Every year across America young women take to the stage in local beauty pageants with the hopes of someday becoming Miss America. On Sunday, April 2, 2017, the folks who run the Miss Boston and Miss Cambridge pageants crowned the very first Miss Brookline.
Summer Foley, a 19-year-old student at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee studying musical theatre, was one of 11 contestants competing for the crown in town.
“Brookline was one of the first places I visited in Massachusetts, so it feels great to be able to represent a place that means so much to me,” said Foley in a statement. “My best friend from back home moved to Brookline our Freshman year of high school. When I went to visit her, she took me to the Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner.”
The pageant, an official Miss America preliminary, judges contestants by talent, swimsuit, evening wear and an on-stage question portion, as well as a 10-minute interview with the judges before the pageant. As with the Miss Boston and Miss Cambridge titles, Miss Brookline was open to anyone who lives in the state. None of the 11 contestants for the first Miss Brookline were actually from Brookline. Though in past years previous contestants for the Boston and Cambridge pageants have been from Brookline.
“I hope to promote my platform within the Brookline and Greater Boston community and really get involved in any events or volunteer efforts I can. I also hope to move on to the state pageant and win the Miss Massachusetts title for Brookline,” said Foley.
Foley, who is originally from Florida, won pledging support to work on drug abuse prevention and awareness.
“The Miss Boston Scholarship Organization is thrilled to have Summer as the newly crowned Miss Brookline 2017. We look forward to supporting her journey as she represents the Brookline and prepares for the Miss Massachusetts pageant,” said Carrie Sunde, a spokeswoman for the Miss Boston Scholarship Organization.
Instead of charging an entry fee, the Miss Boston Pageant requires each contestant to raise $100 for the Children’s Miracle Network.
And lest you think it’s all about looks, Carrie Sunde, spokeswoman for Miss Boston and herself a former contestant, said the pageant is more than just a beauty contest.
In addition to the swimsuit and evening gown portion of the contest the on-stage interview portion counts for 25 percent of the scoring, second only to the talent section, which counts for 30 percent. And there’s a reason those have the most weight, she said.
“Miss America is one of the largest scholarship organizations for women in the world,” she said. Foley’s win came along with $500 in scholarship money and during the Miss Boston competition some $7,500 was given out to winners earlier this year.
The title holder is also expected to make local appearances and give back to her community with charity work and use the title as a platform to promote a cause during a year of service.
Foley will go on to represent Brookline at the Miss Massachusetts pageant this summer. Miss Massachusetts goes on to compete for the title of Miss America in the fall.
Previously, Brookline residents would have to compete in the Miss Boston or Cambridge competitions. In 2010 Jenna Wilson of Washington Square snagged fourth place among 17 contestants in the Miss Boston Pageant.