Gwendolyn Pona Tuaitanu has been crowned the new Miss Samoa USA 2008.
The 23-year-old daughter of Vaililo Fuimaono and Mani Tuaitanu, also won the Best Sarong and Best traditional wear.
She overcame eight other contestants for the title and the opportunity to compete in the upcoming Miss Teuila Pageant, in Apia, during the Teuila Festival.
Sponsored by Serenicare, Salt Lake City, Utah, Ms Tuaitanu hails from Faala, Iva, Sale’imoa, Uafato, Nu’uuli and Manu’a.
She is a graduate of Copper Hills High School, Utah and is currently studying Microbiology at Utah Valley State College.
She is the eldest of five children, three brothers and one other sister.
First runner up was 22-year-old Miss Kiwi Construction, Chantel Burgess, of Laie. The daughter of Tracey and Glenn Burgess also won the Best Interview, Best Evening Wear, Best Talent and Miss Photogenic.
Second runner up went to Miss Le Lalelei O Samoa, Florence Carroll of Oregon, daughter of Uluaipoumalo Te’o and Daniel T. Carroll.
The youngest contestant, 18-year-old Sailau Schwenke of Draper Utah took top Internet Voting honours and finished third runner up.
She is the daughter of Reg Schwenke and the late Elizabeth “Nana” Lefagaoali’i Ho Ching.
Source: Samoa Observer, 28 July 2008 / Photo: Samoa Tourism Authority