Elizabeth Hayley Franklin reacts after being crowned the 2013 Miss Madison Regatta by last year’s winner Taylor Leek on Monday at Madison Consolidated High School. Franklin has competed in the pageant six times and has been named Miss Congeniality four of those times, including again this year. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Elizabeth Hayley Franklin reacts after being crowned the 2013 Miss Madison Regatta by last year’s winner Taylor Leek on Monday at Madison Consolidated High School. Franklin has competed in the pageant six times and has been named Miss Congeniality four of those times, including again this year. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
After serving as a member of the Regatta court several times over the years, Elizabeth Hayley Franklin won the crown of Miss Madison Regatta 2013 during her sixth attempt vying for the top spot.

The Carrollton, Ky., native began competing in the Miss Madison Regatta Scholarship Pageant in 2008, winning the title of Miss Congeniality four times - including this year, second runner-up twice and third runner-up once over the years. But the Miss Madison Regatta crown remained elusive - until now.

"I just want to say thank you because this is my sixth year trying," Franklin said after being crowned Miss Madison Regatta 2013 on Monday by Miss Madison Regatta 2012 Taylor Leek.

Franklin, the daughter of Ben and Crystal Franklin of Carrollton, was one of nine women competing for the title during the 2013 Miss Madison Regatta Scholarship Pageant held at the Madison Consolidated High School's Opal E. Sherman Auditorium. Contestants in addition to Franklin were: Kelsey Marie Bladen, Macy Jo Taylor, Kayla Adell Brown, Ellen Ann Hawk, Naudia Rose Solis, Samantha Jo Livorno, Andrea Nicole Brogan and Alexis Dalila Guillen.

Hawk, 18, daughter of Phillip and Mary Hawk, won first runner-up at the end of the two-and-one-half hour pageant. Taylor, 20, daughter of Angelia Doll and Steve Taylor, took second runner-up.

Franklin and the rest of the court will preside over the Madison Regatta festivities throughout the rest of the week. In addition to the crown and flowers, Franklin will receive a $1,000 scholarship, crown, trophy and other gifts from local businesses. The pageant is sponsored by Xi Beta Upsilon sorority.

Three judges scored the ladies on swimsuit, evening gown, poise and personality, oral presentation and the final question segments of the competition to determine the 2013 winner. Judges for the evening were Lila Neal of Osgood, Connie Reid-Mitchell of Brownstown and Lance Mullins of Louisville, Ky.

Pageant participants began with the swimsuit portion of the event before entertaining the crowd with their presentations of "American Toons," or cartoon characters, during the oral presentation segment.

From Betty Boop and Wilma Flintstone to Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse, the women gave insight to their characters by dressing up and referencing their cartoon counterparts.

Franklin portrayed Lucy van Pelt from Peanuts and gave Charlie Brown advice about girls he might have an interested in dating at Lucy's "Psychiatric Help for 5 cents" booth.

"Hello! It's 2013, so it's $5 now," Franklin said while in character during her presentation.

She ended her skit with a reference to the ever-elusive football Charlie Brown chases.

Following the skits, contestants changed into evening gowns for the Final Question of the evening.

The nine women were asked to explain what their platform, or mission, would be should they appear in the Miss Indiana or Miss Kentucky pageant. The question's terminology led to some confusion by a few of the contestants, but it was an easy answer for the soon-to-be 2013 Miss Madison Regatta.

Franklin competed just last week in the Miss Kentucky 2013 pageant and highlights the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life program as her platform during pageants.

She serves as Carroll County's Relay for Life pageant coordinator and enjoys fundraising for the organization.

Franklin is also involved with other organizations, including the March of Dimes, River Sweep and Carroll County Fair Board.

A 2008 graduate of Carroll County High School and 2012 graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Franklin works as the Champions for a Drug-free Carroll County Coordinator with Carroll County Schools and serves as a member of the Carrollton City Council.

She eventually would like to continue her education by earning a graduate degree from Northern Kentucky University.

Franklin has won multiple pageants throughout the years, most recently Miss Heart of the Parks 2013, Miss Sweetheart Queen 2013, Miss Heart of the East 2012, Miss Kentucky 2012 Miss Congeniality and others.

Still, winning Miss Madison Regatta 2013 meant a lot to her after competing for the crown for the last six years.

"This pageant is different than any I've ever competed," Franklin said. "It's not a beauty pageant. It's a scholarship pageant."

The Miss Madison Regatta Scholarship Pageant focuses on personality and public speaking more than beauty, she said, which was a few of the reasons she continued to come back year after year.

She had a good feeling coming into the competition this year, she said. Her skit came together well, and everything seemed calm just prior to the pageant. Plus, the nine women got along well and had fun preparing for the pageant together.

Still, the sixth try must have been the charm she needed to capture the crown.

"It's an awesome feeling," Franklin said.