WARREN - Friends and family showed their support and offered their best wishes to Howland resident Heather Wells, who will represent Ohio later this month at the Miss America Pageant.
A fundraiser and send-off party for Wells was held recently at Aulizio's Banquet Center, where Wells thanked those in attendance for their support.
Wells modeled what clothes she will be wearing and shared her talent for the event set in Atlantic City on Sept. 15.
"Having the community support really means a lot. They just believe in me and that helped me believe in myself. It makes me feel good," Wells said.
She told the guests she will do her best and has been practicing her interviewing skills. Wells said her platform for the event is "Divorce Recovery for Youth."
Wells, a Howland High School and Kent State University graduate, is the second Miss Ohio to come from Warren. Amanda Beagle - also a Howland graduate - was crowned in 2004.
At the event several guests, including Wells' kindergarten teacher Michelle Schrock and pastor Myron Daum of North Mar Church, shared their stories of Wells.
Wells said she began competing in fair pageants for the opportunity to show off her dance routines. At 17, she began competing for the Miss Ohio title.
Wells holds a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and is pursuing a master's degree in nutrition from Kent State University. She plans to become a registered nutritionist and hopes to work as a health correspondent for a news network.
As Miss Ohio, Wells received a $10,000 scholarship from Newman Technology and a vehicle for her year of service from Graham Automall.