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Pageant crowns Miss Decatur County, raises money for benefit

On September 26, the Miss Decatur County Pageant was held at the Kirbo Center, where contestants used the pageant as a platform to promote a benefit for Amelia McCullough, who sustained a spinal cord injury earlier this year.

Directed by Jessica Moye Thompson and emceed by reigning Miss Decatur County, Jacey Cox, contestants competed for the crown, along with the Heart of a Warrior Award and Hospitality Award.

The award was named in honor of McCullough, who demonstrated strength, perseverance and faith throughout her injury. It was awarded to the reigning Queen, Jimi Bellflower, who raised the most money for the fundraiser.

McCullough also awarded Maddie Chapman with the Miss Decatur County Hospitality Award, which is given to the contestant who raises the most money for the benefit and receives the People’s Choice Award.

Hospitality Award runners up were Sloan Franklin and Lani Jae Powell.

Following the announcement of the specialty awards, the crowning for each age division began.

Lilly Grace Cox was crowned Baby Miss Photogenic Winner and Baby Miss Decatur County.

Baby Miss Runners up were Weslyn Lord and Laiklyn Keaton.

Everleigh Kennedy was named Toddler Miss Photogenic and Toddler Miss Decatur County, while Sloan Franklin and Oaklynn Scott were named Toddler Miss Runners up.

Delilah Brown was crowned Teeny Miss Decatur County, while Davina Brown won Teeny Miss Photogenic Winner.

Lani Jae Powell was first runner up for the Teeny Miss Decatur County and Kyndall Wimberly placed 2nd in the Teeny Miss Decatur County division.

Kate Shingler took home the crown for Tiny Miss Photogenic Winner and Tiny Miss Decatur County, while Ava Chapman was named 1st runner up for Tiny Miss and Averi McMillan was named 2nd runner up.

Elizabeth Stinnett was crowned Little Miss Decatur County, while Emmalee Boggs was named Little Miss Photogenic Winner and a runner up. Aubrey Smith was also named a runner up for Little Miss.

Additional awards for interview began in the Junior Miss Division.

McKenzie Porter won Junior Miss Decatur County and the Junior Miss Interview Award.

Norah Inlow was 2nd runner up and the Junior Miss Photogenic Winner, while Bella Floyd took home 1st place for Junior Miss.

Haylee Brunson was named Teen Miss Decatur County and Teen Miss Interview Winner.

Caroline Maxwell took home 1st runner up and Careygan Palmer was the Teen Miss Photogenic Winner.

For the final title, Maloree Inlow was crowned Miss Decatur County, Miss Photogenic and Miss Interview Winner, while Shelbie Stevens was named the Runner Up.

Thompson was proud of all the contestants and their efforts.

“We had 40 contestants, some of the most impressive young ladies of Decatur County and surrounding areas competing for the titles,” she said. “They displayed intelligence in verbal communication as well as style, poise and grace on the stage. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with each of them and their parents.”

Thompson also expressed her excitement to have McCullough back on the stage.

“Amelia was stunning and it was amazing to have her back on the Miss Decatur County stage,” she said.

The newly crowned queens will continue their fundraising efforts throughout their reign to help with Amelia’s recovery process.