By Leisl Lemire/ Freelance Writer
“Overwhelmed with joy” — That is the feeling Jade McWhorter expressed when describing the moment her name was announced as the 2017 Miss Chilton County.
She said there is nothing like that feeling, especially since she was truly shocked to hear her name announced. Having been First Alternate the year before, McWhorter “didn’t expect to win,” but worked really hard anyway to see if she could take it a step further and actually come away with the crown. Her “hard work did pay off,” and her name was first called out as winner of the Casual Wear competition, and then overall winner.
The Miss Chilton County pageant is sponsored by the Evening Lions Club, and though usually held in November, the date was changed for this year to Feb. 18 at Jemison High School, which is where McWhorter graduated from in May.
With just a few months of service under her belt, McWhorter said it has been a very exciting time, one she is enjoying especially because she gets to share it with her sister queens. Her sister queens include Junior Miss Chloe Haggard; Young Miss Molly Clements and Little Miss Saydie Smith. The girls have been busy and have also become very close.
“It’s nice to know that I have them and they have me as sisters, even though there is a pretty big age difference. I don’t have any sisters of my own and it’s been nice to get close to them and even their moms. That has probably been my favorite part,” McWhorter said. “I’ve met so many people through being Miss Chilton County and all of the events we go to, we meet tons of people…I’m a people person so, it’s a fun thing.”
The queens spent most of the first week of April, participating in various events and representing their county. One such event involved taking part in a fashion show organized by the reigning Miss Jefferson State, Celeste Montgomery, to draw attention to her platform, which is Domestic Violence Awareness. Another special event was the Butterfly Bridge signing of the proclamation declaring the month of April as Child Abuse Awareness Month, and in conjunction with that, the queens also went together to Hidden Meadow Vineyard in Jemison, where they planted pinwheels in the ground. They planted one pinwheel to represent each child that has ever been through Butterfly Bridge for counseling. Another event was the Relay for Life, at which they worked the snow cone and cotton candy booth.
There is more to look forward to, in McWhorter’s reign as Miss Chilton County, including the Peach Kick off, where the girls will spend the day at Durbin Farms and meet Governor Kay Ivey who will also be taking part in the event, as well as a coming event at the Governor’s Mansion in Montgomery.
As for the future, the Jemison High School graduate is planning to attend the University of South Alabama this fall in Mobile, Alabama, and major in Radiology and Ultrasound. As a Freshman in college, McWhorter will be busy with classes and exploring the area. She was careful to allow time to come back and serve in her home county for as many special events as possible, even delaying her plans of trying out for the Dance Team.
“I was going to try out this year, but then I won, (Miss Chilton County), and so I thought…that’s a lot, so I think I’ll wait and try out next year,” McWhorter said.
McWhorter has tried to display an attitude of appreciation, dedication, and commitment to serving her home county, in order to represent Chilton County well.