Soft shades of purple, like a garden of lilac, pansy, heliotrope, and mulberry blushed behind a stage full of young ladies Saturday night in Newnan.
Donned in jewel-toned gowns, participants in Georgia’s Jr. Miss Program were at their best for the state competition.
Thomaston and Upson County were strongly represented by Thomaston's Junior Miss 2009 Sara Lynn Colley and Upson County's Junior Miss 2009 Carly Gill.
Local Committee Chair, Julie Love, praised the two local girls. "I am so proud of both of our representatives. They were stand-outs in a field of exceptional young women.
“Working with them and their Junior Miss classmates has been a pleasure. Junior Miss girls remind us that, despite the negative things we hear about teens, there are many out there who are focused, responsible, intelligent, giving and talented.
“We need to be telling their stories more often!"
The program was held at the Newnan Center for Performing Arts and featured 16 outstanding rising senior girls from around the state.
The areas of competition included: scholastics, interview, fitness, self-expression, and talent.
Georgia’s Junior Miss awarded over $11,000 in college scholarship money. Thomaston’s Jr. Miss, Carly Gill, was among those receiving scholarship awards.
She received a Self-Expression award, a Talent award, and was named 1st Runner Up to Georgia’s Junior Miss.
“I never thought I would get an award. All the girls there were so talented and some of the best girls in the state. There was no way to predict who might win, “ said an enthusiastic Carly.
“I am very excited and honored. I had a lot of people supporting me which was really nice.”
Junior Miss promotes a platform encouraging girls to "Be Your Best Self".
Carly continued, “I felt good about my talent and fun. I did the best I could and I guess that best paid off.
“No matter what you do, try your hardest - it can pay off!”
Carly added, “I prayed a lot and trusted in God and I put my best out there.”
When asked about her “duties” as 1st runner up, Carly said she would perform her talent in next year’s program and would probably be a part of that award ceremony.
The Thomaston-Upson County Junior Miss Scholarship Program is the oldest local Junior Miss program in Georgia and one of the oldest in the country.
Love said, “The local committee appreciates the continued support of the community.
"It is through the generosity of local individuals and businesses that Junior Miss continues to thrive and to be a worthy tradition for high school Junior girls." Junior Miss is operated at the local and state level totally by volunteers.
"The volunteers are involved because they see the confidence girls gain as they participate in the Junior Miss experience,” explained Love.
“Junior Miss is not a beauty pageant. It is a program that stresses being the best you can be in every area of your life."
Colley and Gill were part of the 51st Thomaston-Upson County Junior Miss class. Thomaston-Upson County Junior Miss and Georgia’s Junior Miss are part of the America's Junior Miss Scholarship Program.
For more information about Junior Miss, visit: www.ajm.org.