THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
A new Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of Edgecombe County will be crowned Saturday night at Keihin Auditorium when the 2013 competition gets under way at 7 p.m.
Thirteen of Edgecombe County’s most outstanding high school junior girls will compete in the competition, formerly known as Junior Miss.
Competitors include (alphabetically) Kayla Abrams, daughter of Amy and Jandon Abrams; Caroline Ezzell, daughter of Kim and Lee Dennie and Tim Ezzell; Cassidy Harris, daughter of Michelle and Greg Harris; Katie King, daughter of Kimberly and Jimmie King; Haley Lewis, daughter of Dana and Tony Parisher; Samantha Moore, daughter of Timothy and Jackie Moore; Timiyra Murphy, daughter of Tiffany and Timothy Bridgers; Abena Reynolds, daughter of Beverly and Frankie Reynolds; Rebecca Riggs, daughter of Rae and Aaron Riggs; Quarshunda Smith, daughter of Kendra and Maurice Smith; Tangie Staton, daughter of Mary and Ricky Anthony; Allison Watson, daughter of Beth and Scott Watson, and Victoria Webb, daughter of Trina and Jesse Webb.
The young woman chosen as the Distinguished Young Woman (DYW) of Edgecombe County will represent Edgecombe County at the state competition in Greensboro next February, but prior to that, she will travel around the state as the official ambassador for the county.
The DYW program had its beginnings in Mobile, Ala. in the 1920s and the first national
finals were held in March 1958 at the Saenger Theater in downtown Mobile, with 18 states represented. Phyllis Whitenack of West Virginia won $5,000 in scholarship money, along with the title of America's Junior Miss.
Since that time, cash scholarships totaling almost $90 million have been awarded to participants across the nation. More than 700,000 college-bound young women have competed in the program, including Diane Sawyer, Deborah Norville, E.D. Hill and Debra Messing.
Janie Leland, the 2013 DYW winner who just returned from the state competition, where she was a fitness preliminary winner, will crown the winner.
The program will feature two mistresses of ceremonies who are former DYW participants, Taylor Webb and Kaitlyn Flythe. Leland will provide special entertainment for the evening along with other titleholders from across the state.
General admission tickets are now on sale for $15 at All About Flowers, Brewer's Jewelry or from any of the 13 contestants. Golden Patron reserved seats are available for $25 each at Brewer's Jewelry or by contacting Cathy Godwin Kelly at 903-3498.