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Belles and Beaus bid farewell to seniors

Pictured are, first row from left to right, Meredith Missildine, Jordan Sasser and Layken Sanders. Pictured are, second row from left to right, Bailey Wilson, HeartLee Pittman, Max McDougald, Kaydra Strength, Cassidy Catrett, Peighton Carpenter, Abby Emerson, Ashlynn Odom, Lillain Woodard, Bailey Taylor and sponson Ruth Bayman.

Pictured are, first row from left to right, Meredith Missildine, Jordan Sasser and Layken Sanders. Pictured are, second row from left to right, Bailey Wilson, HeartLee Pittman, Max McDougald, Kaydra Strength, Cassidy Catrett, Peighton Carpenter, Abby Emerson, Ashlynn Odom, Lillain Woodard, Bailey Taylor and sponson Ruth Bayman.

Recently, the Chamber of Commerce hosted a banquet for the Chamber Belles and Beaus to celebrate a successful year and to bid farewell to their senior members.

“We wanted to find a way to include the youth of our county in serving our community. This program is a great pathway to leadership and service,” said Ruth Bayman, group sponsor.

The Chamber Belles and Beaus program started in 2009 with 12 Belles/Beaus from the four high schools in Crenshaw County. Since then, the program has grown to 44 members and still remains a strong learning experience for all students involved.

Tyler Powell is a junior from Luverne High School who has served as a Chamber Beau for the past two years, and Peighton Carpenter is a senior from Brantley High School who has served as a Chamber Belle for the past three years.

Both students have experienced multiple events throughout the county, and both agree that their time spent with the Chamber Belles and Beaus is one that they wouldn’t trade.

“Tyler Powell and Peighton Carpenter were our team leaders for the Belles/Beaus’ Relay for Life team,” Bayman said.

“Their hearts are truly servant hearts and they believe in our community and want to make it a better place.”

Powell stated that since he was very young, the belief of serving his community was instilled in him. It is this belief that helps inspire him to do more and be more as a Beau.

“My favorite part about being a Chamber Beau is being able to give back to my community. Being a Chamber Beau has enriched my life in many ways,” Powell said.

“I have learned the importance of giving back to my community. I have also met many new people and made many new friends throughout the community.”

Both students have served their community in multiple different capacities, and have grown tremendously over the past few years. Both agreed that this program has certainly been one that taught them responsibility, teamwork and the importance of community involvement.

“Being a Belle has taught me discipline, time management, responsibility, leadership, interview skills and so much more,” Carpenter said.

“Being able to experience all of this within the three years before going into the real world really makes me look forward to my future endeavors.”

Powell and Carpenter both agreed that this program is one that they would recommend to other students, and it is one that has prepared them for life after high school.

While the pair has had their fair share of memories from being a Chamber Belle and Beau, each had one in particular that stuck with them.

“Being able to design the Christmas in Crenshaw shirt as a fundraiser for our Relay team was an enjoyable experience,” Powell said.

“People from all areas of our county purchased and wore the Chamber’s shirt. Knowing it came from a simple thought made me proud to serve our Chamber and Crenshaw County.”

Carpenter’s favorite memory came from the recent Crenshaw County Relay for Life event.

“It’s honestly hard to just pick one specifically, but I would have to say when we got to watch Chase pretend to play guitar at Relay for Life 2016,” she said when asked to name her favorite memory.

According to Bayman, the motto of the Belles and Beaus is, “We are here to serve our community, schools and environment. Work as a team. Support worthy causes. Make a difference in people’s  lives.”

With this motto in mind, the senior Belles and Beaus head off into the world with the memories, lessons and skills learned from this program.