Miss Niles-Brandywine turns in crown

Published 3:20 pm Friday, July 13, 2007

By By JAN GRIFFEY/ Niles Daily Star
NILES – Miss Niles-Brandywine Kylee Mudd has handed in her crown after a dispute over not being able to leave this weekend's Relay for Life to attend her second high school graduation party.
Linda Schultz, chairman of the Miss Niles-Brandywine committee, said Mudd handed in her crown when she would not excuse her from her obligation to be at the entirety of this weekend's annual event.
"We tell our girls at orientation that they must fulfill a number of obligations before the end of their reign in order to get their scholarship money," Schultz said. "For instance, they have to work for 10 hours at the Haunted House. They also are expected to attend the full 24 hours of Relay for Life."
Schultz said Mudd called her last Sunday night and asked to leave the Relay event for several hours on Saturday evening to attend a graduation party planned by her father for her father's family.
Kylee is the daughter of Cynthia Sine and Steven Mudd.
Schultz said she tried to work with Mudd to re-schedule the party, but Mudd refused. Schultz then refused to excuse Mudd and on Monday at a regularly-scheduled monthly meeting of Miss Niles and her court, Mudd handed in her crown.
In an apparent act of support, Miss Congeniality Cassandra Butus, and first runner-up Rita Umuriza, also handed in their banners and crowns.
Schultz said second runner-up Stephanie Mantei has assumed the role of Miss Niles-Brandywine and will represent the community at this weekend's Relay for Life.
"Everytime we had something to do for Miss Niles, it was always a bad experience. It was never any fun," Mudd said.
She said she didn't recall signing anything for the pageant that said she would have to attend all of Relay.
Mudd said the mix-up started when Relay for Life was originally scheduled for July 21, but was later changed to this Saturday, July 14.
"I would just be missing four hours. I didn't think it was going to be a big deal," she said.
She said even though this was her second party, those attending will be members of her father's family and will be a bigger party than an earlier one given by her mother.
Schultz said Mudd told her Monday night she no longer had time to be Miss Niles-Brandywine. She said Butus told her the same thing.
Umuriza told Schultz she wasn't certain if she could attend Relay for Life and take over as Miss Niles because may have to work during the event. Umuriza is a server at Niles Riverfront Cafe, Schultz said.
Schultz said when Umuriza didn't provide her with a commitment to attend the event by Tuesday, she asked her, too, to turn in her crown.
All of the teens attended Niles High School last year.
Schultz said this year has been a trying experience and she doesn't plan to continue as chairman next year.
"I've been trying to find someone for the last couple of years to take over," she said. "It's a very small group and the work falls back to two or three of the committee members."
Schultz daughter was Miss Niles-Brandywine in 1995 and she took over the Little Miss Niles pageant in 1996. After Sue Clark stepped down as pageant chairman, Schultz took over.
"I'm not happy with how this has turned out," Schultz said.