The title of Miss VSU could only go to one young woman, and on Saturday Sarah Whetsell, a junior nursing major, began the reign of the newly crowned Miss VSU.
Twelve contestants competed in front of a supportive and energetic crowd Saturday in the historic return of the Miss VSU pageant.
A stage full of talented, smart and beautiful women appeared in front of the judges in hopes of becoming Miss VSU.
Whetsell, a native from Thomasville, Ga. took the crown of Miss VSU in a tough competition of talent and creativity. This is the first time in three years she has competed in a pageant.
For the talent competition, Whetsell performed a jazz dance to the ‘Glee’ version of Ike and Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High.” Dance is an important part of her life, not just because she has been dancing since she was 2-years-old, but because she is the overall director of Dance Marathon at VSU.
Dance Marathon is a continuous, multi-hour event on college campuses and high schools throughout the US. It blends dancing, music, games, food and a variety of entertainment into one experience where students raise money for kids treated at Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. At VSU, the Blazer-A-Thon will be taking place on from 10a.m-10p.m.on Nov. 17 in the Union Ballrooms.
“I want to bring more excitement to students about Dance Marathon and what it is doing at VSU,
“ she said.
During her reign as Miss VSU and director of Dance Marathon, she plans to reach out to the local high schools about starting Dance Marathon there.
Whetsell not only took home the crown of Miss VSU which accounted for a $2,000 scholarship, but she also won the Interview Preliminary Award accompanied with $200 scholarship, the Talent Preliminary Award, also with a $200 scholarship and was the People’s Choice Winner where she received a plaque and a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network in her name.
After graduating with a degree in nursing, Whetsell plans to become a pediatric nurse at a Children’s Network Hospital. Children’s Miracle Network Hospital is the national platform for the Miss America Organization.
“I love the Miss America Organization and everything it stands for,” she said.
Whetsell is involved in various other organizations including the Red Hot Dance Team, Alpha Delta Pi and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Pageant contestants included: Carmen Turner, Amanda Lawler, Riece Hamilton, Keri Lynn Knight, Kara Fountain, Janequa Williams, Alena Franks, Darshanna Loveland, Samantha Garrett, Kieya Smith, Cori Beth Sutton, and Tamelonie Thomas, who was not able to participate in Saturday’s competition due to a family emergency.
The pageant was a success with the help of many student volunteers, supportive family and friends and a committed and hard working committee with overall pageant director, Alisha Stabler.
Hosted by SGA Vice-President, Amber Worthy and taking the task of MC was Lloyd Carter, DJ of the Afternoon Drive on 95.7 The Mix. Carter kept the crowd entertained throughout the competition as well as other performers. During competitions the crowd was entertained by the Valdosta School of Ballet and student performer Vicorie Brown, a freshman piano major here at VSU under the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
The duty of Sara Whetsell as Miss Valdosta State University is to perform a variety of duties to promote the University and its programs and mission as well as her platform issue, Dance Marathon-Dance for Dollars. She will make personal appearances when her schedule permits and will be required to attend and participate in the Miss Georgia Pageant in June.
“With this being the first Miss VSU pageant in a while, I am not sure what to expect, but I am excited because this will be my first time participating in the Miss America pageant on the state level.” Whetsell placed fourth runner up in the 2009 Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen.
Whetsell heads to the Miss Georgia pageant in June and is sure to be a charismatic, compassionate, and outgoing ambassador of Valdosta State University, the Children’s Miracle Network, the Miss America Organization, and her platform, Dance Marathon-Dance for Dollars.
First Runner Up: Music Education major, Carmen Turner ($750 scholarship)
Second Runner Up: Nursing major, Cori Beth Sutton($500 scholarship)