Miss South Carolina Pageant celebrates 80th Anniversary
Three Darlington representatives will hit the stage at the Township Auditorium next week to compete for the titles of Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen. Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival Chelsea Bullock, Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival Teen Kinsley Odom and Miss Darlington High School Teen Aubrey Goodwin will all spend 10 days in famously hot capitol city of Columbia with hopes of winning the state’s most prestigious titles.
The three girls are under the direction of 18 year Miss South Carolina Pageant Local Executive Director/Volunteer and Darlington native Will Isgett.
Bullock, 22 years old and a native of Bennettsville, will make her third appearance on the Miss South Carolina stage. She competed as Miss Charleston Teen in 2008 where she placed in the top 10 and Miss Society Hill Teen in 2011 where she placed in the top 15 and won the academic award.
It’s very ironic that Bullock competed in her first Miss South Carolina Teen preliminary in 2008 in the Miss Darlington Teen pageant not winning but ended up coming back eight years later and winning Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival in Darlington, which was her first Miss South Carolina preliminary.
This year the recent Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of South Carolina will take her first shot at winning the Miss South Carolina crown and has worked extremely hard to prepare for the competition. She will perform a high energy jazz routine for her talent.
“Preparation for a competition of this caliber is a daily task. I’ve had help in interview, talent, and physical fitness from my sponsors across the state,” Bullock said. My wardrobe has taken months to assemble. My biggest preparation has been internal in making myself a strong mental competitor. I have tried to spend the most time on the service and leadership aspects of the competition. These are most important to me.”
This year Bullock has dedicated her year to promoting her personal platform “Go Green” promoting Mental Health Awareness, and even received a proclamation from Governor Nikki Haley declaring May as Mental Health Month across South Carolina.
“I received the proclamation from Governor Haley in due time: one month before Miss SC and the beginning of May which is the nationally recognized month for mental health awareness,” Bullock said. “It sort of epitomized my work with my platform. I could not have worded the proclamation any more beautifully myself. Knowing that the head officials of this state find this fight just as important as I do is truly amazing.”
When Bullock arrives in Columbia she will go through rehearsals, attend appearances and her competition schedule begins on Tuesday June 20 with her personal interview, and will compete in swimsuit and evening gown on Tuesday night June 21, talent on Wednesday night June 22 and on-stage question on Thursday night June 23. The finals of the pageant will be held on Saturday night beginning at 8 p.m. on ABC 15 Cable Channel 9 on Time Warner Cable in the Pee Dee and Grand Strand area.
Miss S.C. Sweet Potato Festival Teen Kinsley Odom, 16, and a rising Junior at West Florence High School, will make her second appearance on the Miss South Carolina Teen stage and this year she had dedicated her year of service to spreading her platform “Downright Perfect” promoting Down Syndrome Awareness and Acceptance.
Odom took her platform statewide with her “Downright Perfect Pledge” which allowed individuals to declare that they would be nice to a person with an extra chromosome. She started her campaign in the Lancaster County School District and by the time she ended in the Florence County School District she had over 500 signatures.
“I wanted to do something different this year and created the “Downright Perfect Pledge” campaign,” Odom said. “I was able to take it statewide and let individuals know just how passionate I am about making everyone aware of Down Syndrome Awareness and Acceptance.”
Odom’s platform is in honor of her nine year old brother Kayden, who was born with Trisomy 21.
“When Kayden came home from the hospital my platform was instantly created,” Odom said. “Unlike many others I live mine every day and will take care of him for the rest of my life.”
Not only did Odom take her platform statewide, but she was invited to Nashville, Tennessee this past March as a nominee for the prestigious National Youth Activist Awards presented by Omni Hotel and Resorts. Although she did not win, the experience was something she’ll never forget as she was able to meet many people from throughout the country and actually went back stage at the Grand Ole Opry and met and talked with country singer Lee Greenwood. Many of you may also know Odom as the official spokesperson for Pee Dee Auto Sales, as she has appeared in over 900 commercials since she won her crown in September 2015.
Odom will have her private interview with the judges on Tuesday morning June 21, and on the evening of June 21 she will compete in physical fitness. She will perform her high energy tap dance routine on the night of June 22 and compete in evening gown and on-stage question on June 23.
When Miss Darlington High School Aubrey Goodwin, 14 years old, won her crown last November she had never competed in a pageant before. Goodwin also made history by being the first freshman to ever win the Miss Darlington High School title.
With the graces of Darlington High School principal Dr. Greg Harrison, Goodwin was given the opportunity to compete for the Miss South Carolina Teen title.
This year she has dedicated her year of service to her platform “Standing Up Against Cancer” which was inspired by her losing her best friend to Leukemia when she was 10 and her grandmother who currently has stage 4 cancer.
“One thing I have enjoyed the most in preparing for the pageant is being able to participate in community service and spread awareness about my platform, Standing Up Against Cancer around the communities of Darlington and my hometown of Dillon,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin has participated in many activities this year including the Darlington Christmas parade, the Special Olympics, spoke to the Darlington Kiwanis Club and Dillon Pilot Club and the Taste of the Falcons just to name a few, she made over 30 appearances this year. She was even named the DHS Freshman Chorus member of the year and was featured as the WMBF News Student Spotlight winner from Darlington High School. She will present a vocal selection for her talent this year, and she thanks her voice instructor Kendall Standish for all that she has done to help her prepare.
“The Miss SC Teen and Miss America Organization has changed my life because it shows me the bigger picture in life and if I set my mind to something it can happen with hard work and dedication,” Goodwin said.
Goodwin will compete in her private interview on Monday afternoon June 20, her talent on Tuesday evening June 21, her evening gown and on-stage question on Tuesday evening June 22 and physical fitness on the evening of June 23.
The finals of the Miss South Carolina Teen pageant will be held on June 24 at 7 p.m. and can be viewed at www.miss-sc.org. The event will be held at the Township Auditorium in Columbia and if you would like to support the girls in person you can purchase tickets at the Township Auditorium Box office located on Taylor Street, or at ticketmaster.com.