40 women ready to compete for 2010 Miss Georgia title

Winner will be crowned Saturday at Bill Heard Theatre

sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comJune 16, 2010 

The 66th Miss Georgia Scholarship Pageant begins today.

The 40 contestants will have been placed into three groups and will compete in swimsuit, talent and evening wear in rotating groups in the preliminaries today through Friday at the Bill Heard Theatre inside the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

The finals are Saturday. The competition begins at 7:30 p.m. each night at the Heard Theatre. Tickets for Wednesday and Thursday is $30, Friday is $60 and Saturday is $80.

New this year in entertainment are hip-hop dancers from South Carolina called UNEEK-EFX. DJ LuCa will spin tunes before each show and during intermission to get the crowd going.

Janet Roddy, a longtime Miss Georgia board member, is the director/producer of the show for the third year.

She’s assisted by another longtime board member Barbara Motos and this year, has a co-producer, Michael Ruddell of Atlanta, who works for Michael Blair Productions. Ruddell has been a co-host for several years and has been a featured vocalist as well.

Ruddell is also the co-host of the pageant, working with Miss Georgia 1998 April Brinson Slaughenhoup.

One of the judges will be a familiar face — Miss Georgia 1997 Candice Little Wickersham, who has been working as a television news anchor, including a stint at WRBL-TV 3. She’s now a stay-at-home mother with a daughter, Willow. She joins four other judges this year.

Here are the women who will compete for the Miss Georgia title:

MISS MUSIC CITY

Brittany Joy McCalla

Age: 24

School: Webster University

Talent: Vocal, “A Song for You”

Hometown: Valdosta

Platform: Identity Theft Awareness & Prevention

MISS WAYNE COUNTY

Ashley Taylor Voyles

Age: 18

School: Waycross College/Wayne Co. High ACCEL Program Joint Enrollment

Talent: Pop vocal, “Warwick Avenue”

Hometown: Jessup

Platform: Join My Click

MISS AUGUSTA

Brittany Hill

Age: 21

School: The Medical College of Georgia

Talent: Vocal, “Home Sweet Home”

Hometown: Summerville

Platform: Make a Wish Foundation: Sharing the power of a wish

MISS CHEROKEE ROSE

Michaela Grace Lackey

Age: 20

School: University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA)

Talent: Classical Ballet En Pointe, Louis Moreau Gottschalk’s “Tournament Galop”

Hometown: Marietta

Platform: P.A.S.S.I.O.N.: Performing Artists Serving Society In Our Neighborhoods

MISS ATLANTA

Laura Margaret Stone

Age: 23

School: University of Georgia – Graduate

Talent: Piano, Khachaturian’s “Toccata”

Waynesboro

Platform: First Vote: Empowering the Youth Voice

MISS SPIRIT OF GEORGIA

Brittney Griffith

Age: 23

School: Armstrong Atlantic State University

Talent: Vocal, “O Mio Babbino Caro”

Hometown: Savannah

Platform: Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization: Building Self-Esteem in Today’s Youth

MISS ALBANY

Alexa Turpin

Age: 21

School: Georgia Southern University

Talent: Tap Dance, “Footloose”

Hometown: Albany

Platform: Increasing Volunteerism in America “Making a Difference One Person at a Time

MISS GWINNETT COUNTY

Kristen Springer

Age: 21

School: Houston Community College

Talent: Ballet en Pointe, Carmina Burana-O Fortuna

Hometown: Snellville

Platform: Discover Dance: The Creative Arts in Education

MISS FULTON COUNTY

Kierra Anderson

Age: 22

School: Georgia State University

Talent: Jazz Dance Selection

Hometown: Douglasville

Platform: Step Out, Join the Fight Against Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association

MISS EAST GEORGIA COLLEGE

Tiffini Brooke Rowland

Age: 19

School: East Georgia College

Talent: Tap dance, “Bleeding Love”

Hometown: Midville

Platform: Make Good Choices: National Highway Safety Traffic Administration

MISS TROUP COUNTY

Jessica Lauren Scott

Age: 23

School: Columbus State University

Talent: Vocal, “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Hometown: LaGrange

Platform: NARHA – Appreciation the Power of the Horse to Change Lives

MISS GEORGIA COTTON

Lauren Arnold

Age: 23

School: UGA

Talent: Harp, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

Hometown: Blakely

Platform: Youth Volunteerism

MISS GOLDEN ISLES

Carly Floyd

Age: 21

School: Valdosta State University

Talent: Clogging, “Bad”

Hometown: Vidalia

Platform: Advocacy Centers Across America

MISS GREATER COLUMBUS FAIR

Colleen Stafford

Age: 18

School: Glynn Academy High School

Talent: Tap dance, “Superstition”

Hometown: St. Simons Island

Platform: “Get out. Get fit. Get healthy” A plan to keep kids active with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America

MISS UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Laura Lyn McLeod

Age: 21

School: UGA

Talent: Vocal, “Your Song”

Hometown: Pineview

Platform: Bakpak Buddeez “Because Hunger Doesn’t Take the Weekend Off”

MISS SOUTHWEST GEORGIA

Candace Howard

Age: 20

School: Valdosta State University

Talent: Lyrical ballet, “Gravity”

Hometown: Bainbridge

Platform: Kaleidoscope: The Colors of Dance

MISS CENTRAL GEORGIA FAIR

Morgan Lothridge

Age: 19

School: Gainesville State College

Talent: Tap dance, “Single Ladies”

