Program brings positive light to city

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 27, 2002

Last weekend a number of out-of-towners came to Greenville for the fourth annual Miss Camellia scholarship program.

It was a lovely, sunny weekend, and Greenville was all a-bloom after the recent rains.

Jo Weitman’s Martin House served as the perfect spot for a Saturday afternoon reception allowing local citizens to meet and greet Scarlotte Deupree, Miss Camellia 2001 and the current Miss Alabama.

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Deupree bragged on the wonderful accommodations and delicious food provided at the Victorian bed and breakfast.

All in all, from the lovely greens of Cambrian Ridge to the Art Deco delights of the restored Ritz Theatre, Greenville made a fabulous impression on our Miss Camellia hopefuls and their families and supporters.

However, I know some local citizens have questioned why we have young woman from throughout the state competing for the Miss Camellia crown.

To put it in a nutshell, there are two kinds of preliminaries, open and closed, for the Miss Alabama/Miss America scholarship program.

Closed preliminaries limit those who can compete—for example, only Troy State students can compete for Miss TSU.

Miss Camellia, on the other hand, is an open preliminary, allowing the best young women from Madison, to Mobile, compete for scholarship monies and the chance to represent our city in the Miss Alabama program each summer.

The event is based here in Greenville, the Camellia City.

What more fitting name could you give it?

Two young Greenvillians did compete this year and there were contestants from Brewton and Evergreen as well.

Certainly, we hope to see more and more of our ‘home-grown’ beauty and talent represented in future years.

Make no mistake, though—we can take great pride in all the young women who have represented our city thus far in this program.

Both the new Miss Camellia, Ashley Stidham and Deupree are talented, intelligent, poised and well-educated with a passion for the causes they support (alcohol awareness and literacy education, respectively.)

Deupree is now Miss Alabama and might very well go on to win it all.

We are certainly rooting for her here at the Advocate.

The Miss America scholarship program is one of the biggest supporters of higher education for women in the entire world.

We have a little piece of that tremendous program here.

We can only benefit from the positive publicity that comes from the Miss Camellia connection.