Over 40 young men and women vied for the titles of Miss Moorpark, Miss Teen Moorpark and Mr. Moorpark over the weekend at the .
The pageant is an annual event put up by the Miss Moorpark Scholarship Foundation with the intent of giving away scholarship money to deserving young people. To date, the foundation has awarded over $130,000 in scholarships.
Sydney Campbell, 17, was crowned Miss Moorpark. The graduating senior at , is planning to attend for two years before going to nursing school.
"The scholarship money will be a huge help," said Campbell, a pageant first-timer who learned about the pageant from her dance team at the high school.
Fellow dance teammmate Emily Gratke, 17, is also a newcomer to beauty pageants. "The dancers entered as a little group," said Gratke, who was crowned Miss Teen Moorpark.
Like Campbell, Gratke is thrilled about being awarded some scholarship money. Unlike Campbell, Gratke will have to wait one more year, being a junior also at .
"I want to go into the biological sciences, hopefully at my dream school - Dartmouth College," said Gratke.
Meantime, both girls, along with Mr. Moorpark Austin Cole and other title-holders from Simi Valley, have a year to play ambassadors of goodwill in the area.
Campbell said, "That was part of the appeal of the pageant to me - the charity work. I love giving back and helping kids."
Gratke couldn't agree more. She said, "We have a full year of service activities and community events to look forward to."