Seven competing for DYW title

Published 4:27 pm Friday, August 17, 2012

Contestants for the Distinguished Young Women program work on their routine at Wednesday practice. Pictured are, left to right, Theresa Scott, Angela Thomas, Amy Lewis and Tori Bailey. (Advocate Staff/Patty Vaughan)

Seven young women will compete Saturday for the title of Butler County’s Distinguished Young Woman.

The Distinguished Young Women program has been occurring nationwide for more than 50 years and originally started in Mobile, Ala.

The young ladies will participate in a variety of events.

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“We are looking for girls that are well rounded in all areas, and it’s not just a beauty pageant, although grace is apparent as well as health and wellbeing,” said Starla Jones Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Distinguished Young Women of Butler County. “Girls win scholarships. They don’t win a crown. They don’t get a banner.”

Events include a fitness routine, self-expression, a 10-minute interview with a panel of evaluators, talent competition, recognition of school grades and an essay.

“There are a lot of components that bring together this girl, and once the girl goes through the program, she certainly has distinguished herself from her peers by accomplishing such a feat,” Jones said.

The participants are competing for a $1,500 scholarship, which is a cash tuition scholarship. The winner will also receive a $500 stipend that will be used in the state competition.

After this competition, the winner will go on to represent Butler County in the Distinguished Young Women state program in Montgomery in January.

The first runner up will receive $1,000 with the second runner up receiving $500. There will also be a $250 award for the winner of each event along with a $100 for the essay and $100 for the spirit award.

“We give more than $4,200 worth of scholarships,” Jones said. “That’s something that we’re proud of, but that’s also something that we have as a goal as a board to continue to increase that in future years.”

The doors to the Ritz Theatre will open at 6:30 p.m. with the program starting at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and all tickets can be purchased at the door.

“I’d like to the community come (tonight), because I don’t think they realize the level of talent and ability that we have in this county,” Jones said. “These seven young ladies have worked really hard and (the community) will be, I feel, entertained as well as impressed as far as seeing what they will do on stage.”