Baby, she's a star.
But Heather Wells' crowning Saturday as Miss Maple City 2008 isn't all about her.
The Warren resident, who danced to the song "Baby I'm a Star" during the talent phase of competition, plans to use her public image to encourage youngsters to become active and lead healthy lifestyles. The 18-year-old Youngstown State University student's platform is "Hey Kids! Don't Sit! Get Fit! Healthy Kids Become Fit Adults!"
Wells said many members of her family suffer from obesity a condition in which a person has too much body fat. Being obese increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis and some cancers. Losing as little as 5 to 10 percent of total weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases, according to the National Institutes of Health Web-site.
"Thankfully they're all relatively healthy," Wells said about her family members.
To help others eat healthy, Wells is writing a cookbook containing healthy recipes. She hopes to complete it by the end of the year. In addition, Wells wants to organize a two-mile race for families for fitness purposes.
Wells defeated 10 other contestants Saturday for the crown. Contestants competed in talent, swimsuit, evening wear, an on-stage question based on their platform and an interview before Saturday's pageant. Judges scored the women using criteria such as poise, personality and the appropriateness of their outfits.
The Miss Maple City Scholarship Pageant is one of the local preliminaries to the Miss Ohio Scholarship Pageant. The state competition, which will take place in June, is the preliminary to the Miss America contest, held in January.
Last year's Miss Maple City, Roberta Camp, captured the Miss Ohio crown, but just recently fell short of earning the Miss America title.
Wells said she doesn't feel added pressure to win Miss Ohio as Camp's successor. In fact, she feels she'll benefit from Camp mentoring her.
As Miss Maple City, Wells received a $1,000 scholarship, a crown, a night's stay at Econo Lodge of Norwalk, breakfast at Berry's Restaurant, a photography session and a gift certificate.
"I'm going to definitely do my best and hopefully follow in the footsteps of Roberta," Wells said.
Wells said she was nervous as the judges were announcing the winners. She added she thought she put on a solid performance, but didn't think she'd come away as Miss Maple City.
She complimented her competition.
"I thought everyone performed so well," she said. "Everyone was so amazing.
"I still don't believe that I actually won. I'm flabbergasted."
While Saturday marked a new beginning, it also marked the time for Camp to step down.
"I don't see this as a farewell or good-bye whatsoever," she told the crowd. "I'm your Miss Ohio. I never in a million years thought I would be in this position."
Camp complimented the staff of the Miss Maple City Scholarship Pageant.
"I couldn't have asked for a better crew and a better group," she said. "They are my friends for a lifetime."
Before judges picked Saturday's winner, Camp predicted the person would be in good hands.
"She's going to have an amazing support system behind her," Camp said.
That includes Miss Ohio 2007 herself.