Molly Grimes wins Junior Miss

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 28, 2003

For two nights they took the stage, young, bright, talented and poised. They'd spent weeks learning their dance routines, practicing for their solo performances, and getting to know one another. In the end, only one would be named Covington County Junior Miss, but as a group, they all won - they won new friends, measures of self-esteem and

a new insight into their community.

When emcee John Croft announced Molly Grimes of Opp as the winner of the Junior Miss Program Saturday night, she was immediately swamped with congratulatory hugs from the other young ladies. And parents. And sponsors - and anyone else who could squeeze onto the stage of the Dixon Center at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College -Andalusia Campus.

"They are all winners," Croft had said earlier.

Her medal around her neck and her arms full of roses, Grimes joined her alternates: Shae Smith, first alternate; Rachel Stinson, second alternate; Libby Gantt, third alternate; and Exa Johnston, fourth alternate, for photographs.

Grimes, whose talent was a dance-acrobatic routine, was one of five from the previous night's talent competition asked to repeat their performance for the Saturday night show.

The others were Rachel Stinson, performing the comic song "Adelaide's Lament" from the musical Guys and Dolls; Megan Young, performing a vocal and sign interpretation of "Amazing Grace" in the native Creek language; Libby Gantt, who danced a variation from the ballet '"La Paquita"; and Shae Smith, who sang another fun number, "I won't Grow Up," from Peter Pan.

Besides winning the talent category, she also won the fitness category. Of course, she was not the only one to walk away with honors. The winners of the TSU Chancellor's Awards from Troy State University, which are solely academic based, were Anna Marie Erdy, Exa LeeAnne Johnston, who also won the "Be Your Best Self Award," and Britney Shae Smith. The Chancellor's Awards provide full four-year college tuition from TSU.

The other category winners were: Spirit Award, (in a rare tie), Sarah Elizabeth Gallion and Libby Gantt; Poise, Libby Gantt; Scholastics, Anna Erdy; and Interview, Rachel Stinson.

Despite the baseball tournament carrying on simultaneously across the street, the event went smoothly both evenings, with Croft garnering more than a few chuckles as he emceed both nights. The audience, which had been enthusiastically supportive of all the young women, also began to applaud when Croft, too, came onstage. After the third or fourth time, Croft grinned.

"My mother must be in the audience tonight," he quipped.

Sponsors and helpers were thanked, with special introductions made for the "Little Sisters," the rising juniors who helped the Junior Miss participants throughout the week.

Choreographer Aimee Rials, performed a special dance number as well.



An inteview with Covington County's new Junior Miss will be in the Wednesday edition of the Star-News.