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Martin named Butler County Junior Miss

With an aim as true as that of the legendary &uot;Little Sure Shot,&uot; Annie Oakley, Cile Martin reached for the prize last weekend and took top honors as Butler County’s Junior Miss 2004.

Martin was one of nine area high school seniors competing who donned cowboy hats and kicked up high-heeled boots to &uot;go West with Junior Miss&uot; during the local program’s 32nd annual event.

Members of the Camellia City Junior Woman’s Club, sponsors for the annual program, admitted they were &uot;excited and a little bit nervous&uot; before the event got underway Saturday evening.

Many members of the organization had joined the girls for evening after evening of rehearsal.

They weren’t making any predictions on the evening’s outcome, however.

&uot;Different girls were shining on different nights [each night of rehearsal]…honestly, I can’t say who I think will win this,&uot; said Jill Stallworth.

&uot;It’s going to be a tough decision for the judges,&uot; noted Angel Stacy.

And the winner is…

In the end, it was Martin, the daughter of Robert and Laurie Martin, who was selected by the panel of seasoned evaluators to represent the county at the state finals in Montgomery next year.

The Fort Dale Academy senior received a $3,000 cash tuition scholarship as the county’s new Junior Miss.

The petite, vivacious brunette also received three $100 cash awards, one for each of her wins in the fitness, poise and talent categories.

Martin pertly tapped her way to the event’s top talent ranking with her polished dance performance to &uot;Choo-Choo Boogie,&uot; from the Broadway hit ‘Five Guys Named Moe.’

As first runner-up, Christy Tanner, daughter of Steve and Rosa Tanner, earned$1,500 cash scholarship.

The Greenville High School senior received both the Scholastic Achievement Category Award and the ‘Be Your Best Self’ Essay Award, taking home the accompanying $200 in cash prizes. The gifted teen gave an impressive classical piano performance for the program’s talent competition.

FDA’s Elizabeth Stevens, daughter of Rhonda and Richard Stevens, was selected as second runner-up and received a $750 cash scholarship.

Elizabeth ably adopted a ‘Noo Yawk’ accent for her very amusing musical performance as ‘Adelaide,&uot; a long-suffering lady with a bad head cold.

Other winners for the evening included FDA’s Jessica Hyatt, recipient of the Signature Page Award, and classmate Ashley McNeil, who took home the coveted ‘Spirit of Junior Miss’ Award.

High school seniors Nina Robinson, Ashley Phelps, Daryll Luckie and Kristen Mullins also ably participated in this year’s program.

‘Entertainment tonight’

A &uot;Little Sister,&uot; a high school junior who cheered on her participant each step of the way, supported each Junior Miss hopeful.

These young ladies also joined the Junior Miss candidates in the lively opening production number.

This year, Amy Arthur, Salley Burkett, Amanda Caine, Kayla Brown, Laura Waller, Daie Johnson, Madison Norell, Ivorie Crenshaw and Jessica Hittell played ‘little sis’ to the Junior Miss participants.

2003 Butler County Junior Miss Emmaline Walters reprised her award-winning ballet performance to

&uot;Don Quixote&uot; as part of the evening’s special entertainment. She also performed a moving lyrical ballet to Beth Neilsen-Chapman’s &uot;The Color of Roses.&uot;

Lauren Williams, the county’s Junior Miss for 2002, spent the busy week leading up to Junior Miss serving as assistant to choreographer Lori Cummings. Lauren also performed a high-energy clogging number to the 50s classic &uot;At the Hop&uot; for Saturday night’s special entertainment.

&uot;It’s been fun…I’ve had a great time this week,&uot; she remarked with a grin.

As the evening drew to a close, each of the Junior Woman’s Club members drew a collective sigh of relief—and some expressed jubilation.

&uot;This is my third winner in a row…I don’t think they are going to let me do this anymore,&uot; Junior Miss &uot;mom&uot; Jennifer Burkett crowed.

&uot;You know, you always worry…but everything went well tonight,&uot; Ashley Langford noted with a smile.