VERNON-Little Miss Vernon, Marissa Avino-Hill, an 8-year-old second grader at Rolling Hills Primary School, recently competed in the Sunburst USA NJ State Pageant where she was awarded the 7-9-year-old State Queen Title. Marissa competed with 16 other girls in the age division and was also awarded Optional first runner-up in the Pro model, Swimwear, Party Wear and Western Wear categories. Marissa was also named the Talent Queen for her tap dance performance of "The Boy From N.Y. City." Marissa says that she enjoys competing at pageants but enjoys even more meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with the girls. Her favorite thing to do after having fun on stage is to ask "Where's the pool?" and go swimming with her pageant friends. Marissa began competing in pageants at six months of age, when her mom was walking through the mall and someone suggested she enter Marissa in a local pageant for Sunburst USA being held there. When she won four trophies, a career was born. Since then she has competed in numerous pageants and has won more than 150 awards at the local, state and national level. Among her titles are East Coast USA National Mini Supreme, Heavenly Angels National Composite Queen and Fifty States National Divisional Queen. Marissa is also the current East Coast USA NJ. State Little Miss and will be competing again for a national title. After winning the Sunburst State Title she is also eligible to compete in the Sunburst International Pageant in Atlanta, Ga. Marissa has studied tap, jazz and ballet for four years at the Gloria Francis School of Performing Arts. She enjoys swimming, horseback riding and playing basketball and baseball with her friends. Her sponsors are Finish Line, The Copy Center, Munley Chiropractic and T.B. Hunter Farms.