Hometown: Vidalia

Platform: Fighting Childhood Obesity

MISS LAKE LANIER

Raven Raneae Hall

Age: 21

School: East Georgia College

Talent: Jazz En Pointe, I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Hometown: Swainsboro

Platform: Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention

MISS SOUTHEAST GEORGIA

Melissa Eldridge

Age: 23

School: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science-Chicago Medical School

Talent: Gymnastics dance, “Let’s Get Loud”

Hometown: Columbus

Platform: Breast Cancer Awareness

MISS EMANUEL COUNTY

Madison Brett

Age: 18

School: UGA

Talent: Tap dance, Smokey Joe’s “Café Medley”

Hometown: Kite

Platform: Organ Donation – The Gift of Life

MISS COBB COUNTY

Casy Walker

Age: 21

School: Georgia State University

Talent: Tap dance, “I Got Rhythm”

Hometown: Powder Springs

Platform: Autism Speaks – It’s Your Time to Listen

MISS COLUMBUS

Lauren Edmunds

Age: 21

School: UGA

Talent: Jazz dance, “Feelin’ Good”

Hometown: Americus

Platform: Breast Cancer: Fighting the Fear

MISS ROCKDALE COUNTY FAIR

Mia Jones

Age: 21

School: Atlanta Metropolitan College

Talent: Jazz dance, “Canned Hat”

Hometown: Atlanta

Platform: Seize Your Way Out

MISS GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Cierra Cherrelle Gilchrist

Age: 21

School: Georgia State University

Talent: Jazz dance, “I Gotta Feeling”

Hometown: Greenville, SC

Platform: Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness and Prevention

MISS ROME

Briana Jewett

Age: 21

School: University of Georgia

Talent: Contemporary dance en Pointe: “Fuego”

Hometown: Marietta

Platform: PEACE OUTside Campus

MISS CLERMONT DAYS

Courtney Piedrahita

Age: 22

School: North Georgia College and State University

Contemporary Violin: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”

Hometown: Braselton

Platform: Building Families; Building Futures, Giving Children Opportunity Through Adoption

MISS NORTHEAST GEORGIA

Jessica Olivia Black

Age: 24

School: UGA

Talent: Vocal, “Breakaway”

Hometown: Garfield

Platform: Making Memories, Saving Memories – Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease

MISS CAPITAL CITY

Jamie Kelton

Age: 22

School: University of Alabama

Talent: Contemporary dance, “Cry Me a River”

Hometown: Marietta

Platform: Adding Tomorrows through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

MISS COLUMBUS STATE UNIVERSITY

April Nicole Hollingsworth

Age: 21

School: Columbus State University

Talent: Pop Vocal, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey

Hometown: Whigham

Platform: Stand By Me: Making a Difference through Mentoring

MISS NORTH GEORGIA LAKES

Rachel Noel Jones

Age: 22

School: Georgia Highlands College

Talent: Vocal, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”

Hometown: Summerville

Platform: Circle of Hope: Preventing Child Abuse through Awareness, Education and Leadership

MISS HISTORIC SOUTHERN PLAINS

Whitney Cothran

Age: 24

School: University of Alabama

Talent: Ballet en Pointe, “Don Quixote”

Hometown: Franklin

Platform: “See and Hear First” – Mandatory Hearing and Vision Screening

MISS SOUTHERN RIVERS

Leslie Farman

Age: 23

School: Georgia College & State University

Talent: Piano, “Piano Concerto in A Minor” by Edvard Grieg

Hometown: Fayetteville

Platform: The Ronald McDonald House Charities

MISS WARNER ROBINS

Tara Scroggins

Age: 24

School: Georgia Southern University

Talent: Tap Dance, “Heartburn”

Hometown: Warner Robins

Platform: Volunteerism Through United Way

MISS SHORTER UNIVERSITY

Hannah Freeman

Age: 21

School: Shorter University

Talent: Opera vocal, “Quando M’en Vo”

Hometown: Sandersville

Platform: Promoting Cancer Support through Community Relay for Life Events

MISS ELBERTON FAIR

Amanda Erwin

Age: 23

School: Medical College of Georgia Dental School

Talent: Piano, “Root Beer Rag”

Hometown: Dewy Rose

Platform: A Safe Way Out: Stopping the Cycle of Domestic Violence

MISS HEART OF LAKES

Whitley Cooper

Age: 22

School: Kennesaw State University

Talent: Piano, “Rhapsodie” by Maxwell Eckstein

Hometown: Columbus

Platform: The Junior Achievement Organization

MISS SOUTHERN HEARTLAND

Christina Marie McCauley

Age: 21

School: Birmingham Southern College

Talent: Operetta, “This is My Beloved” from Kismet

Hometown: Marietta

Platform: “Let’s Get It Straight” – Scoliosis Awareness

MISS CUMMING COUNTRY FAIR

Alexis Caldwell

Age: 22

School: Harrison High School

Talent: Pop vocal, “Good Morning Baltimore”

Hometown: Powder Springs

Platform: Breast Cancer Awareness: Helping Teens Cope with the Personal

MISS THOMASVILLE

Hannah Gabrielle Barfield

Age: 21

School: UGA

Talent: Pop vocal, “If It Wasn’t For Your Love”

Hometown: Thomasville

Platform: Rape Abuse and Incest National Network

MISS SAVANNAH RIVER

Abby Killough

Age: 20

School: UGA

Talent: Vocal, “This is the Moment”

Hometown: Bainbridge

Platform: National Association of the Deaf

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