Before a fair-sized crowd, Abodunrin who has plans of becoming a registered nurse beat out a diverse field of contestants edging out the 24-year old Jamaican Shanice Blake, who was adjudged first runner. Rounding out the winners were 17-year old St. Lucian Makeisha Anthony, second runner up, and Lehman College graduate and Bronx native Shekoya Gordon, third runner up.
The contestants were judged in five areas: smile, swimwear, talent, evening gown and Q & A.
A special feature of the evening was the presentation of checks to two charitable organizations Hope by KDO, valued at US$2,500 and Autism Speaks, valued at US$1,000. On hand to accept the check for Hope by KDO was Korey Rowe, one of Jamaica’s top models, while Pageant Founder Gwendolyn Nicks-James’ son Eric Johnson accepted the check on behalf of Autism Speaks.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by reggae group L.U.S.T. and legendary American rap/R&B group Force MDs, who serenaded the contestants. Steel pan soloist Kendall Williams also entertained patrons throughout the evening, which was co-hosted by Tony Cobb of WVIP 93.5 FM and Barry G of Mellow FM in Jamaica.
The Miss Dream Castle Pageant, which is open to women age 16-25, is the brainchild of Gwendolyn Nicks-James, owner of Dream Castle Villa in Montego Bay. This year’s event was co-produced by Glenroy March, Chief Creative Director of House of D’Marsh.
Sponsors of this year’s pageant included Bath & Body Works, Ballet Arts, Banners Plus, Chi-Lites, Dream Castle Villa, Dream Castle Restaurant & Lounge, D’Marsh Couture, e.l.f. Cosmetics, Fresh Look Beauty Supplies, Lord & Taylor, Loria, Macy’s, Pure Frame Media, Royal Regency Hotel, Snow Fresh Foods, Spectrum, Verizon, and Your Bodyguard 24/7.