Coghlan, 17, captures Lions pageant crown

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, August 8, 2010

She didn’t have the most intricate hairdo. She didn’t have themost sparkling dress.

But at the end of the night, she did have the tallesttrophy.

Enterprise’s Chynna Louise Coghlan, 17, was crowned queen of the2010 Brookhaven Lions Club Beauty Pageant late Friday night, makingher the 68th young woman of the waves since the club began holdingwhat was once called the Water Carnival in 1942. She emerged from afield of 14 in the 17- to 20-year-old division.

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“I was just going to do my best, that’s all I can do,” she saidafter stepping down from the stage, still ‘a buzz. “There’s so manypretty girls, and I’m just glad I could be a part of it. Everyoneknows about the Water Carnival.”

Chynna’s mother, Chrystal Coghlan, said she was hoping andpraying for her daughter, but it wasn’t her who reacted most whenher little girl’s name was called.

“We should have had daddy on video. He jumped about this high,”she said, gesturing to her neck.

Chad Coghlan said he knew his daughter was going to be named thequeen after she was not named as a runner up.

“You got to pick between the two most beautiful,” he said.

The Coghlans may have taken home top prize Friday night, butChynna wasn’t the only winner.

One local family managed to pull of a trio of awards – MadisynRayne King won first place in the 7- to 9-year-old division whileher little sister, Atleigh Caroline Anding, took home second in the4-year-old division. Their first cousin, Karci Case, won firstplace in the 4-year-old division.

“They just feel like they’re little princesses. They loved it,”said Kim Anding, mother to Madisyn and Atleigh. “I keep Karci everyday while my sister (Christie Case) goes to work, so she’spractically like another child of mine. They’re all three just likesisters.”

The Brookhaven Lions Club was a winner, too. President MarkStietenroth said the pageant was the biggest yet, with 104 girlsparticipating and likely more than 1,000 people coming and goingthroughout the long night at the Lincoln Civic Center.

“I believe there were between 800-900 for sure,” he said. “Therewas a rotation. As the first groups competed, people were comingand going, and the place stayed full.”

The annual pageant is the club’s biggest fundraiser of the year,usually pulling down around $10,000. With its no-reserves policy,the club spends that money to good effect in the community.

The club’s primary focus is eye care, helping theunderprivileged seek and pay for treatment and glasses. The clubblitzes all the city and county schools each year and conducts eyeexaminations on all of the approximately 6,000 students, workingwith school nurses to identify which students may need financialhelp and reaching out to those families.

The club also funds annual scholarships.

“We’re not here to save money, we’re here to apply the moneywhere it’s needed,” Stietenroth said.

Division winners of the 68th annual Brookhaven Lions Club BeautyPageant include:

• Lainey-Grace Smith, 1 year old.

• Katie Carter, 2 years old.

• Taylor Addyson Douglas, 3 years old.

• Karci Elizabeth Case, 4 years old.

• Mailey Kate Young, 5-6 years old.

• Madisyn Rayne King, 7-8 years old.

• Savanna Faith Dunaway (11), 9-12 years old.

• Courtney Nicole Watts (16), 13-16 years old.

• Chynna Louise Coghlan (17), 17-20 years old and pageantqueen.