ZIONSVILLE — Miss Northeast’s Outstanding Teen Elayna Hasty of Angola participated in the first day of the Miss Indiana pageant on Wednesday at Zionsville High School.

In preliminary festivities on Sunday, Hasty, 17, an Angola High School student, won the Miracle Maker Award for raising more than $500 for the Children’s Miracle Network. She also won a $250 scholarship as first runner-up in the Hoosier Leadership Scholarship contest.

“I am so blessed to be a part of an organization that raises money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network,” said Hasty, who is also an Indiana ambassador for Bears for Humanity. “What a great way to start an amazing week.”

Rehearsals were held Monday through Wednesday for the Miss Indiana’s Outstanding Teen contestants, who include Prairie Heights High School student Grace Newel of Hudson.

Finals night and crowning is Saturday.

Hasty said she’s had a lot of fun, met new people and distributed Bears for Humanity, organic and global fair trade stuffed toys that include an outreach to needy children. With every purchase from Hasty, $6 goes to the Riley Children’s Foundation.

“All the contestants loved the cuddly bears that they received this week,” she said.

Wednesday, all the teen contestants performed in an opening number.

Hasty, who competed last year as Miss South Bend’s Outstanding Teen, said for the first three days of the contest, the girls are split into three groups that rotate through activities.

“We all compete in a personal interview,” said Hasty. There are talent, active wear and evening gown categories. Wednesday night, Hasty competed in talent and interview with her group.

On Friday and Saturday, the teens appear with their princesses; Hasty’s is Reegan Nester.

“Reegan is one of the most outgoing, silly, charismatic, intelligent and kind girls I have ever met,” Hasty said.

Prior to leaving last week, Hasty put the finishing touches on her wardrobe, which will be unveiled during the various aspects of the competition.

“It takes a lot of work,” said Hasty,” and a lot of people don’t understand that.”

Since winning the title of Miss Northeast’s Outstanding Teen last July, Hasty has been preparing for this week. As the pageant approached, she practiced singing regularly on stage at Fairivew Missionary Church, assisted by the church’s music director Glenn Flint. She went to the YMCA of Steuben County on Saturdays to stay in shape. She practiced walking and breaking in her shoes. She went through mock interviews.

Locals can spur Hasty on through Miss Indiana’s People Choice for $1 per vote at missindiana.org/public_html/index.php/peoples-choice. Votes must be cast by noon today.

To help her support the children at Riley Hospital for Children, go to maoteen4kids.org/Contestant/E04E18CE.

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