Miss GG shares with seniors, civic clubs
It's only Wednesday, but Miss Greater Greenville 2006, Kimberly Kirby of Hueytown, has already had a whirlwind week in her adopted “hometown.”
Kirby, a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Montevallo, used her spring break from school to get better acquainted with the citizens of the town she is representing at Miss Alabama in June.
After visiting First Baptist Church on Sunday night, Kirby, along with her mother, Denise, traveled to Crowne Health Care on Monday morning.
With her mom accompanying her on the piano, Kirby sang a number of favorite old hymns for the residents, including “Victory in Jesus,” “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and “How Great Thou Art.”
“I have several missionaries in my family on my dad's side, and preachers on my mom's side, so church has always been a big part of my life,” the title holder, who attends Pleasant Ridge
Baptist Church in Hueytown, told her audience.
Several of the seniors clamored for photos with the pretty brunette as she later talked and joked with residents, who said it was “really nice” to have someone like Miss GG come and share with them.
At noon, the Kirbys were guests at the Greenville Lions Club, where Miss GG performed two numbers, “Not for the Life of Me,” her selection for the Miss Alabama competition, and “The Man of La Mancha,” the song she performed at the local program.
She also shared how much she had come to love the Camellia City.
“First of all, the (preliminary) program itself was such a pleasant, stress-free experience…and every time I have been here, people have been so friendly and hospitable. I can see why it's called the City of Smiles,” Kirby said with a dimpled grin.
A self-described childhood tomboy “who loved to play in the dirt, hated baths and anyone messing with my hair,” Kirby said she still is a “jeans and T-shirt girl at heart.”
“Somehow, along the way, I made the transition from tomboy to pageants,” she said.
After enjoying middle school and high school pageants (“It was fun to get all dressed up and fixed up for just one night”) Kirby moved on to Miss Alabama preliminaries in college.
It was a whole new world.
“I was blown away by all the preparation the young women had to do – preparing for a 12-minute interview, for example,” Kirby said.
“The interview is 25 percent of the competition; talent is 35 percent. 60 percent of the judging doesn't have to do with your looks. They are looking for a well-rounded person to represent the community, state and country.”
Kirby, who initially got involved in the Miss Alabama program largely to earn scholarship monies, said she has gained a “lot of valuable experience” from her involvement in the system.
“I am basically a shy person…so the opportunities given to me like this one today are wonderful for growth, preparing for job interviews, and so forth,” she said.
Supporting a “platform,” an issue relevant to society, is a requirement for all Miss Alabama/Miss America contestants. The cause dear to Kirby's heart?
“When so many children don't get a sense of right and wrong instilled in them at home today, it's so important to teach character education in the schools,” Kirby, who plans to teach deaf and hearing-impaired children, said.
She is also a strong supporter of the Girl Scouts of America, a program Kirby says teaches both the importance of good character and service to the community.
“The platform system in Miss America means there are 12,000 preliminary winners across the country who are actively promoting community service in their towns, working to raise funds for some worthy organization. It's making a real difference,” Kirby said.
Kirby was also slated to visit the Greenville City Council and speak to the Camellia City Civitans on Monday night.
On Tuesday, she was scheduled to speak to the Greenville Kiwanis and to visit Miss GG sponsors. Tonight, Kirby will share with the RAs and GAs from 6 to 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church and with the youth from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Family Life Center for a mini-praise and worship session. Area youth are welcome to attend.