Junior Miss chosen Saturday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 19, 2001

A sell-out crowd of enthusiastic supporters was on hand last Saturday night, September 15, as the Camellia City Junior Woman's Club presented the 2002 Butler County Junior Miss program on the stage of the Ritz Theater.

"I understand we had to turn away about 25 people at the door," said Woman's Club member Magoo Hamilton, concerning the huge crowd.

"It's a Tropical Paradise with Junior Miss" was the theme for the evening.

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A mix of reggae and Hawaiian music, blended with the sounds of surf and seagulls, wafted through the auditorium as the seats quickly filled.

On stage, Palm trees', parrots', tropical flowers, beach blankets, boogie' boards and a Tiki' hut helped carry out the theme of a tantalizing tropical tour.

Twelve high school seniors vied for the $5,000 in scholarship money and the chance to go on and represent Butler County in the state program.

The participants were Alie Crawford of Greenville Academy; Claire Schrantz of Greenville High School; Lindsey Maraman of Greenville Academy; Katie Brown of Greenville Academy; Lauren Williams of Crenshaw Christian Academy; Lindsay Ballew of Fort Dale Academy; Brittany Hanks of Fort Dale Academy; Elizabeth Utley of Greenville High School; Nikki Langston of Fort Dale Academy; Jessica Schofield of Greenville High School; Ashlee Bender of Fort Dale Academy and Anna Bennett of McKenzie High School.

The young ladies put in many hours of practice before Saturday night's event rehearsing dance and fitness sequences, perfecting their talents and conducting mock interviews.

Throughout the preparations each participant was given a daily morale boost' by Women's Club members, their "little sisters" (high school juniors desiring a taste of the Junior Miss experience) and, of course, family and friends.

Mistress of Ceremonies, Miss Camellia 2001 Scarlotte Deupree, assured the 12 young women that "each will come away from the journey with …friendship and wonderful memories."

2001 Junior Miss Meredith Mosley also was on hand to pass on the torch'.

The vivacious Auburn University freshman provided much of the special entertainment for the evening.

Mosley promised the new Junior Miss a year "filled with a whirlwind of excitement…good luck, hold your head up high and do the best you can."

Prior to the evening's program, each participant met with the panel of evaluators for a 10-minute interview at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, one of the "behind the scenes" evaluations that counted for 25 percent of the individual composite scores.

Another 20 percent of each participant's score was based on scholastic achievement.

The admissions office of Troy State University reviewed transcripts of grades and scores of scholastic tests and college entrance exams.

The rest of the scoring was based on talent, fitness and poise.

One young woman swept the field that evening-Lauren Williams, daughter of Robert and Lisa Williams of McKenzie.

The talented brunette, who gave a colorful and high-energy dance performance of "Cuban Pete" from the popular movie, "The Mask", displayed the "grace under pressure", agility, and originality sought by the evaluators.

She was chosen as winner of the preliminary talent, fitness and poise awards.

It came as little surprise, then, when the bubbly Crenshaw Christian Academy senior, her radiant smile (and a few tears) in place, was presented with the coveted Junior Miss medallion and a sheaf of red roses.

Williams won a $3,000 cash tuition scholarship and will go on to represent Butler County in the state program this fall.

First alternate was Greenville High's Claire Schrantz, daughter of Paul and Joanne Schrantz, who performed the song "Colors of the Wind" on clarinet.

Schrantz received a $1,500 cash tuition scholarship.

Second alternate and recipient of a $750 scholarship was Greenville Academy's Katie Brown, the daughter of Herbert and Peggy Brown.

She performed as famed comedienne Fanny Brice in "I'm the Greatest Star" from "Funny Girl."

The prized "Spirit of Junior Miss" Award went to McKenzie High's Anna Bennett, daughter of Douglas and Vickie Bennett, who received a $100 cash award.

Bennett also received the "Signature Page" Award for most names garnered for the program book.

Current Junior Misses from Crenshaw and Dale Counties also provided special entertainment for the evening's production.

Many local businesses and individuals make the scholarships possible through their generous donations, and this year, Pioneer Electric Cooperative once again footed the bill to cover all production expenses.

A number of other individuals and businesses too numerous to mention are responsible for providing things like incentive goodies' to the participants, flowers and charms for participants, and meals and gifts for the evaluators.

The three P's

printing service, press coverage and production

were all ably combined to provide those in attendance with a well-run show filled with many memories easily recalled through souvenir program books-and press clippings.

Many thanks to a great out-going Junior Miss, Meredith Mosley, and all the very best to Junior Miss 2002, Miss Lauren Williams.

The best of luck to both young women, and to all the young ladies who bravely, brightly and beautifully graced the stage Saturday evening.