The 50th Annual Ms. ABAC pageant broke tradition this year when the Ag Business Club hosted the event in the spring semester instead of the fall. Although this was a huge change, it didn’t affect the number of contestants or the huge crowd.
“The move didn’t affect the event whatsoever. The only thing I can think of is if someone wanted to be a contestant who recently graduated. They didn’t get a chance to contend,” the president of the Ag Business club, Lauren Braddy, said.
Twenty-one contestants competed for the title of Ms. ABAC 2019. These contestants included Katibeth Mims, Caitlyn Lawton, Madison Barber, Abigail Stumpf, Rebecca Davis, Megan Thackston, Kaycee Goodman, Lexie Reynolds, Hayli Ary, Wellsley Martin, Lindsay Shurley, Charley Lollis, Jaylee Bass, Savannah Eastall, Meredith McGlamory, Madison Thompson, Natalie Meeks, Emily Ralston, Sara Faulk, Shelby Mumma and Chasity Denmark.
Every contestant has the qualities to become Ms. ABAC, but it comes down to who is the most deserving of the crown, the title and the responsibility.
“I am running for Ms. ABAC because while at ABAC, I’ve developed a passion for serving the institution through the ABAC Ambassadors and I go to a lot of events that Ms. ABAC would also attend. I feel like the title of Ms. ABAC would be an extension of myself and the service that I’ve already done here at the college. I believe that I deserve to be Ms. ABAC because of my involvement. I wouldn’t just be someone standing at an event, I know how to make our students and parents that come to our campus feel like this is their home, ” Jaylee Bass, contestant 13, said.
The show began when the contestants danced to “Gold” by Britt Nicole. The number was choreographed by Shannon Hawsey and Meredith Morgan. After the dance number, the pageant was split into two sections before revealing the top 10 contestants. These two sections were casual wear and the evening wear sections.
After a short break, the top 10 contestants were revealed. The top ten contestants included Jaylee Bass, sponsored by the ABAC Ambassadors; Meredith McGlamory, sponsored by Ag. Communicators of Tomorrow; Shelby Mumma, sponsored by Red Door Bible Study; Lindsay Shurley, sponsored by Sigma Alpha Sorority; Madison Barber, sponsored by Moore Farms; Kaycee Goodman, sponsored by Baptist Collegiate Ministry; Emily Ralston, sponsored by Sigma Alpha Sorority; Charlie Lollis, sponsored by Ag. Communicators of Tomorrow; Katibeth Mims, sponsored by Ag. Communicators of Tomorrow; and Wellsley Martin, sponsored by the Agronomy Club.
These contestants were asked a variety of questions to have the last chance to sway the judge’s choice such as how ABAC caters to military personnel, childhood memories, the qualities of a successful Ms. ABAC reign, study abroad programs, favorite memories at ABAC and what changes they would like to see at the college.
After the judge’s intermission, the awards ceremony began. Mike Chason announced the winners as Shannon Kehoe, Ms. ABAC 2018, presented the awards. The People’s Choice Award was awarded to the contestant who raised the most money for the Relay for Life.
The award was presented by Admissions Director, Donna Webb, to Caitlyn Lawton. The Essay and Congeniality award was awarded to Katibeth Mims. The interview award was presented to Meredith McGlamory. The fourth runner up was Madison Barber, the third runner up was Charlie Lollis, the second runner up was Meredith McGlamory and the first runner up was presented to Jaylee Bass.
Shannon Kehoe spoke about her experience as Ms. ABAC 2018 and advice that she has for future Ms. ABAC’s, “My time as Ms. ABAC 2018 was the best year of my life. I got the opportunity to connect with future students, represent the college that I am so passionate about and I got to fly in the hot air balloon at the Sunbelt Ag Expo.
As far as advice, take advantage of every experience possible. Take the little moments and cherish them, like taking photos with younger siblings of potential students who think your crown is the prettiest thing in the world. I may not get to wear my crown anymore, but I will always be Ms. ABAC.”
“Ms. ABAC 2019 is…,”
Anticipation from the crowd and the participants filled Howard Auditorium as Chason paused before announcing the winner of the pageant.
“Contestant number 10, Wellsley Martin.”
The crowd erupted in cheering and applause as Martin began crying. Kehoe helped Martin regain her composure as she placed the crown on her head and the sash over her shoulder.
“During the crowning, I had a hundred thoughts running through my mind, but what stands out when I look back is an overwhelming sense of happiness to have the privilege to represent ABAC with confidence, leadership, organization and morality during my upcoming senior year,” Martin said.