O#039;Toole takes Miss Alabama crown

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Two years ago Melinda Toole was chosen as Miss Greater Greenville. The Samford University student shared her singing voice, &#8220down-to-earth” charm and platform on character education with civic groups and schoolchildren all over The Camellia City.

Last Saturday night, the 22-year-old Birmingham resident and reigning Miss Samford University beat out 47 other contestants to earn the title of Miss Alabama 2006.

With the title come scholarship monies totaling more than $11,000 and the right to compete at Miss America in 2007.

The audience at Samford's Wright Center seemed to agree with the judges' decision.

&#8220According to the Birmingham News, the ‘crowd erupted' when the announcement was made. I was there and that was exactly how it was…the crowd was loud and screaming!” Miss Greater Greenville Scholarship Board Director, Sue Arnold, said.

Arnold and many of her fellow Miss GG Board members were on hand in Birmingham last week to cheer on both the reigning Miss GG, Kimberly Kirby, appearing at Miss Alabama for the first time, and Toole, who was Miss Greater Greenville 2004.

Toole also tied as the winner in the preliminary talent competition last Wednesday with her performance of &#8220Time to Say Goodbye.”

&#8220Melinda will be a wonderful Miss Alabama. She is gracious, beautiful and will be a sweet spirit for the board to deal with,” Arnold said.

In a June 12 article, the Samford graduate, who has postponed plans to begin her teaching career, told the Birmingham News she attributes her title &#8220to her motivation and persistence.”

After five years of competition in 23 preliminaries, and three years at the state finals, Toole has finally achieved her dream. With it, comes a year of duties and obligations the new Miss Alabama says she is looking forward to filling.

She doesn't mind postponing her teaching career for this opportunity. The scholarship monies will come in handy once she has spent a year in the classroom and is ready to pursue her master's degree, Toole said.

&#8220I get to be in the classroom as Miss Alabama anyway,” she told The News.