By Shannon Beamon, Staff Writer
CNHI News Service
Friday, October 4, 2013 —
It’s not all ribbons and tiaras for the winners of the Miss Stanly County Pageant. There’s a lot to be done after the pageant itself.
With the 2014 Miss Stanly County Pageant this Saturday, Madison Harvell, current Miss Stanly County, said her title is just as much about what happens after the pageant as it is about what happens during it.
“I won’t say I’ve matured, I felt mature before this, but I’ve grown as a person. I know more about Stanly County and I’ve been able to see more and do more,” Harvell said.
After winning the title of Miss Stanly, Harvell went on to win the title of Miss Congeniality at the Miss North Carolina Pageant.
“One of the highlights of all of this is that we get to take the girls to Miss North Carolina,” Judy Tucker, executive director of the Miss Stanly County Pageant Association, said.
“I think I was more blown away by it than Madison.”
The Miss Stanly County and Junior Miss Stanly County pageant is open to any girl from Stanly County from ages 13-24 and is patterned after an official Miss North Carolina or Miss America pageant. Everyone who enters competes in five events: Interview, on-stage question, talent, evening gown and fitness/swim-wear.
However, it’s after winning the title of Miss Stanly County and Miss Congeniality, that Harvell felt she grew the most.
“My speaking ability is better than it has ever been. I’m so much more confident of what I have to say now. I’m more certain of myself in general,” Harvell said.
In the past year, Harvell has visited nursing homes, appeared in parades and at special events and worked with the Stanly County Humane Society on animal cruelty prevention.
“It was part of my platform. I got to go out there and work with them, which was great,” Harvell said.
“It’s not just about the pageant, it’s about broadening your world,” Tucker said.
“I think for Madison it enabled her to see her strength.”
Tucker, who won a pageant herself when she was younger, said it was one of the most empowering experiences she ever had.
“I remember feeling like it was the biggest deal in the world. That’s what we want for them. It’s about giving those girls that confidence,” Tucker said.
Tucker said it is a chance for them to be a role model as well.
Harvell worked with the girls from the Junior Miss Stanly County Pageant as well.
“They went with us to make appearances and to visit different places,” Harvell said.
She said if she had one piece of advice to give to the next Miss Stanly County it would be this: “Be proud of who you are and just because you’re from a small county doesn’t mean you’re meant for small things. This is an awesome place and it’s something to be proud of.”
Harvell said when she first won her titles, it was overwhelming. She couldn’t believe it, and she wasn’t sure what to do.
But after a year as Miss Stanly County, she’s learned a lot about her community.
“I just want to get more involved in Stanly County and tell others about what an awesome place it is.”
To submit story ideas, contact Shannon Beamon at (704) 982-2121 ext. 24 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.