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2005 Outstanding Young Woman Program to be held October 2

Laura Smith-Gary

Laura Smith-Gary will be hosting the 2005 OYW Program, along with 1969 Junior Miss Mary Matson Morris, on Oct. 2 at the Keystone Theatre, Towanda, at 7 p.m. Nine young women representing their high schools from Bradford and Sullivan Counties will take the stage to participate in the "Accent on Achievement" program.

These young ladies will be judged and awarded scholarships in five categories: scholarship and achievement, interview, performing arts, aerobics and fitness, and presence and presentation. Each category is equal in value so that a well-rounded young woman is chosen as the representative.

This year's contestants will be vying for approximately $7,300 in total cash scholarship monies, along with scholarships offered by several colleges through the state program. Scholarships will also be awarded to a second and first place recipient and the OYW for 2005.

The OYW chosen will represent Bradford and Sullivan Counties during Thanksgiving week at the 2005 Pennsylvania Outstanding Young Woman Program in Reading. The contestants, themselves, will present the "Keystone" award to the young lady within their group that best exemplifies the spirit of the program.

The theme of this year's production will be "Salute to Heroes." For tickets to this year's OYW program, call Becky Kerstetter at 570-265-8078.

Over the past year, Laura Smith-Gary, 2004 OYW, who represented Wyalusing Valley High School, has fulfilled several OYW functions. Laura participated in numerous local parades before attending the PA State OYW Program in Reading. While participating at the State OYW Program, she was selected as the first runner-up and won the Scholastic & Achievement as well as the Presence & Presentation categories. Laura was responsible for presenting the "On Your Way" Program to St. Agnes and WR Croman elementary students, which emphasizes the importance of goal setting and develops self-esteem by motivating young people to grow mentally, morally and physically. She also presented the program to a local elementary school during the state program.

Additional presentations were given at the Towanda Lions Club and the Troy Rotary. This past summer, Laura also attended the summer OYW seminar and joined the 2005 candidates in many of their summer activities.

While attending Wyalusing Valley High School, Laura was a member of the National Honor Society and was awarded the Bausch & Lomb Science award, the University of Rochester Humanities & Social Science award and the Dr. G.H.B. Terry Essay Award. Cross Country and Track and Field, along with County and District Chorus, Orchestra (second chair cello) and the High Wire Choir rounded out her school experience. Volunteering in her community, Laura participated with the Crochet Away Sunday School project, Vacation Bible School, the American Red Cross and the Wyalusing and Tunkhannock Library. Laura now attends Duquesne University, majoring in Physical Therapy.

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