BURBANK -- Princess Leia’s mom was on hand for the changing of the
Two new ambassadors for the city were crowned this weekend at the Miss
Burbank and Miss Teen Burbank pageants.
Dawna Gunn, 18, was chosen Miss Burbank and Samantha Mollaun, 16, was
chosen Miss Teen Burbank by a panel of judges at the 54th annual pageant,
which took place Sunday at the Burbank Airport Hilton.
“It’s a big honor and I’m very lucky because there were a lot of other
girls that tried out,” Gunn, a senior at Village Christian High School,
Gunn was one of 10 contestants competing for the title of Miss
Burbank. The first runner-up for Miss Burbank was Jacqlene Cacia and the
second runner-up was Ginny Masterani.
Mollaun, a junior at John Burroughs High School, competed against
eight other girls for the title of Miss Teen Burbank.
“It’s good to be a representative of the city,” said Mollaun. “We can
The first runner-up for Miss Teen Burbank was Brittnay Middleton and
the second runner-up was Emily Crawford.
The gala -- which included live entertainment, a silent auction and an
appearance by former Miss Burbank Debbie Reynolds -- was emceed by 102.7
KIIS-FM DJ Chris Leary and Alisa Kimble, a former Miss California.
Reynolds, who introduced herself as Princess Leia’s mother -- her
daughter, Carrie Fisher, played the princess in the “Star Wars” movies,
spoke of her experience competing in the pageant.
“She said she didn’t know what she was doing and that there was a tear
in her swimsuit because she didn’t have a lot of money,” said Jenny
Dennis, pageant co-organizer. “That’s probably why she won.”
Before the pageant, the contestants met with each judge for
four-minute interviews. During the evening, they responded to additional
questions during two elimination phases and competed in evening gown and
bathing suit segments, Dennis said.
Gunn and Mollaun both said they were surprised to win since it was the
first time they competed in a pageant.
“It was something new and I like to try new things and get a different
perspective on things,” Mollaun said. “It’s made me a lot more confident
During the next year, Gunn and Mollaun will make appearances at events
such as Burbank On Parade and the Fourth of July celebration at the
Starlight Bowl, Dennis said.
In September, the two will travel to Fresno to compete in the Miss
California USA and Miss California Teen USA pageant. The winners from
that event will go on to compete for the titles of Miss USA and Miss Teen
USA, Dennis said.
Burbank has never had a Miss Burbank or Miss Teen Burbank win either
the state or national title, she added.
“I told them this was their year,” Dennis said.
THE GUNN FILE
WHO: Dawna Gunn
WHAT: Miss Burbank
SCHOOL: Village Christian High School
ACTIVITIES: Plays soccer and is a varsity cheerleader and serves as
senior council secretary.
ROLE MODEL: Basketball star Michael Jordan
THE MOLLAUN FILE
WHO: Samantha Mollaun
WHAT: Miss Teen Burbank
SCHOOL: John Burroughs High School
ACTIVITIES: Plays golf and softball for Burroughs.
ROLE MODEL: 1996 Olympic Gold medalist in softball Dot Richardson