Pageant cash, scholarships down from 2008

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 20, 2009

The Miss Mississippi Corporation offered $567,123 in cash and in-kind scholarships this year, down from $698,638 offered last year, and pageant officials say it’s because they wanted to be conservative.

“We knew there were going to be some rising costs as far as production and so forth,” said David Blackledge, chairman of the Miss Mississippi Corporation and executive director of the pageant. “We took some money from the patron program and moved it into the scholarships.”

In-kind scholarships offered this year totaled $455,123, down from last year’s $581,938.

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A total of $112,000 in cash scholarships was awarded this year, down from $116,700 last year.

Blackledge said business and individual donations have remained steady, so he doesn’t attribute the slight decrease to current economic trends.

All 47 women who competed this year received scholarship money provided by the Miss Mississippi Corporation.

Here’s a breakdown:

• Miss Mississippi 2009 Anna Tadlock will receive a $10,000 scholarship for winning the state title. She will also receive a $300 scholarship for her preliminary talent win and a $200 preliminary swimwear win.

Among the other Top 5 contestants.

• Miss Heartland Danielle Smith won a $7,500 scholarship as a first alternate and a $200 swimwear preliminary award.

• Miss Deep South Rachael Shannon won a $6,000 scholarship as second runner-up and a $300 talent preliminary award.

• Miss Southern Magnolia Kristen Benigno won a $3,500 scholarship for her spot as third alternate.

• Miss Hattiesburg Mary Brandon Norman won a $2,500 scholarship as fourth alternate.

The other five semi-finalists each won a $2,000 scholarship. They were Miss Leaf River Valley Jessica Cofield, Miss Mississippi State University Sarah Beth James, Miss Dixie Corie Stanford, Miss Mid South Fenly Akers and Miss Historic Crossroads Chelsea Kaitlin Rick.

Six non-finalists were awarded $700 talent award scholarships. Recipients were Miss Metro Jackson Katherine Barkett, who also won a $300 talent preliminary award; Miss North Central Mississippi Caitlyn Smith, who also won a $300 talent preliminary award; Miss Madison Meagan Holaday; Miss Itawamba Community College Brittany Faye Kinard; Miss Southwest Mississippi Community College Megan Miller; and Miss Dixieland Marie Elizabeth Wicks.

Other scholarship winners were:

• Miss Central Mississippi Rachael Hughes, $1,500 River Region Medical Center Auxiliary Scholarship.

• Miss West Central Mississippi Amber Lynn Strange, $500 Vicksburg Association of Marketing Professionals Scholarship.

• Miss Clinton Tiffany Boyte, $500 Entergy Mississippi Inc. Scholarship.

• Miss Central Mississippi Rachael Hughes and Miss Mississippi State University Sarah Beth James each won a $500 Mississippi Organ Recovery Scholarship.

• Miss Riverland Diana Strickland, $1,000 Mississippi Chiropractic Association Posture Scholarship. She also won a $200 swimwear preliminary award.

• Miss Southland Crystal Flores, $500 Good Samaritan Physical Therapy Scholarship.

• Miss Tupelo Adrian Turner, $500 Helping Hand Pharmacy Scholarship

• Miss Rankin County-Southwest Shelby Danielle Corn, $500 Mrs. Betty Jean “Boop” Mims Memorial Scholarship

The 37 non-finalists each received a $1,400 scholarship.

• Miss Gulf Coast Julie Hall won the Community Service Scholarship, $1,500.

• Miss Magnolia Melissa King won the Academic Scholarship, $1,500.

• Miss University Brooke Beard won the Quality of Life Scholarship, $1,000.

• Miss Delta Blues Bethany Pratt won the Children’s Miracle Maker Award.


Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at