Belles of the Ball

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,

said Tuesday.

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


be examples.”

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

in myself.”

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.


WHO: Dawna Gunn

WHAT: Miss Burbank

AGE: 18

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


WHO: Samantha Mollaun

WHAT: Miss Teen Burbank

AGE: 16

SCHOOL: John Burroughs High School

ACTIVITIES: Plays golf and softball for Burroughs.

ROLE MODEL: 1996 Olympic Gold medalist in softball Dot Richardson