thomastontimes.com

Miss Hummingbird winners looking forward to festival

Jennifer Shrader Staff writer

September 17, 2013

Sunday night’s Miss America pageant had two local hopefuls watching.


Miss Hummingbird Festival Kelly Donoghue of Marietta, and Miss Hummingbird Festival Outstanding Teen Ashton Leddon of Columbus, were recently crowned in ceremonies in LaGrange and both say they’re looking forward not only to the next Miss Georgia pageant but the Hummingbird Festival in October.


Name: Kelly Donoghue


Age: 17


Hometown: Marietta


Family: Mother, Maureen; Father, Tom; Sister, Erin


Where do you attend school? Walton High School


What are your hobbies? Manager of the varsity baseball team, swim coach for the Cobb County Special Olympics swim team


What are your future plans? Attend the University of Georgia as a marketing major


How long have you been involved in pageants? What got you started?


I started my freshman year with my school pageant – my friend Michelle asked me to do it with her, and I was not thrilled about it to say they least. I ended up winning for the freshman class. It caught my interest, so I reached out to the lady that helped us with the school pageant, Mrs. Alice. She recommended the Miss America system. I competed in my first one the next October and I’ve been competing ever since.


What is your platform and how did you pick it? How will you be promoting it in the next year?


My platform is Special Friends through Special Olympics. I was a swim coach for the Special Olympics swim team before I began competing, so it was an easy choice when it came time to pick a platform. Currently, I am working with the Fragile Kids Foundation to plan a movie night in various counties. This will provide an opportunity for the special needs and mainstream communities to come together for interaction. I will also be attending the winter games opening ceremony in December, as well as continuing to coach the swim team.


What is your talent?


I sing. At Miss Hummingbird Festival, I sang a medley of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”


How do you feel about being chosen as the winner? What was the night of the pageant like for you?


It was such a humbling experience to be chosen as Miss Hummingbird Festival. I have previously competed in the Outstanding Teen program. I was third runner up at Miss Georgia’s Outstanding Teen in June. This was my first run in the Miss division, so I was very intimidated, but being confident in my abilities, I believe, really helped with capturing the title.


What will you be doing at the Hummingbird Festival this year? What do you think of Hogansville and the festival?


There are many events that I will be attending as Miss Hummingbird Festival. I will be entertaining during the festival. I am excited to get to see more of Hogansville and be able to experience the festival for the first time. I am aware that it is full of charity, so I am excited to participate.


Miss Hummingbird Festival Outstanding Teen


Name: Ashton Taylor Leddon


Age: 16


Hometown: Columbus


Family: Steve and Tracy Leddon.


School: Brookstone High School


Hobbies: Singing, Cheerleading, Community Service, Junior Cotillion, School Clubs; Cougars 4 Kids, Key Club, Cougar Pride, Drama Club, and Choir.


Future Plans: I plan to pursue a career in pediatric medicine.


How long have you been involved in pageants? What got you started?


This will be my second year being involved with the Miss Georgia pageant system. I have grown up watching the Miss America pageants on television and each year I grew more interested into what these young women had to do to be on that stage. I looked up to these young women because they were poised, beautiful, and all stood for something that touched the lives of others. This encouraged me to follow in their footsteps.


What is your platform and how did you pick it? How will you be promoting it in the next year?


My platform is Children’s Miracle Network with an emphasis on Premature Birth. I am living proof that miracles do happen because I was born premature and if it were not for Children’s Miracle Network I would not be here today. I have an exciting year planned to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network – some examples of the fundraisers I have planned are: American Girl Doll Pajama Party, silent auctions, Children’s Miracle Network Christmas party, and a bass fishing tournament.


What is your talent?


Vocal Performance


How do you feel about being chosen as the winner? What was the night of the pageant like for you?


I am so blessed to be chosen as Miss Hummingbird Festival’s Outstanding Teen! I can not wait for this year and to see what God has in store for me. I am also excited to work with such an amazing board. When I officially got to meet them this past Sunday I could tell that we would have an awesome year together. To be honest I have not stopped smiling since I was crowned.


What will you be doing at the Hummingbird Festival this year? What do you think of Hogansville and the festival?


This year Mallory Daniel, Kelly Donoghue, and I will be hosting the Hummingbird Festival. I will be doing a vocal performance and I will also be greeting the public. Although I have never attended the Hummingbird Festival I have heard that it is a wonderful event in Hogansville. I am honored to represent the city of Hogansville throughout the state of Georgia!