OUTLOOK: Hostesses roll out welcome mat for Miss Mississippi candidates
Published 4:00 am Sunday, June 19, 2022
Hostesses with the Miss Mississippi Competition are invaluable.
These women chaperone and chauffeur the candidates to and from all events during the week, which include getting them to rehearsals, autograph signings, the Rotary Club meeting and most importantly, to the Vicksburg Convention Center for the competition.
They also provide food and snacks when the candidates return to the hotel after rehearsals and the preliminary competitions.
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“They are like the girl’s mom away from home,” Miss Mississippi hostess chairman Mary Beth Grogan-White said.
This year, Miss Mississippi candidates will be housed at the Mulberry Vicksburg, which is located near the VCC.
Grogan said this will help the hostesses when it comes time to transport their candidates to and from the VCC, especially due to the construction work being done on the interstate.
“We are so thankful for the Mulberry,” Grogan-White said.
Since the competition was first held in Vicksburg in 1958, women from the community have volunteered their time to serve as hostesses for the Miss Mississippi Competition.
Originally, these women were the wives of the Vicksburg Junior Chamber of Commerce or Jaycees, as they were referred to. The Jaycees were the first to hold the contract for the Miss Mississippi Competition and it was their wives, the Jaycettes, who served in the role of Miss Mississippi hostesses.
Since there is no longer a Jaycee or Jaycette program in Vicksburg, the Miss Mississippi contract is now held by the Miss Mississippi Corporation and women who are interested in volunteering as a hostess can do so by contacting the Miss Mississippi corporate office at 601-638-6746.
This year, serving alongside Grogan-White as Miss Mississippi assistant hostess chairwoman is Jeanine Hanks.
Hostesses include Stephanie Stirgus; Carole Campbell; Cissy Carter; Michelle Coccaro; Janell Thames; Marla Bonelli; Johnna Riddick; Lana Fuller; Cyndee Nash; Lynn Swett Gerhardt; Terri Ghrigsby; Lori Fagan; Lynn Baker and Dinnie Johnston.
Serving as hostess floaters are Linda Banchetti; Nancy Ballard, Nancy Bell, Carol Duncan; Madge Finney; Billye Jones; Ann Morris and Carole Simpson.
Rhonda Minor will be serving as Miss Mississippi Holly Brand’s hostess.