WAYNESBURG — A year ago around this time, five young women stood on the stage in the Stanley Fowler Auditorium at Jefferson-Morgan Junior-Senior High School and waited for the judges to announce who would become Miss Rain Day 2014.
The tension was high. The second runner-up was announced. She was Caitlyn Ricco, 15, of Carmichaels. Then came the first runner-up, Nina Rivera, 17, of Waynesburg. Finally, after all the interviews, modeling and talent exhibitions, the winner of the 36th annual Miss Rain Day Scholarship Pageant was announced.
“When they called my name, I burst into tears,” said Morgan Voithofer, 16, who joined a long list of Greene County women to carry the title of Miss Rain Day.
Voithofer, daughter of Jason Voithofer and Heather Tokarcik, both of Carmichaels, will be a junior this fall at Carmichaels Area Junior-Senior High School, and last year she became the third consecutive Carmichaels student to wear the crown, succeeding Stephanie Mitchell and Kendall Lewis.
“I guess my emotions took over,” she said, “because I finally achieved my goal.”
For her talent, she performed a musical theater production to “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” which for Voithofer was somewhat prophetic.
“Last year was my second time as a pageant contestant and I wanted to stay confident and positive. I didn’t want anyone to rain on my parade,” she said.
In addition to winning the title, she was selected by her fellow contestants at their choice for Miss Personality. She also received top scores for interview, evening gown, sportswear and the John O’Hara Award for best essay.
And as the end of her reign draws near, Voithofer has the predictable bitter-sweet feelings.
“Of course I don’t want to give up the title because I had a great year, but I also realize it’s that time for another girl to have her turn,” she said.
It has been a busy year for the young lady who is the top student in her high school class. In addition to riding in a host of parades and speaking at Chamber of Commerce and Rotary club meetings, Voithofer launched two service projects this past year.
In December, she wanted to help the residents at Golden Living Center have a happier holiday and came up with ”Gifts for Golden Living,” an Angel Tree project for the permanent residents.
Recently, she and this year’s Miss Rain Day contestants wanted to do something for the animals at the Greene County Humane Society, so she helped coordinate a pet supply drive by placing collection boxes at various locations in Waynesburg and Carmichaels. The collection effort concluded July 17.
One of her most memorable days as Miss Rain Day took place on, yes, Rain Day.
“People were asking to have pictures taken with me and I was judging some contests at the festival and I truly felt like a queen,” she said. “I just loved it.”
As far as any low points, Voithofer could not think of any.
“I tried to do everything I was asked to do. I think I represented the title well,” she said.
So, what advice will she give to her successor who will be crowned July 26?
“I will tell her to enjoy the year and her reign because before she knows it, it will be gone. And, I will tell her to stay positive and not to let anyone rain on her parade.”