JEANNE CALLEN/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
On the evening of June 10, recent McKenzie School graduate Marissa Kilpatrick, the 18 year old reigning Miss Camellia competed in the Miss Alabama Pageant with 47 other girls.
Even at such a tender young age Kilpatrick flashed a beautiful mega-watt smile as she danced with other contestants in choreographed skits, twirled her batons for talent, glided across the glittering stage in a gorgeous red evening gown with the confidence of a queen, and rocked a pink bikini in platform stiletto heels.
Kilpatrick said, “It was an awesome experience and I’d love to be able to experience it again. I think it’s an experience every girl should have.”
The Miss Alabama Pageant is a non-profit organization that has been crowning young women, encouraging them to be strong and independent and sending them to college for 97 years.
In part in a statement on their website it states, “The Miss Alabama Pageant stands as a shining example of what can be accomplished when college women are challenged and encouraged to achieve ambitious goals.”
Being a part of the Miss Alabama Pageant is extremely exciting, but a lot of people may not realize when a young woman wins the Miss Camellia Pageant here in Greenville, she automatically becomes a part of not only the Miss Alabama Organization, but the Miss America Organization too.
The crown and sash worn by Miss Camellia is sanctioned by the Miss America Organization. The sash bears the name “Miss America” on the shoulder, and the Miss America Crown comes in a beautiful satin lined, highly polished mahogany box with the “Miss America” emblem affixed in the top. Miss Camellia must register with the Miss America Organization and special permission is required to order the crown and sash.
The Miss America Organization, also non-profit, is one of the leading achievement programs for young women and is the leading advocate for women’s education and the largest provider of scholarships in the United States.
Every young lady participating in the Miss Alabama pageant walks away with scholarship money and Kilpatrick was no exception, earning $1000 in scholarships.
Both Miss Alabama and Miss America Pageants are community service based. The official platform for Miss America is the Children’s Miracle Network, CMN.
Along with promoting education and community service, these organizations also promote good character, honesty and kindness towards our fellow human beings.
The Greenville Kiwanis Club is the sponsor for the Butler County Fair Beauty Pageant ages of infant through 18, the Rising Star Competition are ages seven through 11 and the Miss Camellia Pageant ages 17 through 24.
All proceeds, after expenses, from the pageants go toward supporting character building and educational programs for local Butler County children, as well as a long-standing donation to CMN through the Greenville Kiwanis Club.
All three pageants: Miss Butler County Fair, Rising Star and Miss Camellia are fundraisers associated with and a part of the Butler County Fair, Greenville Kiwanis Club’s largest non-profit fund-raiser. Pageant winners are presented on stage at the Fair as part of the festivities. The Butler County Fair will be held Sept. 27 through Sept. 30 this year.
This year the Butler County Fair Beauty Pageant will be held at the Ritz Theater Saturday, Sept. 16, and the Miss Camellia Pageant will take place the following day on Sunday, Sept 17, also at the Ritz Theater.
As well as both pageants, there will also be a Rising Star Competition during the Miss Camellia Pageant for girls between the ages of seven and 11.
Rising Star is not a beauty pageant but rather a mentoring program. The young girl will spend a day having fun with Miss Camellia and other Rising Stars and Miss Alabama contestants in Birmingham on the campus of Samford University, and enjoying the festivities surrounding the Miss Alabama Pageant.
The Rising Star will be presented on stage during the Miss Alabama Pageant by Miss Camellia, along with all the other contestants.
The fee for entering Miss Butler County Fair is $35, the entry fee for the Rising Star Competition is $50, and entry in the Miss Camellia Pageant is free after a $100 donation to CMN is met.
Participation in the Butler County Fair Beauty Pageant will not deter participation in either the Rising Star or Miss Camellia Pageant.
For more information on all three Pageants, contact Jeanne K. Callen, 334-850-2773.
Marissa Kilpatrick can savor her reign as Miss Camellia through the long hot summer, but come September she will relinquish her title to another young woman.
But, Kilpatrick is young and has six more years to compete in the Miss Alabama Pageant whether through Miss Camellia, after this year, or though another preliminary pageant across the state.
Kilpatrick said, “Having this opportunity made me realize I can accomplish whatever I want if I put my mind to it.
“I loved every minute of my experience and cherish every single person I met, they feel like family and I’m looking forward seeing them all again in the future, and spending time with them.
“I do plan on competing in a preliminary pageant this year, and I would love to be Miss Camellia again one day because the title made it possible for me to represent my community and everyone in my community was so supportive.”
Kilpatrick will crown another Miss Camellia in September, but she can keep her cherished Miss Camellia sash and Crown in the lovely box for a lifetime, and just maybe she will have the opportunity to serve as Miss Camellia again in the future.
Good Luck Marissa, you made The Greenville Kiwanis Club, Butler County and this writer proud.