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Campbell chosen as 2007 Junior Miss

Ponytails, poodle skirts and old-time rock n' roll set the perfect ‘50s tone for Saturday night's Butler County Junior Miss Scholarship Program at the Greenville High School Auditorium.

Members of the Camellia City Junior Woman's Club donned their pearls, twin sets and pink scarves to welcome attendees to &#8220Cruisin' into the ‘50s with Jr. Miss.” Other blue jean-clad ladies wearing the evening's signature hot pink tees kept things running smoothly behind the scenes with what CCJWC members uniformly described as &#8220a really good group of girls.”

Out of that &#8220really good group,” the panel of five judges chose dark-haired Elisa Campbell, a senior at Fort Dale Academy, as the 2007 Butler County Junior Miss.

In addition to her $2,000 cash tuition scholarship, Campbell, the daughter of Judy Campbell of Greenville, took home category awards and $100 cash prizes in the Fitness, Self-Expression and the &#8220Be Your Best Self” Award categories.

During the talent competition, she performed a spirited dance number to the light-hearted &#8220Here I Am” from the musical &#8220Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”

Campbell plans to attend Troy University and major in Pre-Medicine.

Laura Tucker, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Rogers and Jimmy Tucker, was selected first alternate and winner of the &#8220Spirit of Junior Miss” Award.

Tucker, also a senior at FDA, performed a lively tap dance in top hat and tails to &#8220Happy Feet.” Tucker earned a $1,000 cash tuition scholarship and $100 cash prize for her category award. She plans to study accounting at Auburn University.

Second alternate and winner of the Scholastic Award was Greenville High School's Nancy Johnson. Johnson, daughter of Leroy and Lorean Johnson of Greenville, delighted the audience with her humorous monologue, taking on the guise of a six-year-old girl asking God for a little help after accidentally breaking a window.

Johnson, who aspires to a degree from Perdue University and a career in law and the military, took home a $500 scholastic cash scholarship in addition to her $100 cash prize for winning a category award.

Brittany Byrd, a senior at Greenville High, wowed the audience and took home the Talent Award and a $100 cash prize for her excellent rendition of haughty diva Carlotta's

&#8220This Place is Mine” from &#8220Phantom of the Opera.” Byrd, the daughter of Kathie Hamilton and Kurt Byrd of Greenville, plans to attend the University of Alabama and major in Biblical Archaeology.

Other Junior Miss participants were Kathryn Sanford of McKenzie High School, Carmen Bozeman of Georgiana High and Kris Ferguson, LaVeda Cleare, Leslie Palmer, Meghan Branum and Kari Rogers, all of Greenville High.

Emcee Katie Boyd, the current Miss Tombigbee and first alternate in last year's Miss Alabama Scholarship Program, lauded all the girls for their performances on stage Saturday night.

&#8220To stand up on this stage in front of all the people they know and love, it is very hard and they deserve your applause,” Boyd said. Boyd, a gifted dancer who has won a number of talent awards herself, performed as part of the special entertainment for the evening. Wendy Kimbro showed off a powerhouse voice as she performed &#8220Hopelessly Devoted to You” and the disco anthem &#8220I Will Survive.”

2005 Junior Miss Lacey Norrell shared her memories of the learning experience the local and state programs had been for her.

&#8220If you are going in just thinking about winning a title or money, you are missing out on so much. I gained so much more than that,” Norrell told Boyd in an on-stage interview.

The Junior Miss Little Sisters, high school juniors who assist their &#8220big sisters” behind the scenes and take part in on-stage numbers, got a taste of what the spirit of Junior Miss is all about.

Summer Skipper, Lauren Bryan, Hayden Brown, Julie Scott, Anna Schofield, Rebekah Stallings, Abbey Mullins, Shanquita Scarver, Brittney Harvill, Olivia Glenn and Amy Campbell served as this year's Little Sisters.

As well-wishers crowded around the contestants for photos and hugs after the event, choreographer Lori Cummings gave a huge smile and sigh of relief.

&#8220They did really, really well. They learned quickly.”

Audience member Jean Katz, mother of former Butler County Junior Miss Jeannie Katz Hamilton, said this year's field of talent was one of the strongest in her memory.

&#8220The girls did a uniformly good job. I was very impressed.”