Reigning Tomato Queen and WA senior in state pageant

June 27th, 2015 1:55 am

First Posted: 6/13/2013

Marina Maida, of Pittston, the reigning Pittston Tomato Festival Queen, represented her hometown and the Pittston Tomato Festival in a brand new way last week.

Maida qualified for the Miss Pennsylvania TEEN competition and traveled to Pittsburgh to compete in the June 14 finals as the Pittston Tomato Queen.

She is currently a sophomore at Pittston Area High School, where she is an academic standout student and cheer team flyer. She sand “Journey To The Past” from the movie “Anastasia” at the competition.

Rebecca Colwell, of West Pittston, a senior at Wyoming Area High School, also competed and finished in the top 10.

Serving as official mentor for Maida is Gina Major, former Miss Pennsylvania, who owned and managed the David Blight Studio in Pittston and Major Performing Arts Center Pittston from 1988-1997.

Sapphire Salon is Maida’s on stage sponsor and her mom, Brenda Maida, is providing financial backing.

“This was Marina’s first venture into state competition,” Major said in a press release. “She represented Pittston very well, even discussing the Pittston Tomato Fest when asked by the judges about the Tomato Festival.”

According to the press release, Maida works many hours in Pittston communities, serving as a mentor for young girls cheer squads, helping to host a dance for the mentally challenged in her school and serving as a member of Stand Tall Against Drugs and Alcohol. She participated in the Out of the Darkness Suicide Awareness Walk and the recent 24-hour Cance Society Relay for Life 2013.

Her personal platform is “Love Yourself: Bullying and Suicide Awareness.’ She spoke at the 2012 “Burn Out Bullying and Suicide Awareness” event in Duryea. She has chosen to focus her efforts on bullying awareness in Pittston Area elementary schools as a guest reader and is creating her own Bullying Awareness Reading curriculum which will launch in early fall.

Anyone who would like to invite Maida to read and work with their group of children can send a request to or call 570-510-4809.