Miss Colonial Heights America

As I was now attending John Tyler Community College in Chester, Virginia, I was eligible for the Miss Colonial Heights Pageant. There were many rehearsals and mock interviews to ready us for the big day. We had a great theme for the pageant which was "Americana." The opening number featured us in blue dresses with red scarves. We also all sang a portion of the opening number which included, "This Land Is Your Land."

March , 1991 was fast upon us and it was now time for the show. The judges were a tough bunch including the Executive Director of the Miss North Carolina Pageant, McNeil Chestnut and his wife Sandy. The interview went well and it was now time to prepare for the show. I had rented a gown from former Miss Lynchburg, Melissa Moon so I loaned out mine to another contestant. My friend Donna Topian was also competing. She had worked really hard on a new gymnastic routine with former Miss Virginia, Tami Elliott. Tami had won a talent award at Miss America for her original gymnastic routine to music from Phantom of the Opera (not Andrew Lloyd Webber's music). I had asked the Miss Lynchburg Executive Director, Margaret Brown, to help me get ready for the pageant and we found someone to make the Dinah Washington version of "Unforgettable" for me. I also had been working out harder and practising more. This night felt right! Shannon DePue, Miss Virginia 1990 and Top 10 at Miss America, had come with Margaret to see me that night.

As it ended up, I was lucky number 13! I was the last contestant to finish everything. As the end of the pageant neared, we gathered in our gowns to sing as part of the finalé. It came time to announce the awards and we were all nervous and holding hands. They announced the swimsuit winner as Number 13! Then the Jay Mallory Talent Award Winner as Number 13! I was crying so hard that the audience laughed at me! The runner-ups were being announced and I still thought I was not going to win. I had seen this happen before. And then the emcee, Kevin, made us stand there and he wouldn't announce the winner. The audience was laughing. And then he announced: The new Miss Colonial Heights for 1991 is...Number 13 - Kimberly Joyce White. I was crying so hard they had to practically push me to the center. I was overjoyed. As I looked out into the audience, I could see my friends and family there. I also could see Margaret Brown and Shannon DePue as they stood to applaud. I was so happy.
I found out later that evening at the reception that I had swept the pageant. I had won evening gown and interview. McNeil Chestnut also asked me if he could use my interview (they were videotaped) at the Miss North Carolina workshop as an example of a terrific interview. I was honored. Now the hard work begins...

Here are some of my competition photos from Miss Virginia that July. I will be adding more of my year as I get the photos scanned in!