7 nominees compete for the Miss Neshoba County Fair Pageant crown – Philadelphia Neshoba Democrat | WHs Answers

By DUNCAN DENT

Seven young ladies will compete for the title of Miss Neshoba County Fair in the stands Monday night.

This year’s theme is “Neshoba County Girls,” a tribute to her hometown and these “outstanding” young ladies, said pageant director Jennifer Bounds.

“I have 7 wonderful candidates and I wish them all the best,” she said.

The pageant will consist of an opening number to Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country.” The participants compete in fair wear and evening dresses and take part in an interview. Attendees will also introduce themselves on stage and tell what their favorite part of the show is.

“This is my second year as pageant director,” Bounds said. “I’ve always loved the pageant and had a front row seat at the judges’ table to assist them. I also have a wonderful group of assistants who help with planning, fake interviews and work backstage on the night of the pageant.”

The parade will take place on Monday, July 25 at 8 p.m. in the grandstand.

“The pageant is part of the opening of the fair,” Bounds said. “Miss NCF promotes our show and everything we love about it. She’s a role model for all the little girls in the audience who want to walk that stage one day.”

Abby Seale was crowned at last year’s pageant. Seale is the daughter of Steve and Tina Seale.

This year’s participants are as follows:

• Ali Grace Cheatham is the 17-year-old daughter of Mark and Michelle Cheatham. She is a member of the East Philadelphia Baptist Church and attends Neshoba Central High School.

She is a member of the student council, the Neshoba Central Rockets Tennis Team, and the Health Occupations Students of America, where she has the opportunity to volunteer with Allied Health community projects. Cheatham, an honor roll student, was elected freshman maid in her ninth year. Last year she was crowned Miss Photogenic junior class and received the leadership award, which is voted for by the administration and staff of Neshoba Central High School. She sings, dances, runs, enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, drives around and enjoys hanging out with friends and family. She plans to go to college and become a respiratory therapist.

• Meredith Leigh Adams is the 18-year-old daughter of Russell and Monica Adams. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Philadelphia. Adams is a 2022 graduate of Leake Academy. As a student at Leake Academy, she started a children’s literacy club called Rebels for Reading and collected over 1,500 books that were distributed to children in Leake and Neshoba counties to promote literacy. In 2020, she was crowned Leake Academy’s Most Beautiful and was voted housemaid in years 9 through 12 of high school. Adams maintained an average of 95 from 7th through 12th grade, qualifying them for the Headmaster’s List each year. As a member of the Leake Academy tennis team, she and her doubles partner won the district as the number one girls’ doubles team.

She was ranked in the top 10 on Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen and in the top 15 on Miss Mississippi Teen USA. Meredith enjoys singing and playing the guitar and was the worship leader for Love out Loud. She also enjoys reading and painting. Meredith will attend Mississippi State University in the fall, where she is pursuing a degree in marketing.

• Zoey Raine Bell is the 19-year-old daughter of Scotty and Memory Bell. She is a member of the Sanctuary of Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Neshoba Central High School and attends East Central Community College. Bell was an honor student in 9th through 12th grades and was chosen to be a housemaid in her 10th grade year. She won the fairest in her senior year and was voted best smile. At East Central, she was selected for the ECCC Warrior Baseball Team as one of the Freshman Homecoming Maids, a member of the Warrior Corps student recruiting squad, a member of Sigma Sigma Mu Tau, and a Diamond Darling. She loves working part time at Kademi where she has made many lifelong friends. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to new places and baking Hershey bar cakes with her mom and grandma. She also enjoys spending time with her two younger sisters shopping, getting nails done, tanning and driving the golf cart around the community. After graduating from East Central, she plans to continue her education at Meridian Community College in their physical therapy assistant program with the long-term goal of becoming a pediatric physical therapist.

• Grace Caroline Maxey is the 17-year-old daughter of Michelle Maxey; and Max and Leigh Maxey. She is a member of the Sanctuary of Philadelphia and attends high school at Leake Academy. Maxey was on the principal’s list with an average of 95 or more in all her grades from 1st to 11th grade. She was voted Leake Academy’s Most Beautiful 2022. Grace is a member of the Lady Rebel softball and basketball teams. She was awarded the MAIS 5-A All-Star Award in basketball. The Lady Rebels were district and 5A MAIS state champions and runners-up in the MAIS overall championship. Grace was selected as a representative for Leadership Neshoba hosted by the Philadelphia CDP. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends and helping out with Diamond Dreams, a baseball/softball league for special needs children in the Neshoba County area. After high school, Maxey plans to attend Mississippi State University and major in biology. Her long-term goals include attending medical school and becoming a dermatologist.

• Lauren Gwen Posey is the 16-year-old daughter of Pepper and Shannon Posey. She is a member of the East Philadelphia Baptist Church and attends Neshoba Central High School.

Posey is an instrumentalist and vocalist on the Neshoba Central worship team, a member of the National Honor Society, a member of the Beta Club, and a representative of Leadership Neshoba. She is Co-Captain of the Neshoba Central Rockettes Dance Team and Mentor of the Middle School Rockette Dance Team. She enjoys being a part of the theater both in the community and at school, and recently played the role of Belle in Beauty of the Beast at her high school. Posey was selected as a 1st Vice President in the 2023 Distinguished Young Woman of Neshoba County Program and won the Self-Expression Award. In her free time, Lauren enjoys playing with her Sydney silver lab, singing, playing guitar, dancing, vacationing and hiking with her family. She is looking forward to her upcoming senior year. After graduating high school, Lauren Gwen’s long-term goal is to be a dentist.

• Faith Anne Shumaker is the 18-year-old daughter of Reggie and Tammy Shumaker. She is a member of the Salem Baptist Church. She is a 2022 graduate of Neshoba Central High School.

She was a member of the Neshoba Central Rockette Dance team and has served as captain for the past two years. She has been a member of the NCHS Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, Mu Alpha Theta, and the National Honor Society. She was inducted into the Neshoba Central Hall of Fame and elected Miss Neshoba Central High School. Shumaker was Distinguished Young Woman of Neshoba County in 2022. She won the Be Your Best Self Essay award while participating in the state DYW program. She likes dancing, travelling, shopping and spending time with friends and family. Faith will attend Mississippi State University in the fall, majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sports Administration. Her long-term career goal is the Sports Business Media division.

• Piper Lane Fulton is the 19-year-old daughter of Jason and Angela Fulton. She is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Philadelphia. She is a graduate of Neshoba Central High School and recently graduated from East Central Community College with the highest honors on the President’s list.

While at East Central, Piper was a member of the Sigma Sigma Mu Tau Medical Organization, Phi Theta Kappa, the Warrior Corps student recruiting squad, a Diamond Darling for the East Central Baseball team, a member of the Warrior Cheerleading Squad, and was selected as a top-5 -Beauty in the ECCC Beauty Review.

Fulton is a volunteer for the East Mississippi Volunteer Hub, Rise Against Hunger, Open Arms Ministry, Love Out Loud, United Way and God’s Closet. She is a member of the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, a donor for Donate Life Mississippi, and an ambassador for Crowns for a Cause. In her free time, Piper loves traveling and sports. Fulton will attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall and complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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