The Miss Lewis County program came back this year after a pandemic hiatus, just in time to crown a new titleholder for the scholarship pageant’s 60th anniversary.
Miss Lewis County 2022 is Briana Rasku.
Rasku is a 20-year-old W.F. West and Centralia College graduate who attends Arizona State University.
Sweeping the hearts of the judges and crowd, Rasku was also named the People’s Choice award winner out of 923 votes cast. Her fellow candidates chose her as Miss Congeniality and the Miss Lewis County Scholarship Board honored her with the Miss America “Four Points of the Crown” award.
For Miss Congeniality, Rasku was given a $300 scholarship provided by the Morton Loggers’ Jubilee. As the People’s Choice winner, she earned a $461.50 scholarship. For winning the whole shebang, Rasku was given a $3,500 scholarship to Centralia College and $2,000 in cash.
The “Four Points of the Crown” award was given to her for embodying the four points of the Miss America crown: style, service, scholarship and success.
Rasku and three other candidates — Alayna Brindle, Taylor Derscheid and Mara Soto — all competed for the Miss Lewis County 2022 title in a pageant Saturday night at the Centralia High School Performing Arts Center. Each candidate showcased her talents, was asked an on-stage question, interviewed by the judges off-stage and judged in a “Red Carpet” category, formerly known as an evening wear competition.
Rasku’s talent was a contemporary dance performance. A longtime dancer and current dance instructor, she was sponsored by the Southwest Washington Dance Center and Kraken Boardshop. Rasku’s platform is “giving back to youth through community service.”
The first runner up and winner of a $1,000 scholarship was Soto, 21, who is also a Centralia College and W.F. West graduate. Soto’s platform was “encouraging women to get outdoors” which was the theme of an inspirational monologue she performed as she showcased her archery skills during the talent round.
The $300 community service award was awarded to Derscheid, 21, a W.F. West graduate whose platform was “advocating for people with disabilities.” Derscheid performed an upbeat dance set to a K-Pop song for her talent.
The staff award — for always being on time, meeting deadlines and being cooperative — was awarded to Brindle, 18, a Napavine High School and Centralia College graduate and 2020 Jubilee Queen. Brindle’s platform was “the importance of the arts and self-expression.” Her talent was lyrical dance.
The Miss Lewis County titleholders for 2020 and 2021, Angela March and Sophie Moerke, respectively, were also honored during Saturday’s program. Both performed a solo dance, showed slideshows from highlights of their years in the role and were celebrated with standing ovations.