VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Volunteering brings long-term friendships

Published 8:00 am Sunday, May 7, 2023

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is David Blackledge, who volunteers with the Miss Mississippi Corporation. Blackledge has been the RiverHills Bank Senior Vice President for the past 20 years. His main and only hobby is volunteering for the Miss Mississippi Corporation and he enjoys being able to volunteer with his wife and two daughters. 

How did you start volunteering for the Miss Mississippi Corporation?

I started volunteering with the Miss Mississippi Corporation through the Vicksburg Jaycee Organization, which was a service organization comprised of professionals in the area. The Jaycees had multiple service projects, but our biggest was the Miss Mississippi Pageant.  

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How long have you been volunteering?

I have served as a volunteer for 40 years and as an Executive Director for the Corporation for 30 years.

What is your favorite memory while volunteering?

The 50th anniversary is one of my favorite memories since it was a major reunion of not just the former Miss Mississippi but everyone who has been involved with the pageant. It was a fun and great week to get together and share fellowship with everyone who has been part of this pageant and get to celebrate those friendships. 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

Being a part of an organization that helps provide scholarships for these young women and being a part of this great learning process is very rewarding since we are helping these delegates continue their education and further their careers. 

What are some of your tasks while volunteering?

As the Executive Director, I manage and oversee the entire operation of the Miss Mississippi Corporation. It’s a lot of coordinating and developing those relationships so we can do it all again the next year. 

What have you learned from volunteering with this program/organization(s)?

One thing I have learned is how incredible it has been to get to know our volunteers and develop these long-term friendships. We have people that live in our community and out of our community that come back every year. We have a lot of people that help with the pageant such as our hostess, staff and crew but also our local directors around the state. It’s great to be part of a community with many long-term friendships within our community, state and even the nation. 

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.