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Local seniors to compete for DYW title

This weekend, eight young women from across the county will be vying for $7,000 in scholarship monies and the opportunity to represent Butler County as its Distinguished Young Woman for 2018.

The program is set for 7 p.m. Saturday night, July 29 at Greenville’s Ritz Theater.

The participants will include Ellie Zorn, Ezekiel Academy; Janasia Johnson, Courtney Powell, Octavia Still, Georgiana High School; Lauren Pierce, McKenzie High School; Alyssa Lear, Greenville High and Amber Smith and Hannah Schofield, Fort Dale Academy.

“We are very excited to have every school in the county represented at this year’s program,” said Butler County DYW director Starla Jones.

The eight Butler County high school seniors will be on stage alongside two Lowndes County seniors as the two counties once again combine their county programs. This allows all 10 participants to be evaluated by the same panel in the same venue.

“We started doing this a few years ago and it works out so well for both of our counties,” said Jones.

The young women will be evaluated in several categories, including scholastics, fitness, talent and self-expression. In addition, each girl will sit down for an interview with the panel earlier in the day, with their performance at the interview counting as part of their overall score.

The 2015 Butler County Distinguished Young Woman, Caitlyn Thompson, will be returning to serve as the mistress of ceremonies for the evening.

There are a lot of practice hours and hard work that go into preparing for DYW, but the young women will also get to “let down their hair” this week at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Greenville, where they will participate in an oyster eating contest on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m.

“This is a first-time event for our girls. Wintzell’s is actually one of our national DYW sponsors and they started doing the contests with the state winners a couple of years ago,” said Jones. “The management of our local Wintzell’s approached us about doing the same thing here—of course, we said ‘yes!’ I think it will be great fun.”

Doors are set to open Saturday night at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 each for adults, $5 for students and will be sold at the door. Keepsake programs will also be available for $3.