The program began with a special welcome from State Representative Tom McCall honoring his children Bud & Katie for their part in being the inspiration for and founding the Friends Helping Friends Club. Gary Purvis offered the opening prayer and introduced former EC Schools Superintendent Rick Higginbotham and retired teacher and coach Jeff Adams as the Masters of Ceremony. Each of the 27 contestants was escorted and crowned by Reigning Miss FHF Suzanne Goossens, Reigning Mr. FHF Bryson Rucker, Reigning Teen Miss FHF Kendra Turman, Reigning Teen Mr. FHF Collin Peppers, assisted by ECCHS Homecoming Queen Moallory Smith, Miss ECCHS Michaela Brown, UGA BullDAWG Mecole Hardman, Jr., ECCHS FHF Seniors, Miss ECMS 2017 Lila Higginbotham, 9th Grade Rep. Madison Brown, and 6th Grade Rep. Lyndsie Acker. The pageant was open to any female and male with special needs ranging in ages 3 to 29 at no cost to contestants. Judges were Jay Akin, Miss Classic City Bryanna Davis (accompanied by Miss Classic City Junior Princess Cailyn Lanier), Kennlecia Downer, Sid Fritts and ECMS FHF Sponsor Donna Baker served as Tabulator. Cherie Dove served as Stage Manager. Alumni FHF Presidents Maggie Hall, Betsy Gaffney & Courtney Mize served as backstage managers assisting ECMS FHF Sponsor Brooke Dickerson. ECMS & ECCHS FHF members assisted contestants during Friday evening's rehearsal, for two hours prior to, and also during the pageant back stage where formal wear, make-up and hair stylists were provided free of charge thanks to community volunteers. All contestants received a crown or tiara, congratulatory gift bag full of treats compliments of Elberton Christian Church/Morgan Evans, a Friends Helping Friends 2017 Beauty Pageant shirt and FHF Sponsorship Booklet. Winners also received a special winners crown or tiara, traditional sash and flowers. Contestants participated in one phase of competition which included formal wear.
The 2017 FHF Beauty Pageant Winners are:
Shining Star Award - Suzanne Goossens
FHF People's Choice Award – Wendy McLanahan, Paul J. Blackwell Learning Center
Wee Miss & Mr. FHF – Maggie BreAnn Hulett & Parker Hart, Paul J. Blackwell Learning Center
Tiny Miss FHF – Madison Shirkey & Jordan Hill, EC Primary
Little Miss & Mr. FHF – Allison Bond & Cedric Mitchell, EC Elementary
Jr. Miss & Mr. FHF - Lekeesha Allen & Nick Brown, EC Middle School
Teen Mr. FHF – Latavious Bolton, ECCHS
Miss FHF - Anna Watts, ECCHS Alumni
The Silent Auction, abundant with wonderful products donated by our generous community, was organized by Denise Rousey. Silent Auction Items were donated by Tiffanie Ruff, Cateechee Golf Club, Gary & Margaret Purvis, JaCarrs & Elberton Country Club/Renee Hunt, David Capell Auto, RMD Maintenance/Denise Rousey, Anderson Napa Auto Parts, Melissa Black/Wilson Industrial, Sandra Worley, Wanda Stratton, Steve & Kathy Banks/Turner Concrete, Everett & Selena Worley Small Town Grill, McKenzie Harper, Tammy Bowers/Designing Women, David Cleveland, Rev. Ann Mann, Melissa Mattox, Barbara Childs, Elaine Oglesby, Mandy Williams, Jamie McLanahan.
Other pageant volunteers included Annette Adams, Cristal Akin, Mindy Black, Kim Bowen, Pam Brown, Brandye Childs, Gwen Childs, Devon Davis, Mary Jane Denny, Felecia Downer, Scott Eubanks, Laura Evans, Anne Fernandez, Cindi Fritts, Robin Goss, Kelly Hall, Greg Hall, Robin Higginbotham, Shirley Hughes, Debbie Jameson, Jon & Joanna Jarvis, Kelly Jordan, Katrina King, Lori Mize, Abby & Brent Moon, Linda Rice & Athens Tech Technicians, Marie Roach, Jerry & Connie Spivey, Timmy Thomas, Nick Thompson, Jeannie Vaughn, Eva Williams, Erica Wilson.
Petal Pusher Florist donated flowers; ECCHS Devil's Pen Student Store donated embroidery of sashes; Papa’s Pizza To Go provided food for contestants and volunteers back stage; Sandra Worley donated several men’s suits and ladies evening gowns and Trendy Retail contributed formal dresses. Thanks to Greg & Kelly Hall, photos of the pageant are posted at FriendsHelpingFriendscCub.com. The FHF Beauty Pageant Radio & TV Promo Ad was produced by Stan Brown/WSGC, Jack Fricks, and John Moon/Elberton Net. Elberton Net also videoed the event to air on local TV.
Pageant coordinator EC Schools FHF Sponsor Chrystal Thomas and Friends Helping Friends Club, Inc. President Sandy Adams, overwhelmed by the amazing generosity of this community, expressed their sincere appreciation to everyone who helped provide this wonderful opportunity for Elbert County students. In addition to fun school trips, upcoming FHF special events include the 1st Annual EC Schools FHF Spring Festival provided by Dewy Rose Baptist Church at ECMS on March 24th, the Gwinnett Braves Game Trip on April 20th, the 14th Annual Elbert County Schools Fun Field Day at McWilliams Park on May 12th rain or shine, the 5th Annual FHF Friends Of Bekkah VBS Camp June 5th-8th, AND the 5th annual FHF Jam Fest & Taste of Elberton on August 26th at The ROC at Elberton First Baptist Church. All FHF assistants are volunteers receiving no compensation. FHF services are provided at no cost to the school system. Tax deductible donations to FHF provide wonderful trips, special events, crafts and camps for Elbert County students overcoming special challenges with a little help from their Friends.
Lots of other wonderful photos are posted at
https://www.facebook.com/Mrs-Sandy-Adams-Friends-Helping-Friends-367498029958915/ & at www.FriendsHelpingFriendsClub.com.
FHF Founding Sponsor
Friends Helping Friends Club, Inc. President