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Melanie Sanders grabs Miss Vicksburg title; Robyn Davis is Miss West Central

[01/22/01] Melanie Noelle Sanders was crowned Miss Vicksburg 2001 Saturday night at the Vicksburg Auditorium and will once again represent the city in the Miss Mississippi Pageant this summer.

Robyn Davis, a native of Vancleave, was crowned Miss West Central Mississippi and Lurline Marie Lawrence was crowned Young Miss Vicksburg.

Davis will also go on to compete in the Miss Mississippi Pageant here in July.

Sanders, 20, wearing a white sequined gown, was crowned by Miss Vicksburg 2000 Terry Tustain. Sanders also held the Miss Vicksburg title in 1999, when she went on to become a preliminary talent winner and fourth runner-up to Miss Mississippi Heather Soriano.

Last year, competing as Miss Southern Magnolia, Sanders was again a preliminary talent winner and placed third runner-up to Miss Mississippi Christy May.

“It’s time to work,” Sanders said after this win. “I hope that I do as well (at the Miss Mississippi Pageant) as I did tonight.”

Sanders, the daughter of Marshall and Deborah Sanders, is a 1999 graduate of Warren Central High School, where she played basketball and ran track. She is majoring in sociology and pre-law at Spelman College in Atlanta and would like to attend law school.

For the talent portion of the pageant, Sanders sang “What About the Children,” which she said goes along with her platform. “Love for Kids” highlights awareness of children in foster care.

“I feel really good,” she said about winning the Miss Vicksburg crown.

The competition for Miss Vicksburg and Miss West Central Mississippi consists of interviews, which count for 30 percent of contestants’ scores; evening wear, 15 percent; swimsuit, 15 percent; and talent, 40 percent.

Davis sang “This Place is Mine” for the talent portion of the program, which helped garner her a third trip to the Miss Mississippi Pageant.

Davis, 22, was a Top 10 finalist last year, competing as Miss “W.” In 1999, as Miss Gulf Coast, she was also selected to the Top 10.

A student at Mississippi University for Women, Davis is majoring in communications and public relations.

“I’m truly excited to get to go to Miss Mississippi again,” she said.

Wearing a black velvet gown, Davis was crowned by Miss West Central Mississippi 2000 Angela Goodwin, who last year was first runner-up to May.

Davis’ platform is awareness and support for the elderly.

Lawrence was crowned Young Miss Vicksburg 2001 in a white sequined gown. She succeeds Young Miss Vicksburg 2000 Mary Claire Giffin.

“I’m overjoyed,” said Lawrence, a Warren Central High School senior.

Lawrence, 17, is the daughter of the late Lurline and Eugene Lawrence. She served as a page in the Mississippi Senate for state Sen. Mike Chaney and would like to become a pharmacist someday.

First runner-up to Lawrence was April Dawn Ivins, 17, the daughter of Charles and Susan Ivins.

The competitions were sponsored by the Vicksburg Business and Professional Women’s Club.