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.

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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