MANSFIELD - Miss Maple City Roberta Camp became the exception that proved the rule Saturday night as she ended a legendary "curse" at the Miss Ohio finals.
In the last 10 years, no double preliminary winner has gone on to claim the title of Miss Ohio. Camp, representing Norwalk under the title Miss Maple City, ended the curse when she was crowned Miss Ohio 2007.
Camp is the first Miss Maple City to win Miss Ohio. Miss Maple City celebrated its 15th anniversary this year.
Over three nights of preliminary competition, a seven-judge panel worked to whittle participants from a field of 21 contestants to 10 semifinalists. The 10 started their competitions all over again in each scored category: evening wear, talent, and swimwear.
From there, five finalists were named and participated in an on-stage interview the final phase of judged competition before the announcement of scholarships and the crowning of Miss Ohio.
The new Miss Ohio paused the action in her first press conference when she called her 10-year-old sister, Faye Williams, to the front table and gave her a hug along with the promise that she would accompany her on some appearances during the coming year.
Asked to expound on her personal platform issue, "Change Our World: Build Character," Camp said she "wants to use her crown as a microphone to voice good character and to encourage building character in young people."
In an effort to reach those young people, Camp has authored a book, aimed at students in grades five through seven, which explores the six pillars of character through the eyes and actions of two seventh-graders. Now that the writing part of her book is completed, Camp is looking for an illustrator and publisher for her work.
Camp 23, of Grove City, also has served as a guest speaker in many Central Ohio schools and has established a chapter of Character Counts in Franklin County.
The new Miss Ohio made her first public appearance Sunday afternoon at the Richland Mall in Mansfield.
"It hasn't really sunk in yet; I'm Roberta Camp, Miss Ohio 2007," she told a group of well-wishers for whom she sang her talent song "Blessed" before signing autographs and posing for picture with friends and mall guests.
Camp attended The Ohio State University. Her hobbies include singing, writing lyrics, blogging, volunteering, snowboarding, (bargain) shopping and collecting "old" movies.
In addition to her preliminary award scholarships and a $500 Spirit of Miss America award, Camp earned $10,000 in cash scholarships, a $70,000 in-kind scholarship to Palmer Chiropractic, a $3,000 in-kind scholarship from the Ohio Funeral Directors Association, a $2000 in-kind scholarship to Ashland University, her crown and sash, the opportunity to represent Ohio at Miss America, numerous gift certificates and other gifts.
Erica Gelhaus, Miss Lake Festival, was first runner-up.