POULSBO — As its first action of the new year on Jan. 4, the Poulsbo City Council presented the outgoing 2016 Miss Poulsbo, Kaitlyn Morrell, with the key to the city.
She also got a big hug from Mayor Becky Erickson.
The Miss Poulsbo pageant started 63 years ago and giving the outgoing Miss Poulsbo the key to the city has become a pageant tradition.
“It’s not about the crown on your head, it’s about the crown in your heart,” Erickson said in praising Morrell for her work as the pageant title holder.
Morrell, 18, is a Running Start student at Olympic College. At the 2016 pageant, she performed Katy Perry’s “Firework” in American Sign Language.
In addition to the title, she was awarded about $4,000 in scholarships. One of those scholarships was awarded by Olympic College. The college has awarded competitors in the Miss Poulsbo Miss Kitsap Miss Silverdale Scholarship Pageant a total of $37,925 since 2005.
Miss Poulsbo is part of the Miss Poulsbo Miss Kitsap Miss Silverdale Scholarship Organization. Since 2000, the organization has awarded close to a $500,000 in scholarships.
Morrell spent her year as Miss Poulsbo calling attention to the need for teen mentoring.
Public appearances are a big part of the job.
Morrell is on track to set a new appearance record, according to pageant officials. The previous record was 250; Morrell has made 227 to date and is expected to break the old record by the time the 2017 Miss Poulsbo is crowned Jan. 21.