10/09/11 — Morgan Johnson crowned Wayne County Fire Princess

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Morgan Johnson crowned Wayne County Fire Princess

By Gary Popp
Published in News on October 9, 2011 1:50 AM

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The Wayne County Fire Princess court, from left: Karen Craig, Miss Congeniality and 4th runner-up; Jamee Hines, 3rd runner-up; Monica Sasser, the 2010 Fire Princess; Morgan Johnson, the 2011 Wayne County Fire Princess; Kaitlyn Lancaster, 1st runner-up; and Logan Harrison, 2nd runner-up.

The Wayne County Firefighters Association held its 37th annual Fire Princess Pageant Saturday night at the Paramount Theatre.

The event entertained a crowd of more then 500 people with the glamour and whimsy of a beauty pageant while also providing valuable, life saving fire safety and prevention tips.

Ten contestants, between the ages of 14 and 18 years old, represented a different Wayne County volunteer fire department during the competition that was energized by a dynamic audience.

During the first of two rounds of competition, the girls were judged for their talents and costumes as they performed skits and sang songs that taught fire safety.

Later in the pageant, the girls changed out of their creative, fun-spirited costumes and into formal evening gowns and responded to fire safety questions during a one-on-one question and answer session with 2010 Fire Princess Monica Sasser.

Morgan Johnson, 16, a student at Eastern Wayne High, was crowned the 2011 Fire Princess after captivating the six-judge panel with her "Old Woman Who Live in a Shoe" themed performance and spot on response during the question and answer segment.

"It feels so good," Morgan said. "I am so excited."

Morgan, who represented the New Hope Fire Department, said she spent many late nights with her mother studying material provided by the association to help the girls prepare for the question and answer portion of the competition.

Morgan bubbled with elation as she wore the sparkling tiara and held a large bouquet of flowers.

"I am excited to ride in parades and visit elementary schools to talk to kids about fire safety," Morgan said.

Morgan said she received help from New Hope firefighters building her nursery rhyme props.

The pageant included a farewell to the Monica, the 2010 princess.

"It is sad," Monica said. "I don't want to give it up, but I am happy for Morgan."

Monica said she was proud to have represented the firemen's association for the past year and that she had a lot of fun doing it.

"I really liked riding on the fire truck during the Christmas parade and spending time with a lot of the firefighters. A lot of people don't realize all they do for the community," she said.

Monica said her advice to the new princess is to be as involved as possible.

"The year is what you make of it," she said.

Monica also congratulated all of the girls who participated in the competition.

"It takes so much courage just to get on the stage. And they all did great," Monica said.

The ticket sales for the event is expected to have raised more than $5,000 for the firemen's association.

Katlyn Lancaster, 17, a student at Wayne Early Middle College High School, represented East Wayne Fire Department and placed as the first runner-up.

Second runner-up went to Logan Harrison, 16, a student at Charles B. Aycock, who represented Saulston Fire Department.

Third runner-up went to Charles B. Aycock High student Jamee Hines, 18, who represented Arrington Fire Department.

Representing Nahunta Fire Department, Karen Craig, 16, a student at Charles B. Aycock, took home fourth runner-up and Miss Congeniality.

Other contestants included Jordyn Howell, Hailey Chase, Jessica Prunest, Erin Lyda and Destinee Clayton.