowned counties could not fulfill the duties with the position, Cirillo would step up. Second runner up went to Alexis Houser, who won a $1,000 scholarship. Alexys Conti was awarded the third runner up position with a $750 scholarship.

Miss Congeniality was awarded to Julia Marrone, who received a $250 scholarship.

Kerri Hauser was the winner of the $562.50 People’s choice award scholarship.

Each non-finalist was awarded a $400 scholarship.

Miss New York 2019, Lauren Molella, helped Isabelle Henderson, Miss Fulton County, crown 2020 Miss Fulton County winner Marriana Mattice. (The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

During the competition, the audience was entertained by the Bright Stars Program. This non-competitive, mentoring program was open to local girls and boys between the ages of 5 and 12.

Choreographed by Samantha Bell, the 17 Bright Stars performed onstage during the competition. The 2020 Bright Stars are Syndey Arminio, Reese Baker, Celia Bianca Casale, Kendyl Leigh Conyne, Lucille Esler, McKae Evens, Kaylin Feerik, Addison Fielding, Embree Fielding, Madilyn Forbes, Laruen Hollenbeck, Laurel Marie Ioele, Becky Sear, Cheyanne Springer, Peyton Wager, Emma Wheeler, and Bryn Wojeski. The Bright Stars were joined on stage by 2019 Fulton County’s Princess, Juliana Forbes, and 2019 Montgomery County’s Princess, Bella Romano and guest announcer 2019 Montgomery County’s Outstanding Teen, Amelia Baldwin.

Before honoring the 2020 crown winners, Isabelle Henderson, Miss Fulton County 2019, and Lexi Swatt, Miss Montgomery County 2019 were nothing but smiles before announcing the winners of this year’s program.

“It was a blast,” Henderson said.

Henderson helped crown Mattice with her title. Swatt, who said she enjoyed meeting and working with Henderson throughout her year with the crown title, honored Opalka with the crown of Miss Montgomery.

From left, Alexys Conti, third runner-up, second runner-up Alexis Houser and Chelsea Cirillo, first runner-up with Miss Montgomery County Victoria Lee Opalka and Miss Fulton County Marriana Mattice. (The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

“It feels amazing, I am very excited an grateful for the opportunity to be the new Miss Fulton County,” Mattice said. “I was just nervous for the talent portion of the competition, just for the timing of it, but I’m so glad I was able to finish it in time.”

Opalka has competed in the program since 2017 and said she greatly respects the Miss America Organization.

“It has changed in many ways throughout the years and its never a better time than now to start competing,” Opalka said, “You’re out there working towards your social impact initiative and what better way to do that than with a group of successful women who want to do the same thing.”

For the talent section of the competition, contestant Chelsea Cirillo played the guitar and sang. 9 The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

Julia Robare answered the judge's question about her social impact initiative “mentoring for success.” ( The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

2019 Fulton County's Princess, Juliana Forbes, and 2019 Montgomery County's Princess, Bella Romano joined the Bright Stars for a dance. (The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

People's Choice winner Kerri Hauser walks the stage during the formal wear section. ( The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

The program hosts Mike Belotti and Lisa McCoy asked Isabelle Henderson, Miss Fulton County, and Lexi Swatt, Miss Montgomery County, what their favorite part of last year's journey was. (The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)

Crowned Miss Fulton County Marriana Mattice showed off her live painting talent during the talent portion of the competition. (The Leader-Herald/Opal Jessica Bogdan)


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