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Press Releases


Gloversville—January 9, 2022

The Miss Fulton County & Miss Montgomery County Scholarship Organization will be holding their 50th annual Miss America local preliminary at the FMCC RAO Theater on Sunday, January 16, at 3:30 p.m.

Crowd-favorite Mike Bellotti will host the show with a new partner, NewsChannel 13’s Lexi Swatt. The show will commemorate the 51-year history of the Organization, mark the 50th Miss Fulton County Competition, and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Miss America Competition. A special opening number, choreographed by Lisa Roth, Caitlin Clark, and Amanda Kidwell of High Performance Dance Center, with costuming provided by McLemon’s Boutique, will pay homage to Miss America’s origins and history.

The event will feature a not-to-be-missed performance by Miss New York 2021, Sydney Park. Park will present her spoken-word talent that took a preliminary award at the 100th Miss America Competition last month at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. Her talent presentation sparked conversation and commentary in Rolling Stone Magazine and the Wall Street Journal and helped secure her third-runner-up placement at the competition.

Due to the risk presented by the increased spread of COVID-19, the in-person show will not be open to the public. But the board is thrilled to announce that the competition will be professionally recorded and streamed, live to the web. Fans can watch from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Access to the live stream can be purchased for $15 by going to this address:

The public can also participate in the Organization’s first-ever online People Choice Competition. Friends and family of the candidates and fans of the Organization are encouraged to navigate to, where they can donate in their favorite candidate’s name. The candidate who has the most donated on her behalf will be the People’s Choice Winner and will receive a scholarship in the amount of half the total money raised during the People’s Choice campaign. The People’s Choice campaign will end during the show after intermission.

This year, seven young women will be competing for the titles currently held by Marriana Mattice, Miss Fulton County, and Victoria Lee Opalka, Miss Montgomery County.

The candidates are as follows:

Alexis Houser, from Johnstown, is a student at the University at Albany, pursuing a degree in psychology to become a Special Education Teacher. She will present a tap dance to “The Greatest Show” as her talent and pitch her social impact initiative Grow Gold: Their Fight is My Fight.

Chelsea Cirillo, from Johnstown, earned her bachelor’s degree from Union College and is a first-year law student at Hofstra University on Long Island. After graduation, she plans on becoming a practicing lawyer. For her talent, Cirillo will sing “Vienna” by Billy Joel. She will pitch her initiative, the Clean & Confident Project.

Julia Robare, from Gloversville, is studying early-childhood education at SUNY Cortland with ambitions of becoming an elementary school teacher. She will pitch her initiative, Mentoring for Success, and present a tap dance called “Betty Boop.”

Isabelle Henderson, from Mayfield, is double majoring in communication and sociology at the University at Buffalo. She hopes to pursue a career in sports law. She will present a jazz dance to “Black Car” and pitch her Empowering Women in Sport initiative.

Lillian Grace Lighthall, from Fort Plain and a graduate of Cherry Valley Springfield Central School District, attends SUNY Cobleskill.

She is studying canine training and management with ambitions of being a canine investigative game warden. She will be dancing en pointe to Lindsey Stirling’s “Masquerade” and advocating her initiative, Get Fired Up & Volunteer.

Julia Marrone, from Johnstown and a graduate of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons, currently employed at St. Mary’s Hospital, is pursuing a master’s degree in respiratory care. She will play piano and sing to her own composition, “Break Through,” and pitch her initiative, Mental Health Awareness.

Nova Billa of Gloversville is part of the United States Air Force’s delayed enlistment program. She will serve in the Air Force as a remotely piloted aircraft sensor operator, and she hopes to become a pilot. Billa will present a gymnastic floor routine to “Shadows” and pitch her initiative Environmental Conservation.

Thanks to the generous support of the local community, the board will award over $8,500 in scholarship to the participants. Each titleholder will win a $3,000 scholarship, and the board will award runner-up, non-finalist, and special awards.

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