Jeanne Kapela was crowned the 2014 Miss Kona Coffee and Alyssa Ishihara was named 2014 Miss Aloha Hawaii during Saturday’s scholarship pageant at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.
Besides winning coveted titles, Kapela was the talent winner while Ishihara was named Miss Congeniality and the swimsuit winner. Both will receive a $1,500 scholarship to a school of their choice, as well as a $10,000 scholarship to Argosy University, which can be used at any of the school’s campuses or online.
As Miss Kona Coffee, Kapela will make about 70 appearances at special events throughout the year, in addition to volunteering and promoting her platform. She will also market Kona coffee at those events as well as during a 10-day trip to Japan sponsored by Ueshima Coffee Co. There, Miss Kona Coffee is met by crowds of thousands who want to see hula, learn about Kona coffee, and be exposed to a little bit of Hawaii’s culture.
Other winners Saturday included Tiffany Kutsunai (first runner-up), Ariel Enriquez (second runner-up) and Mersadeez Brandt (Miss Popularity and Miss Photogenic). Kutsunai received a $6,000 scholarship while Enriquez got a $4,000 scholarship. All other contestants earned a $2,000 scholarship.
Nine women competed in this year’s pageant, which is a signature event of the 10-day-long Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. The pageant is also a qualifier for Miss Hawaii, who goes on to compete in Miss America.
For more information, visit konacoffeefest.com or misskonacoffeescholarshippageant.org.