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April 2, 2012

Golden moment for 'Miss V-A' Rice

Event marks 50 years

VELMA — Shelby Rice started out the night just like the other 12 contestants, dressed in gold to celebrate Miss Velma-Alma’s Golden Anniversary. By the end of the night, however, Rice outshone the rest.

The Velma-Alma senior was crowned Miss Velma-Alma 2012, an honor that established her place in one of V-A’s longest traditions.

“Hearing my name called was very exciting and also a big relief,” Rice said. “Winning on the 50th anniversary is very special.”

Former Miss V-A’s representing every decade since the start of the pageant in 1962 joined the crowd for the anniversary. The former winners were introduced and escorted into the auditorium before the pageant.

Miss V-A 1978, and former 15 year pageant director, Sandy Ely Pogue, entertained the audience with fun facts and stories about the pageant’s history and former pageant winners.

The contestants today still understand how important the tradition is to the school and community.

“Miss Velma-Alma is an important tradition in our community, and as a younger student I always looked up to the girls in Miss Velma-Alma and hoped that I would one day be chosen for the title,” Rice said.

Rice knows the meaning of “third time is a charm.” She was named first runner-up at the pageant her sophomore and junior years, but said she wasn’t expecting to win the title on this third go-round.

“I definitely did not expect to win. Everyone had a great night and anyone in the pageant could have been selected,” she said.

Rice wasn’t the only winner of the night, as senior Gus Burton was chosen by the pageant contestants as Mr. Velma-Alma 2012.

Shalyn Files was named first runner-up, followed by Kylee Saville as second runner-up, as well as Miss Photogenic. Whitney Hall and Haley McNeill came in third and fourth runners-up, respectively.

Jordan Layn was voted by the contestants as Miss Congeniality.

The night, however, was Rice’s.

“Miss Velma-Alma is a positive influence in the lives of students as well as others in the community. I look forward to representing our school and carrying on the tradition for the next year,” she said.

“I would like to thank our pageant directors and school administrators for their support of this event through the years.

The contestants appreciate what is done to make Miss Velma-Alma possible each year.”

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