Miss Darlington pageants to return
DARLINGTON – The new Miss Darlington and Miss Darlington Teen Scholarship Pageant Board and committee members are in full swing planning and preparing for the return of one of the city’s biggest events.
The event, set for May 21 at St. John’s Elementary School Auditorium, will crown two new beauty queens who will represent the city at the 2018 Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen pageant in Columbia. The theme of the pageant is “It’s Magic”
“We’re taking it back to the old school and going to crown our winners a year in advance and let them go as observers to Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen 2017,” new local executive director Will Isgett said. “This will give our winners a full 13 months to prepare to become Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen.”
Isgett directed the Miss Darlington and Miss Darlington Teen pageants from 2008-2012, but took a small break and helped revive the Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival pageant, which also sent its winners to Miss South Carolina.
“I appreciate the Darlington Pilot Club and all the support they gave me and the girls, but my heart was always truly with the Miss Darlington and Miss Darlington Teen pageants,” Isgett said. “Ruth Flowers and Belinda Copeland (Darlington Pilot Club) will always hold a special place in my heart and I know they would want me to continue with the pageant in some way or another.”
Isgett had decided to take another small break away from the pageant after giving up the Sweet Potato Pageant and was asked to serve in some capacity with the Miss South Carolina pageant, but decided that his work with the girls on the local level was more important to him.
“I love working with Miss Darlington and Miss Darlington Teen and helping get their personal messages and platforms out there,” Isgett said. “They become like family to me and we will continue that with our new board and committee.”
When deciding on a chairman of the board for the new Miss Darlington Pageant, Isgett chose one of his former queens, Ashley Dingle, who was a top 10 finalist under him at Miss South Carolina and the next year went back as Miss Liberty and was named third runner-up to Miss South Carolina. She is now the director of the Gould Business Incubator at Florence-Darlington Technical College.
The secretary of the board is former Darlington County School District employee Lynn Covington. Treasurer of the board for the pageant is Dedicated Community Bank Vice President Ginger Perry.
Other committee members include Kendall Standish, judges host, Rita Buck, winners preparation lead, Kaitlyn Bailey, winners preparation team and Anthony Matthews, winners preparation team. Also, Elaine Reed, Angie Stone Godbold, Anthony Outlaw, Ronald Page, Anna Perry, Teresa Moore, Rebekah Westmoreland, Dohnia Galloway, Tammy Bullock, Janet Gardner, marketing and graphic design, Dave Cummins, production director and Leon Holden-stage manager.
“I feel like we have assembled the dream team,” Isgett said. “I wanted people with expertise in all areas because we are going to do everything in our power to produce Darlington’s first Miss South Carolina, Miss South Carolina Teen, Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen.
The pageant will feature emcee Nicole Boone of WBTW News 13, Magician Kim Cranford, Miss Darlington 2012 Clarka Wickliffe, the Brenda Cranford School of Dance and Miss Darlington Teen 2010 Caroline Byrd.
“We are bringing an event to Darlington like no other,” Isgett said. “My hope is that this will bring our wonderful community together and help us unite as one.”
To enter Miss Darlington contestants must be 17 (rising senior in high school for 2017-2018 school year) to 24 years old (cannot turn 25 by Dec. 31, 2018.
To enter Miss Darlington Teen contestants must be 13-17 (must be entering your junior year in high school in the 2017-2018 school year).
Miss Darlington will walk away with a $1,500 scholarship and an array of prizes while Miss Darlington Teen will win a $100 savings bond, an array of prizes and entry paid to the 2018 Miss South Carolina Teen pageant.
For more information on the pageant check out its website at http://missdarlingtonsc.wixsite.com/darlingtonpageant or email Isgett at willisgett@hotmail. com.
All application information is posted on the website.