BUFFALO, NY ( WKBW ) Williamsville East High School senior Gabrielle Walter was named the "Distinguished Young Woman" for New York State at the annual scholarship and talent show.
Gabrielle competed against eleven other young women from Western New York and across the state on stage at Rockwell Hall auditorium at Buffalo State College Saturday night.
The "Distinguished Young Women" event was formerly known as the "Junior Miss Pageant." Gabrielle will now represent New York State at the national competition in Mobile, Alabama this June.
Susan Makai from Susan Makai's Personal Best has been State Chair of the event for the last 12 years.
The girls competed in poise, talent, fitness, and public speaking categories before a panel of distinguished judges from Western New York and across the country.
Here is a list of the contestants: Aerial Ramey of Whitehall; Kendil Banks of Buffalo; Katelyn Mercer of Ticonderoga; Renae Sweeney of Hamburg; Emily Machem of Crown Point; Angela DeMarco of Williamsville; Jenna Secchiaroli of North Tonawanda; Katy Martin of Orleans County; Joelle Kessler of Elma; Gabrielle Walter of East Amherst; Katelyn Edel of Lakewood; Andrea Holley or Getzville.
The event features "Little Sisters" who assist the contestants learning poise and appearing on stage. The "Little Sisters" were Jordana Jayson, Grace Boyd, Annabella Bogart, Jaime Hoerner, Alyssa Staggs, Robin Flowers-Quinniey, Mariana Beeman, Rachel Yager, Vada Seeley, Naomi deVirgilio, Megan Reilly, and Amberlyn Sokol.
This year, the "Distinguished Young Women" event also included a new feature called "Buffalo's Most Entertaining." The BME portion of the show included Mount Mercy Academy "Magic Belles" bell choir; the Lewiston-Porter A Cappella Choir; The Dance Central Competition Team called "Company Central"; Debbie Bello and the Debbie Bello Voice Studio; and the award winning Lancaster High School "Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra."