Holmes wins True Beauty crown
by Vicky Kaniaru
(On the cover: Photography and Design / Carrie Ann Sienkiewicz.)
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) — Truett-McConnell College psychology students sponsored the True Beauty Pageant April 19 to help raise funds for the White County Special Olympics.
After a night of smiles, poses, and talents, Abbie Holmes won the crown of Miss True Beauty. Holmes is the daughter of Jim and Mary Holmes. Jim is senior pastor of Helen First Baptist Church and adjunct professor at Truett-McConnell, where Mary is head golf coach.
Holmes won the hearts of those assembled at White County High School when she asked them, "Is everybody ready to party?" prior to her spunky rendition of the song "Give it up" by Victorious Cast.
Song and dance highlighted the talent section of the contest. Gene Autry danced, escorted by Truett-McConnell student Jacob Spencer. Mary Goodman sang Billy Currington's "Good Directions." Jessica Ortega sang Bill Withers' "Lean on Me." Tiffany Flack wowed the audience with her dance to "Jesus is Alive." And Tanner Croya sang Carrie Underwood's "Good Girl."
A psychology professor at Truett-McConnell, Holly Haynes told TMCNews she supported the event because she hopes psychology students will "understand the fulfillment of the Great Commission both from local and global perspectives. An event like the True Beauty pageant allowed the students to demonstrate and receive an outpouring of love from the White County community.
"I think that the event was extremely successful in redefining the students' perceptions of those with special needs, and was powerful in helping us all rethink our cultural definition of beauty," the Harvard graduate said.
The pageant included contestants from elementary to high school, and each entrant received an award based on her performance. Participants included Olivia Arrowood, Miss Congeniality; Sarah Arrowood, Best Smile; Gene Autry, Best Attitude; Naomi Blanck, Loveliest; Karlie Burren, Best Hair; Cara Chappell, Most Friendly; Tanner Croya, Most Personable; Ashlan Davis, Most Athletic; Kalan Davis, Miss Runway; Rachael Dodd, Most Elegant; Rhonda Dodd, Best Dressed; Tiffany Flack, Most Talented; Mary Goodman, Most Spirited; Ashley King, Best Personality; Hannah Sullens, Most Outgoing; and Jessica Ortega, Most Energetic.
The pageant raised $700 for White County Special Olympics, whose officials express appreciation to Butterfly Kisses Boutique, Holly Haynes, White County High School, and all volunteers.