News Release

Current, former Miss Southeasterns to compete June 16 in Miss Louisiana pageant

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


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(1) Miss Southeastern 2007 Kristen Hilliard (2) Jennifer Soileau, Heather Williams, Blair Abene, Kristen Hilliard

Captions ...

(1) MISS SOUTHEASTERN HONORED AT TRUNK SHOW - Miss Southeastern, Kristen Hilliard of Covington, performed for an audience of supporters at her trunk show June 6.  She will compete for the title of Miss Louisiana on June 16.


(2) SOUTHEASTERN STUDENTS VOLUNTEER FOR CHILDREN’S MIRACLE NETWORK – Four Southeastern Louisiana University students recently volunteered at the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon.  All four young ladies will compete at the Miss Louisiana Pageant in Monroe on June 16.  From left are Jennifer Soileau of Hammond, Heather Williams of Slidell, Blair Abene of Hammond, and Kristen Hilliard of Covington.

     HAMMOND – Four Southeastern Louisiana University students – the current and three former “Miss Southeastern” title holders -- will compete in the Miss Louisiana Pageant in Monroe on June 16.

     Kristen Hilliard of Covington, Miss Southeastern 2007; Blair Abene of Hammond, Miss Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise; Heather Williams of Slidell, Miss Slidell; and Jennifer Soileau of Hammond, Miss Crescent City New Orleans, will all vie for the state title, a preliminary of the Miss America Pageant.

     Soileu, Williams and Abene wore the Miss Southeastern crown in 2003, 2005 and 2006, respectively.

     Hilliard was honored June 6 with a trunk show, a tradition that gives Miss Southeastern the opportunity to preview her pageant wardrobe and talent for her supporters.

     Hilliard, the daughter of Wayne and Mary Hilliard, will compete with a total of 26 contestants in interview, swimsuit, evening gown and talent categories. A piano performance major, she will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Prelude, Op. 32, No. 8, Vivo.

     “I have been playing the piano since the age of five.  That’s what I have been concentrating on – perfecting the piece for the pageant,” Hilliard said.

     As part of their duties as Miss Louisiana contestants, the four Southeastern students have been busy volunteering with the Children’s Miracle Network, the official platform of the Miss America Pageant. Hilliard coordinated the Louisiana contestants to help man the phones during the recent telethon. Soileau has raised $5,700, the most money to date of all of the contestants.

     “The most rewarding thing about working with Children’s Miracle Network is seeing the overwhelming support from the volunteers,” Hilliard said.  “That has been very inspiring, because without them, we couldn’t bring miracles to all those children.”

     Hilliard also organized “Cuts for a Cause” and “Cakes for a Cause” to benefit CMN.

     For “Cuts for a Cause,” she and Southeastern’s Campus Activities Board tapped six local stylists to give free hair cuts in the War Memorial Student Union.  At “Cakes for a Cause,” she made and sold funnel cakes to participants at Southeastern’s Rock n’ Roar event in March. 

     “Kristen has gone above and beyond the minimum requirement in fund raising for Children’s Miracle Network,” said Jason Leader, coordinator of Campus Activities Board, Student Union Programming, and the Miss Southeastern Pageant.  “She chooses to raise funds not because it is required, but because she has a passion for it.”

     Hilliard, who has raised more than $2,900 for CMN, is ranked third in fund raising out of the 26 Louisiana contestants and sixth out of all pageant contestants in the country.

     The Miss Louisiana Pageant will air at 8 p.m. on WUPL television station (Charter Communication channel 16) and WBTR (Cox Communication channel 41).

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