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A week to remember

Covington County’s Junior Miss said participating in the Alabama’s Junior Miss program was “one of the best experiences I think I’ve ever had.”

Lauren Powell, the daughter of Roger and Cathy Powell, was the third person in her family to participate in the state program. Both her mother and her sister, Allyn, are former junior misses.

The Andalusia High School senior is a member of the National Honor Society, president of the Anchor Club and secretary of the senior class. She was a PowerSouth Youth Tour winner, and represents the City of Andalusia as an ambassador.

As a member of the Andalusia Ballet’s Senior Company, she is no stranger to the stage. But performing in the state junior miss program was unlike any experience she’s ever had, she said.

“Being on stage was more extreme than anything I had performed in past,” she said. “The lights and the energy from the crowd were unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of.

“People were cheering,” she said. “There were night glow sticks and shakers all in the audience. The music was really pumped up, so the girls and the audience were, too.”

Among those cheering in the audience was a support group of about 90 people there to support Lauren.

Cathy Powell said her daughter’s fans were given light up pom-poms, neon signs and large buttons with her photo on them.

“I had one of the larger ones,” Lauren Powell said of the groups of fans in the audience. “I was really happy to have so many people come and support me.”

Another special part of the program was when Cathy and Allyn Powell were introduced on stage as “has beens” and gave a yell for this year’s No. 13, Lauren.

“It was neat that my mom and my sister were both in the has-been parade,” Lauren said. “And next year I’ll be with them.”

Lauren said she knew a number of the participants before Junior Miss week.

“But I left with so many more friends and some possible college roommates,” she said.

She hasn’t made a final decision on where she’ll attend school next near.

“Right now, my top choices are Auburn and Alabama,” she said. “There is a good variety of girls from the state Junior Miss going to each of them.”

Before leaving for her week in Montgomery, the women of her church, First Presbyterian, honored her with a tea. She also was the guest of honor at a Junior Miss tea hosted by Jenny Rogers and the board of directors of Covington County Junior Miss.

Michele Gerlach