Miss Sunburst

My first experience with a pageant came in Fall, 1987. I was working at a t.v. station full time and two radio stations part time. I decided I wanted to do something fun! I was browsing through a local paper and came across an ad for the Miss Sunburst Pageant. I don't know what possessed me to enter - but I did!

The pageant was held October 31, 1987 at Azalea Mall in Richmond, Virginia. My Mom and I had worked together to come up with what we thought were great competition clothes. My Mom made a white satin and lace gown for me and I found the perfect shoes. I also decided to compete in the sportswear and photogenic divisions. For sportswear, I wore an outfit that I thought was reminiscent of Fred Astaire, a man's suit from the thrift store (black) with a fedora hat (grey w/black trim), a white shirt with a black and purple tie and black high heeled pumps. I had no idea what I was doing pageant-wise, only that I was confident.

By the end of the pageant, I had won sportswear and was a runner-up to photogenic. Then they announced the Beauty winner and it was me! When it came time to announce the High Points Winner - they called my name! I didn't know at the time that it was unusual for an older division contestant to win that. A lot of the "experienced" people told me that later. At that time, I learned that because I represented Richmond, I could compete in the State Pageant in Roanoke that spring. My family has always been a bunch of jokesters and when they found out I won on Halloween - they all laughed and said that's why they picked me!


One of the things I did get to do that year was to appear in the annual Azalea Mall Christmas Day Parade. Here I am with the Teen winner, Cheryl Thompson. It was actually a fairly warm day and we rode in a classic convertible. We threw candy to the kids as we passed.



Wow! Check out that big hair! ;-)



That spring, my Mom, Dad and I loaded up the car and off we went to the State Sunburst pageant in Roanoke, Virginia! It was a lot of fun for me. It was my first experience with a judges' panel interview. My Mom and I also made a new gown. It was a strapless white satin with lace overlay and some light beading with pearls. I was a runner-up in beauty and sportswear. I did win the the State Sunburst "Bathing Beauty" title for 1988.


All in all, my first experiences with pageants were great. I credit this for starting my interest in what has now become a lifelong love.