It took a pandemic to keep Lyn Bergdoll’s annual scholarship program from making it onto the stage.
The Distinguished Young Women of York County program (formerly Junior Miss) has been an annual show, tied to thousands of dollars in scholarships, for 55 years. Bergdoll, once The Distinguished Young Woman, has been the director of the program for decades.
Known for her devotion to the arts and meticulous staging and dance routines, it pained her to keep the program off the stage.
Yet, 29 juniors (now nearly seniors) in high school, all from York County, still competed. This year, it was virtual, and judging finished just this week. At stake was $32,000 in scholarships.
The top prize was awarded to Milana Schechtman From Dallastown Area High School. She also won talent, fitness and self-expression awards. For her talent, she performed a dance to Michael Buble’s version of “Feeling Good.”
“She is an exceptionally talented young woman, and you can see that because she won three preliminaries,” Bergdoll said. “She just has a charm about her that is really contagious.”
The girls are judged on a variety of measures that include talent along with scholastic achievement, fitness, and an interview with the judges. All of that was done this year through videotapes and remote conversations.
Attempts to stage the program were delayed and rescheduled as the shutdown began to ease, then came Gov. Tom Wolf’s most recent directive that no more than 25 people could gather in one place.
The remaining top finishers for the program were:
- First Runner Up: Alexandra Clancy From York Suburban High School
- Second Runner Up: Ruby McKeown From York Suburban High School
- Third Runner Up: Riley Sharp From Dallastown Area High School
- Fourth Runner Up: Brenna Richard From Central York High School