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Aug 12, 2009 12:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays woman is named Miss Long Island

Aug 12, 2009 12:46 PM

Jamie Bellittieri, a 21-year-old from Hampton Bays, brought the Miss Long Island title home to the Hamptons Sunday evening.

Wearing her brand new Austrian crystal crown and sporting perfectly polished nails and toes, Ms. Bellittieri was still glowing Monday afternoon from her win the night before. “It’s every girl’s dream,” she gushed.

As part of her prize package, Ms. Bellittieri won a full scholarship to compete in the 2010 Miss New York USA pageant, which will be held in Albany in November. The winner from that contest goes on to compete in the national Miss USA competition, the contest owned and run by Donald Trump.

Her performance on stage Sunday evening at the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts wowed the judges and contest organizers. Ms. Bellittieri bested about two dozen other competitors to win the Long Island crown.

“She’s the entire package,” Lori Donaudy, the owner of the Miss Long Island and Miss Teen Long Island pageants, said of Ms. Bellittieri.

Ms. Donaudy explained that the Miss Long Island contest, which is in its second year, is more than just a beauty pageant. She said contestants are judged on their community involvement, intelligence and answers to questions, and not just on their physical appearance.

“Jamie definitely fit that profile,” she said. “She’s friendly, outgoing, charismatic. She pulled it off in every way.”

Ms. Donaudy, the 2008 Mrs. New York International winner, will also be donating her coaching services to Ms. Bellittieri at the Miss New York USA competition later this year. She said she is optimistic about Ms. Bellittieri’s chances in the fall.

To compete for the title of Miss Long Island, contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 27 and have never before competed in a national Miss USA pageant. Additionally, eligible contestants must have never been married and live in either Nassau or Suffolk counties. They must also be naturally born females.

Unlike the Miss America competition, the Miss USA pageant does not have a talent competition. Instead, the women compete in evening gown and swimsuit competitions, as well as an interview portion. The Miss Long Island pageant adheres to the same criteria as the Miss USA pageant.

The toughest part of Sunday’s competition, according to Ms. Bellittieri, was not strutting on stage in a bikini. Rather, she said, it was winning the judges over during the interview.

“I was so nervous,” said Ms. Bellittieri, who graduated from North Babylon High School and moved to Hampton Bays last year.

The six judges asked her what methods she would recommend to prevent teens from dropping out of high school. Her response, which obviously impressed the judges, centered around parents talking to their children and the involvement of students in after-school activities.

“You have to be on point and speak what you believe,” she said.

Ms. Bellittieri explained that some of the girls are very nervous and flub their answers during the interview portion of a contest. When asked about 2007 Miss Teen South Carolina USA’s Lauren Caitlin Upton, whose convoluted and unintelligible answer garnered her much unwanted fame and publicity, Ms. Bellittieri said some women have trouble when put under large amounts of pressure.

In the local competition, contestants must pick a platform that they feel passionately about. Ms. Bellittieri’s platform was speaking against domestic violence. She said she hopes to pursue domestic violence prevention in her career.

After earning her associate’s degree in criminal justice from Suffolk County Community College in 2007, Ms. Bellittieri took the entrance exam for the New York Police Department. She said she would like to pursue a career in law enforcement and become a detective one day.

She currently works as an account manager for Coca-Cola on the East End. In her spare time she likes to volunteer, shop and exercise. She also likes to participate in walks to raise money for breast cancer and plans on running in the 14th annual Ellen’s Run in Southampton this Sunday.

Kathe Hamill, whose son Adam is dating Ms. Bellittieri, said she was impressed by the friendliness among the female contestants on Sunday.

“If there was any jealousy, they didn’t show it,” Ms. Hamill said, adding that she was extremely proud of Ms. Bellittieri. “I thought it was amazing.”

Ms. Bellittieri is no stranger to pageants. She first competed in the 2008 Miss New York USA pageant in 2007 and with no prior pageant experience or coaching, she placed in the top 25 out of about 250 girls.

The next year, she enlisted the help of her pageant coach Shiemicka LaShanne, a former Miss New York first runner-up, and placed in the top ten. “She taught me from A to Z,” Ms. Bellittieri said of her coach.

Now that she has an official title under her belt, Ms. Bellittieri is advancing to Miss New York USA competition with a newfound confidence and determination to win.

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Wow...congratulations! Great job!!
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Aug 12, 09 4:58 PM
Way to go Jamie! We know her personally, she deserves the win! Now onto Miss New York State!
By ToniQ (9), Hampton Bays on Aug 13, 09 10:40 AM