From left, top to bottom starting with Miss contestants: Shaylee Gavin, Amara Lang. Junior category starts with Caitlyn Packard, Shannon Straw, Haley Duncan, Jalynn Jaramillo, Ramsey Isom, Katie Bradt and Samantha Fallon.

As Miss America contestants take to the stage in Reno, the young ladies of Mineral County are hard at work as they vie for the title, this Saturday, in order to represent the 69th Armed Forces Day festivities only weeks away.

This year, there are four categories, starting with Mini Miss Armed Forces Day, Teeny Miss Armed Forces Day, Junior Miss Armed Forces Day ending with Miss Armed Forces Day. This year, the venue will be held at the Hawthorne Junior High gym with the girls performing opening songs from such familiar movies as “Grease” and “Footloose”. This year, the performance is being marketed as a “dinner and a show” with a simple dinner of a hot dog, chips and water served for only $5.

Each contestant will have the opportunity to showcase their personality, dance ability and formal wear but the main emphasize is on doing your best, making friends and supporting each other.

The girls are mentored by Felicia Skvarna, Tina Nelms and outgoing coach, Alicia Dalton who explained, “This is my last year and after five years – my reason as to why I do this is always the same. The girls. They keep us young and it is important to teach these ladies how to love and celebrate who they are. Teach them how to be comfortable in the skin they are in. That is our ultimate goal.”

Besides teaching the girls about self worth – each one is required to give back to the community with a civic project. This year, the teeny and mini class made gift bags full of treats to hand out to the local refuse collectors whereas the junior and miss girls made goodie bags for all active duty sheriff’s deputies.

Stop by the Hawthorne Junior High gym this Saturday, May 4 at 6 p.m. when VFW Post 2313 will present the American Flag and Caitlyn Rogers, local Mineral County High School student sings the National Anthem which kicks off the Armed Forces Day events.