Sunday, June 12, 2016

Wildwood Lifeguard Has Eye on Miss New Jersey Crown


This June will find Wildwood Beach Patrol lifeguard Myra McCann not only keeping a careful eye over the city’s beachgoers, but she will also be focusing on becoming Miss New Jersey 2016.

The 24-year-old 2016 Miss Eastern Shore is a graduate of Holy Spirit High School and St. Joseph’s University. During the winter months she is employed as a one-on-one aide at the Atlantic County Special Services School District.

For the past five summers, however, she’s found herself sitting atop a lifeguard stand on Wildwood’s beach. McCann is a second-generation lifeguard. Her father, John, served as a captain on the city’s beach patrol.

“I’ve always been a lifeguard in Wildwood,” explained the Ocean City resident. “My dad thought I would love it in Wildwood and he was right; I do love it!”

“Myra is a great lifeguard and an even better person,” said Wildwood Beach Patrol Chief Steven Stocks. “We are extremely proud of her accomplishments.”

McCann said her mother, a special education teacher, was instrumental in helping her develop her Miss New Jersey platform – Making a Special Difference.

“I’ve always had a connection with the special needs community,” she explained. Her platform hopes to bring focus on community involvement and education of those with special needs.

McCann said her work as a lifeguard has helped prepare her the upcoming competition.  “Being a lifeguard has helped.  We have to be physically fit, so that alone keeps me motivated.”

She added, with a smile, that there is a difference between wearing her swimsuit beach patrol uniform and wearing a swimsuit in a pageant. “Walking across a stage in 6 inch high heels is a different thing.”

The week of June 14, dubbed “Miss New Jersey Pageant Week,” will find McCann getting ready for the evening of June 18 when the new Miss New Jersey will be crowned. McCann will perform her talent, an Irish dance; participate in the Miss New Jersey parade and interviews along with a host of other activities.

While many may shake in fear at the idea of an interview, McCann said her work as a lifeguard has helped her develop her people skills. “Whether you have a crown on your head or you’re sitting in a stand, you have to be a people person.”

One thing is certain, she knows just like a day at the beach when she sits atop her stand, when she walks across the Ocean City Music Pier stage on June 18 she will have the support of her colleagues. “It gives me confidence to know that 50-something people have my back no matter what happens.”

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