KUTZTOWN, Pa. — Under the bright shining lights at the Kutztown Area Middle School, the Berks County Outstanding Young Woman scholarship program hit the stage once again.
"COVID is still having an effect, but we had to change venues because seating wasn't available," said Norman Adam, OYW chairman.
COVID-19 was certainly not enough to close the curtains for a second year in a row.
"I love being able to see everybody, be in person and just get to have everyone around again," said Hamburg Area School District contestant Cheyenne Weiss.
Weiss was one of 15 contestants looking to take home one of several scholarship awards. She competed in categories ranging from fitness to scholastic achievement.
"It has been such a wild ride, but I've had such a fun time getting close with all the girls, learning more about Berks County," Weiss said. "It's just been a great experience all around."
Daniel Boone student Amanda Ott competed right at her side.
"It's very amazing to meet so many talented people who love what they're doing and passionate about what they're doing," said Ott.
WFMZ's Mike Reinert served as the program's emcee for the 29th time.
The Berks County tradition drew in dozens of people Saturday night. It is something Adam said he has been a part of for decades.
"My wife and I have been involved since 1976," he said. "The atmosphere is exciting, the parents, other friends, the girls themselves are having a great time."
The program distributed more than $6,000 in scholarships to high school seniors in Berks County.
The runner-up got $1,500, the second runner-up $750, and the third runner-up $300.
There were also smaller prizes for categories like aerobics and fitness, presence and presentation, scholastic achievement and interview.
The winners were:
- Overall winner: Gretchen Kimmel, Oley Valley
- Keystone: Kelly Leiby, Kutztown
- Interview: Saishree Mupparaju, Exeter
- Scholarship and achievement: Saishree Mupparaju, Exeter
- Aerobics and fitness: Cheyenne Weiss, Hamburg
- Performing arts: Gretchen Kimmel, Oley
- Presence and presentation: Cassidy Quinn, Governor Mifflin
- Third runner-up: Cassidy Quinn, Governor Mifflin
- Second runner-up: Rhegan Fagley, Muhlenberg
- First runner-up: Saishree Mupparaju, Exeter
- BCOYW of 2021-2022: Gretchen Kimmel, Oley Valley