By Mary Alys Cherry
Kenda Carroll, a beautiful blonde University of Houston-Downtown student, is the 2014 Miss Kemah and will represent the area in the Miss Texas USA Pageant.
She was crowned by 2013 Miss Kemah Peyton Saverance in ceremonies at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. The daughter of Alenda and Arthur Lara and Kenneth Carroll, she has three sisters Lina, Stephanie and Johnna.
Former Miss Texas USA Nicole O’Brian Lassiter and Fox 26 anchor Ruben Dominguez served as hosts for the pageant and Kelly Williams sang the National Anthem.
Livia Lavender, a lovely young brunette who attends the High School for the Performing Arts, was selected the 2014 Miss Kemah Teen and crowned by the 2013 Miss Kemah Teen, Sara Mohebpour. She will represent the area in the Miss Texas Teen USA. Her parents are Jay and Jala Lavender of Pasadena, where she was born and raised. She has a big sister, Lexa, who was second runnerup in the Miss Kemah contest, and a little brother, Lucas.
Other Miss Kemah contestants included Brianda Carrasco, Kesha Clark, Kelly Cleland, Ashley Free, Nancy Gonzalez, Brianna Key, Lexa Lavender, Kourtney Magnes, Courtney Newman, Harli Rose, Jenny Smith and Dresdynn Warnell.
Joining Livia Lavender, 16, in the Miss Kemah Teen competition were Kristen Alfrey, Lauren Borden, Estella Brooks, Dasha Brotherton, Rachel Gitomer, Taylor Leigh Kessler, Kylie Layfield, Olivia Lee, Maddison McCarson, Mary Frances Nance, Megan Whittaker and Fallon Williams.
The new Miss Kemah, 24, who grew up in College Station and recently moved to Lake Jackson also won the swimsuit competition and was in the top three for the Most Photogenic title. She is a former Miss Bay Area USA and represented the community at the 2014 Miss Texas USA Pageant, where she placed in the top 15 and won the Best in Swimsuit Fitness Award.
She attended Houston Baptist University and hopes to complete work on her Master’s in Administration at UH and become a mathematics educator and small business owner.
Judges included Sheree Frede, Hannah Johannes, Pierr Castillo, Dr. Roxanne Edrington, Chris Reed, Kym Jackson, Terri Jaggers and Tony Fitzpatrick. Judges for the swimsuit competition were Rick Clapp, T.J. Aulds, Erin Webb, John Ennis and Jimmy Simms.