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A new #039;camellia#039; blooms

Deupree named Miss Camellia 2001

Lights, camera, action…the Ritz Theatre returned to its former days of silver screen glamour last Saturday evening, July 14, as the Miss Camellia Scholarship Program Board presented "Miss Camellia Take Three -- A Night at the Movies."

The third annual event, an open preliminary to the Miss Alabama program, drew a full house of family and fans of the 15 young women competing on the stage that evening.

The theater was suitably decked out in a glittering movie motif with shining stars, Kleig lights, clap boards, lobby posters and, naturally, 'Mr.Oscar' himself appearing on the scene. A medley of famous movie scores serenaded those in attendance as they waited for the curtain to rise on the stellar event, hosted by Miss Alabama 2001, Kelly Jones.

The contestants were vying for a total of $3,900 in cash scholarships and the opportunity to go on to represent the Camellia City in the Miss Alabama program in the summer of 2002.

"Miss Alabama ranks second in the nation for in-kind schol-arships (those given by participating area colleges and universities) on a state level and fourth for these scholarships on the local level. The Miss America program is, in fact, one of the largest scholarship programs in the entire world," Jones explained to the audience.

Earlier in the day, each contestant met with the panel of selectors for the interview portion of the program, which accounted for 30 percent of each contestant's score. Talent would score an additional 40 percent, with the swimsuit and evening gown competitions each accounting for 15 percent of the total score.

Contestants included Lauren Davis of Rainbow City; Kelly Hawkins of Troy; Melinda Toole of Birmingham; Rachel Pickett of Jemison; Lynsey Moon of Calera; Julie Stanton of Phenix City; Scarlotte Deupree of Birmingham; Dawn Davenport of Peachtree City, Georgia; Christin Kelly of Mobile; Catherine Crosby of Brewton; Alexa Jones of Andalusia; Selena Averett of Cottondale; Rebecca Barefoot of Spanish Fort.