Miss Mississippi is scholarship pageant board members say

Published 9:16 am Monday, April 27, 2015

Vicksburg is host to two state pageants, and on Wednesday Earl Edris and Jaynie Fedell, members of the Miss Mississippi Pageant executive board, were the guest speakers during the weekly Lions Club meeting.

Edris is the executive secretary for the Miss Mississippi pageant board, and Fedell is the executive producer of the Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant.

Edris gave an overview on what the Miss Mississippi Pageant Corp. does, what goes on behind the scenes of the pageant and upcoming events, while Fedell focused attention on the teen pageant.

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“The Miss Mississippi Corporation runs two pageants. The Miss Mississippi Scholarship Pageant and the Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen Scholarship Pageant,” Edris said.

“Scholarship is the key word. One of our main purposes is to provide scholarships to the young ladies. We are trying to empower the girls to meet their potential, and we want them to have scholarship money so they can reach that potential,” Edris said.

Winners of the state pageants will continue on to compete for the national titles where they will have the opportunity to win additional scholarship dollars.

The Miss America Pageant Corporation is the largest scholarship provider for women, Edris said.

Contestants for the Miss Mississippi Pageant must be 18 to 24 years of age to compete, teen contestants have to be 13 to 17-years-old, and to compete on the state level a contestant must first win a local title.

Local pageants are held from Aug. 1 to mid-February, Edris said.

This year, four local women will be represented in the pageants. Katie Busby will represent Miss Delta State University in the Miss Mississippi Pageant, and Tori Ross, Emily Tingle and Addison Mathis will represent Miss Vicksburg’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Heart of Dixie’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Pearl River Valley’s Outstanding Teen, respectively.

Locals who run the Miss Mississippi Pageant are volunteers, Edris said, and added theses volunteers are also instrumental in helping raise money that will go towards the scholarship funds.

This year, the Miss Mississippi Pageant will be held from June 24 through 27 at the Vicksburg Convention Center and events will include a parade, autograph signings, preliminary competitions and the crowning of the new Miss Mississippi.

“A lot of what we do mirrors the Miss Mississippi Pageant. We just teenage it up,” Fedell said.

Like the Miss Mississippi Pageant, the teens also compete in talent, evening gown, interview and an on-stage question, she said.

“The teens do not wear swimsuits. They wear workout outfits and demonstrate how high energy they are,” Fedell said.

Contestants in both the Miss Mississippi Pageant and the Miss Outstanding Teen Pageant must also promote a platform to compete.

“With these platforms, these young women do service work,” Fedell said, and platforms for teens can range from driving and texting to bullying.

“These young ladies get out there promoting their platform wearing that crown on their head, wearing that sash and representing their title. They are awesome. I have never seen so many young ladies working so hard,” Fedell said.

The Miss Mississippi Outstanding Teen Pageant will be held from June 4 through 6 and will be held at the Vicksburg City Auditorium. There are 23 contestants, and this year’s theme is Magic Show.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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