Chamber Pulls Off Spectacular July Fourth

Friday, July 7, 2006
Miss Marshall County 2006 Victoria Lynn (Tori) Richardson.

The Marshall County Chamber of Commerce enjoyed yet another spectacular Fourth of July celebration at the Lewisburg Recreation Center with the people of Marshall County who came out in great numbers to see the crowning of Miss Marshall County 2006, Victoria Lynn (Tori) Richardson.

Tori Richardson is the daughter of Rex and Jody Richardson of Lewisburg and was sponsored for the event by Scot Bush State Farm Insurance. She will be a senior at MCHS this fall and plans to attend Florida State University after graduation to major in operational meteorology. Tori is a MCHS Cheerleader, a member of the chorus and a tennis player having earned a berth in the State Tournament for the past three seasons. She serves as a member of several school and community organizations and clubs and is employed by Scot Bush State Farm Insurance.

Tori was chosen Miss Marshall County 2006 out of 33 contestants this year and was joined as one of Five Finalists by Miss Congeniality and First Runner-up Christina Mai Davis, Second Runner-up Emilie Grace Dalton, Third Runner-up Mallory Michelle Haislip and Fourth Runner-up Kimberli Nicole Conro.

The Five Finalists for the Miss Marshall County Pageant are Emilie Dalton, Second Runner-up, Christy Davis, First Runner-up, Miss Marshall County Tori Richardson, Mallory Haislip, Third Runner-up and Kimi Conro, Fourth Runner-up.

The pageant is always the most popular event of the Chamber Fourth of July celebrations but nothing is more popular than the crowning of the Little Miss and Mister Marshall County. This year, 4 Little Misters and 21 Little Misses donned their finest and made the walk around the pool for the judges and fans. Taking home the crown as Little Miss Marshall County 2006 is Caroline Grace McCormick. She is the daughter of Chuck and Alyssa McCormick. Caroline will be in the first grade at Marshall Elementary this fall. Joining McCormick in the Top Three Finalists were First Runner-up Anna Marie Hawkins, daughter of Hale and Kathryn Hawkins, and Second Runner-up Madison Elizabeth Curtis, daughter of Shannon and Lori Curtis.

Little Mister Marshall County 2006 is Jaleel Howard. He is the son of Janel Johnson and Roderick Howard. Jaleel is 5-years-old and attends Marshall Elementary School. Joining Jaleel in the Top Three Finalists were First Runner-up Raymond Weir Cooksey, IV, son of Ray and Angie Cooksey, and Second Runner-up Ryan Prosser, son of Steve and Sharron Prosser.

With the crowning of the new Miss Marshall County and Little Miss and Mister Marshall County, it meant a fond farewell to last year's winners. Deanna Barlar served as Miss Marshall County 2005 and has spent the past year representing Marshall County in many local and regional events. She assisted in the pageant before taking her final walk before the fans as Miss Marshall County. The 2005 Little Miss and Mister Taylor Powers and Charlie Pack also said their good-byes with a final walk. The cute young couple provided entertainment throughout the pageant thanks to Master of Ceremonies, Barry White.

Barry White has served as Master of Ceremonies for the Miss Marshall County pageant for many years and always makes the evening more fun. Whether it's talking with the Little Miss contestants or helping to ease the nerves of the Miss Marshall County contestants, White is a fan favorite with his witty banter.

The pageant began with the first entertainers of the evening, the Marshall County Girls Trio, Lauren Dumser, Fain Watson and Megan Warren, singing the National Anthem. While the judges tabulated their voting on the Little Miss and Mister contestants, Ashley Reed of Shelbyville performed for the crowd singing patriotic songs. During the Miss Marshall County pageant, Dayla Swanson of Lewisburg, accompanied by Madison Burklow on guitar, performed for the fans a series of contemporary country favorites.

Outstanding Citizen Beulah Taylor Wilson

Another important portion of the Miss Marshall County pageant is the naming of the Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year. The Chamber announced its choice for the 2006 Outstanding Citizen during its annual breakfast on Monday, July 3. Chair of the Chamber Outstanding Citizen Committee Betty Ann Ogilvie presented the 2006 Outstanding Citizen award to Beulah Taylor Wilson.

Wilson moved to Lewisburg in 1942 and is the mother of two sons, Tommy and Will, and five grandchildren.

"She has been an asset to our county for a long time," said Ogilvie.

Since her retirement, Wilson has been a good neighbor to the people of Marshall County through her service to Meals on Wheels. She has always been available to take friends and relatives to the doctor's office or to the hospital and has given of her time and her money to those in need in Marshall County.

"She is a caring, compassionate, Christian lady," Ogilvie said.

Wilson accepted the honor with humble grace during the announcement Tuesday night at the pageant.

"Thank you all for your kindness and for the pleasure I have for knowing all of you," she said. "I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

The Chamber Breakfast is the first part of the Fourth of July celebrations and provides the opportunity to not only announce the Outstanding Citizen but also to introduce members to the talented artists of Marshall County with the Arts A Poppin' showcase. With entertainment provided by the Greater First Baptist Church Choir, guests of the breakfast were able to walk around the conference room of the Lewisburg Recreation Center and enjoy all the tremendous art presented by 55 Marshall County artists. Director of the Arts A Poppin' Show and Sale, Melanie Gordon, always ensures that the event is worthy of the art on display and received a very special gift of thanks for her efforts from the Chamber of Commerce and President Tommy Bowles. (See Arts A Poppin' winners and photos in special edition inside)

Full Day of Events

The Fourth of July celebrations begin early with a host of events throughout the day provided by the Chamber of Commerce, the Lewisburg Recreation Center and WAXO TV/Radio. The first event is the annual 5K Run and Walk where men and women start at the Recreation Center and move on to the square and back again. The winners are awarded in age groups for men and women according to their times. This year, the overall Men's Winner was Kelby Sisco who finished the run with a time of 19.11. Starr Murdock was the overall Women's Winner with a time of 20:22. (See photos of winners in special edition inside)

Next comes another of the most popular events of the day, the annual Baby Contest. Little ones from 0-9 months to 37-59 months get all dolled up for the judges, parents and grandparents to see who is the cutest of the cute. More than 100 little ones competed in this year's Baby Contest emceed by former Chamber of Commerce President Craig Blackwell. (See winners and photos in special edition inside)

Along with hosting the annual 5K Run, the Lewisburg Recreation Center hosts the Adult and Youth Tennis Fun Doubles Tennis Tournament. The Tournament is a daylong event featuring some of the best tennis players in the county from kids to adults. Winners of this year's tournament will be announced at a later date.

WAXO TV/Radio hosted another fun Music in the Park during the Fourth of July celebrations featuring music, talent show, Patriotic Pet contest, Classic Car Show and more. (See Winners and Photos from the day of events in special edition inside)

The Chamber of Commerce would like to thank everyone who sponsored, volunteered their time or helped in anyway to make this Fourth of July another special one. There are so many people and organizations along with the County and the Cities of Marshall County that work very hard each year to help the Chamber of Commerce, its president, executive director and board of directors bring the Fourth of July alive for the citizens of Marshall County to enjoy.