Miss Tri-Cities crowned

Halle Goodwin, who loves globetrotting and contemporary dance, was named Miss Tri-Cities 2012 Saturday night at Southridge High School's performing arts theater in Kennewick.

The daughter of Annie and Larry Goodwin of West Richland who captured the crown as one of seven contestants, will continue in competition for the Miss Washington title in the coming year.

"I knew I'd done my personal best and hoped it was good enough for the judges," said the brunette while being surrounded by well-wishers and hugs back stage moments after 2011 Miss Tri-Cities Kailee Dunn congratulated her.

Goodwin, who also captured the Spirit of America Award recognizing her leadership ability, and the Living Your Platform Award, which credited her efforts and commitment to help ensure children are safe in their environments, said she intends to being promoting her cause right away.

Goodwin, with plans to attend Gonzaga University, said her goal is to spend the next year working in the Tri-Cities to promote her platform.

Having visited two countries in Africa and seen how even the most basic needs are unmet has given her a sense of how she can make a difference in the world.

Goodwin credited her family, friends and the Miss Tri-Cities Scholarship Awards board for helping her achieve her goal of attaining the 2012 title.

Goodwin will receive $11,000 in scholarships courtesy of sponsors and the Tri-City Follies Association, a $1,000 in-kind award from the Columbia Basin College Foundation, $2,500 in wardrobe grants from the Miss Tri-Cities Program; and more than $4,000 in various services through independent Tri-Cities businesses and organizations.

Star Hinojosa, 19, was selected first runner-up. She also was named Miss Congeniality. Her parents are Amiee and Ross Ramirez. She will receive $5,000 in scholarships.

Stefanie Maier, 17, was chosen second runner-up. Her parents are Todd and Lori Maier. She received the Four Points for the Crown Award.

Alexandra Jackson, 21, received the Academic Award for being the contestant with the highest grade-point-average. She attended the University of Washington, and is the daughter of Steve and Leslie Jackson.

The People's Choice Award went to Raena Tames, 20, whose platform was the importance of early intervention for childhood development. Tames' parents are Cathryn and David Tames.

Jillian Speers, 18, received the Spirit Award and shared the Anita Nelson Memorial Scholarship Award with Goodwin. Her parents are Paul and Mechelle Vandervert.

The Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen program was held Friday, where Tayler Plunkett, 15, of Kennewick was honored with the title. Her parents are Roy and Tammy Plunkett.

Plunkett sang at Saturday's program, performing the classical number, O Mio Babbino Caro.