Catherine van Eyck, a 15-year-old sophomore at Mamaroneck High School, was selected as this year’s winner of the Empire State Spirit “Rudy” Award at the 2010 Miss New York Teen USA Pageant which took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Albany, NY this past weekend.
“I was overjoyed to have been chosen as this year’s winner of the Rudy,” said Catherine. “Participating in the pageant was so much fun and I met so many wonderful girls from all over New York State.”
“This special award is presented annually at our pageants,” explained Kim Bass, executive director of the Miss New York Teen USA Pageant. “The recipient, chosen by the organization staff, is the young woman who best represents the spirit and joy of competition.”
Asked about the origin of the award’s name, Frank L. Sweeney, the producer of the pageant said, “Initially this was called the Empire State Spirit Award. We had a wonderful member of our pageant family pass, his name was Rudy Pivovar. We miss him but we found a way to perpetuate his memory by naming the award after him. If there can be an Oscar and an Emmy, well doggone it there can be a Rudy, too.” He continued, “Catherine was selected as this year’s recipient because she embodies the spirit and joy and all that’s good about pageantry. And also, she reminds us of a wonderful, dear friend.”
“Catherine is worthy of the Spirit award because she recognizes pageants are about more than just helping herself,” said Jenna Edwards, founder of the international non-profit organization Queen for a Day. “Her involvement in Queen for a Day exemplifies her selflessness and desire to touch the lives of others. She truly epitomizes the spirit of pageantry. Queen for a Day is proud to have her with us.”
Catherine described the weekend‘s rehearsals and preliminaries as a whirlwind and the final competition as an amazing show. She said that the pageant was an experience that she‘ll always treasure and added, “Most of all, I really want my family, friends and sponsors to know how much their support has meant to me.”