Meet the contestants: Miss Addison 2014 to be crowned Wednesday

ADDISON – During a recent meet and greet at Addison Village Hall, Miss Addison 2013 Aimee Gaspari, 19, admitted she’s a little reluctant to give up her crown because she’s enjoyed the past year so much.

“I know the experiences and the memories that I have will stay with me forever,” said Gaspari, acknowledging she’ll be giving up her title next week when the new Miss Addison is crowned.

On Wednesday, the 10 contestants for the 2014 crown met the pageant’s judges, as well as Gaspari.

They’ve all submitted complete applications containing their essays, transcripts, GPA, ACT scores and letters of recommendation.

Village Clerk Lucille Zucchero insisted the pageant be a scholarship opportunity when she began leading it several years ago, so in addition to the pageant’s signature 14-karat gold pendant donated by Dosis Jewelers of Addison every year, Miss Addison receives a $2,000 scholarship.

The first and second runners-up are awarded $1,000 and $500 scholarships, respectively.

For all the flash and flair that will fill the Village Hall rotunda next week when the pageant contestants walk a red carpet in gowns supplied by Mona Lisa Boutique, Zucchero said her favorite part of the annual contest is the meet-and-greet dinner when everyone gets to know one another.

Zucchero intentionally went outside Addison in search of judges for the pageant, and she recruited a trio with varied backgrounds that perfectly complement each other.

Jimmy Narducci, a hair stylist, prides himself on his style sense. Barbara Sedlack is a communications coordinator for Elmhurst College, so she values good grades. Lastly, Julie Aceto is a former Miss Teen Illinois, and her family produces the Mrs. Illinois America pageant. She’s the judging panel’s poise expert.

Although they all have a forte, they agree that Miss Addison can’t be too one-sided. They’re looking for the whole package.

“I love seeing this new generation’s being so accomplished. They’re smart, they’re attractive, they’re giving,” Aceto said.

As impressive as the the 10 contestants are, the judges will have to find some way to pick one young lady to represent Addison for the next year, and that’s what keeps Zucchero coming back each year to coordinate the pageant.

“It’s for the community,” she said.

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If you go

What: Miss Addison 2014 pageant

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Addison Village Hall, 1 Friendship Plaza