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2014-15 Scholarship |Winner showcase
Click on your favorite contestant to learn more about her.
Miss Deep South Mississippi
Miss Pearl River Valley's OT
Miss Riverland's Outstanding Teen
Miss Southern Magnolia
Miss Turtle Creek's OT
Miss Deep South's OT
Welcome to The Leaf Foundation////////
FORMER LOCAL WINNERS: Please help us fund our Brian Blair and SE Moore Memorial Scholarships!!! We are counting on the help of past winners Mississippi!!!
Welcome, Newest Ladies of the Leaf!!
Congratulations to the Newest Ladies of the Leaf:
Miss Riverland Michaela Moore
Miss Deep River Mia Hall
Miss Hattiesburg Zhariah Hubbard
Miss Southern Magnolia Alexis Chase Carter
Preliminary Swimsuit Winner – Zhariaha Hubbard
Preliminary Talent Winner – Michaela Moore
MISS HATTIEBSURG TO BE NAMED
Deep River, Riverland and Southern Magnolia Crowned
The Leaf Foundation Scholarship Pageants, official Miss America preliminaries, will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, November 22 at Hattiesburg High School.
The local extravaganza will also feature performances by The Dance Place and The Leaf Princesses. Former Miss Magnolia Tamecia Myers will emcee.
Reigning Miss Hattiesburg Ivey Swan, a state preliminary swimsuit winner and third runner-up to miss Mississippi, will be on hand to crown her successor. “Making the Top Ten in the televised Miss Mississippi Pageant finals was certainly the highlight of my year!” acknowledges Swan. Also on hand for crowning duties will be reigning Miss Southern Magnolia Briana Exum and the last young lady to wear the title of Miss Deep South, Alicia Wilbanks.
Explains Deep South Director Terry Fleming, ”We felt that the title Deep South was too tied to the past so we are being proactive and naming our preliminary Miss Deep River.”
The Miss Hattiesburg Scholarship Pageant, The Miss Deep River Scholarship Pageant, The Miss Riverland Scholarship Pageant and The Miss Southern Magnolia Scholarship Pageant will all crown representatives to The Miss Mississippi Pageant, to be held in Vicksburg next summer.
In addition, Deep River, Hattiesburg, Riverland and Southern Magnolia Outstanding Teen programs will each send representatives to Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. Crowning this year’s winners will be Miss Hattiesburg’s Outstanding Teen Ryone Thompson of Oak Grove, (2nd Runner-up at state finals and preliminary gown and interview winner) and Miss Riverland’s Outsanding Teen Ahdis Beruk of Greenville.
Miss Hattiesburg, Miss Deep River, Miss Riverland and Miss Southern Magnolia are open to young women 17-24 who are at least high school seniors. Miss Hattiesburg is open to young women who live, work, or attend school in The Pine Belt. Miss Deep River, Miss Riverland and Miss Southern Magnolia are open to any young woman, who lives works or attends school in Mississippi. These “Miss” division contestants will compete in interview, talent, swimsuit, evening wear and platform/community service.
According to Miss Hattiesburg Executive Director Martha Lee, the teen division is open to young women who are 12-17 but have not yet reached their senior year of high school. Teen Contestants must reach their 13th birthday by the June state finals. Contestants in the “Teen” division will compete in interview, talent, active wear, evening wear and platform/community service. Miss Hattiesburg’s Outstanding Teen must come from the Pine Belt while Deep River, Riverland and Southern Magnolia Outstanding Teens will represent the state at large.
“Central to our mission,” says Foundation Chair Michael Marks, “Is providing career opportunities for young women. We are excited to award $13,000 in college scholarships to Mississippi students.” Colleges and universities currently participating in the
Leaf Foundation’s Scholarship Program include: Antonelli College, Jones Junior College, Pearl River Community College, Jackson State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Delta State University, and William Carey University. Leaf Foundation Board Member Mary Lois Brady chairs the Leaf Foundation’s Princess Program. “We are excited about this recent addition to our program. Being able to mentor young girls in manners, social skills and give them a taste of pageant production is tons of fun. “ Parents or guardians of 7-11 year old girls interested in joining the Leaf Princesses should send info to email@example.com.
According to Miss Southern Magnolia Executive Director Carroll Pierce, admission to the show is $10 and tickets will be available at the door. Entry forms, schedules, and general information, including corporate sponsorship opportunities, are available online at or by calling 601-520-2666.
LADIES OF THE LEAF HEAD TO VICKSBURGNewly-crowned Ladies of the Leaf (l-r) are Miss Turtle Creek Anne Elizabeth Buys, Miss Pearl River Valley Brooke Bullock, Miss Leaf River Valley Ivey Swan and Miss Leaf River Valley’s Outstanding Teen Isabella Rubenstein.
The 2015-16 Leaf Pageants were recently staged at Hattiesburg High School Auditorium. The official Miss America preliminary pageants produced four winners that will go on to their respective state divisions of The Mississippi Pageant.
Lamar County’s Ivey Swan was crowned Miss Leaf River Valley. Petal’s Brooke Bullock was selected as Miss Pearl River Valley and Vicksburg’s Anne Elizabeth Buys is set to reign as Miss Turtle Creek. In the Miss Leaf River Valley’s Outstanding Teen Division, Isabella Rubenstein of Ocean Springs was named the winner.
“I am thrilled to have a chance to go back to The Mississippi Pageant again,” says Swan, who is a recent graduate of The University of Mississippi. Swan was a state Community Service winner and preliminary swimsuit winner in last year’s contest. A vocalist, she is the daughter of Randy and Millie Swan of Hattiesburg.
Petal’s Brooke Bullock, a freshman at Southern Miss, is equally excited.“ Having competed in the teen program, I have looked forward to the day when I could compete in The Miss Mississippi Pageant. What an honor” Bullock finished in the Top Five all four of her teen competition years. A classical pianist, she is the daughter of Greg and Suzanne Bullock of Petal.
Buys checks in to the state finals with prior experience too. She represented the state at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant as Mississippi’s representative. “I don’t have to leave home for this one! I am looking forward to competing again.” Buys is a sophomore at Hinds Community College and is the daughter of Mark and Judy Buys of Vicksburg.
Preliminary winners included Swan (swimsuit) and Bullock (Talent). First runner-up was Ocean Spring’s Allison Judge. Entertainment for the festivities was provided by American Idol Finalist Michael Simeon of Lumberton and Tracye Seymour’s students from The Dance Place. Former Miss Magnolia Tamecia Myers emceed the event.
“I just wanted an opportunity to continue my work with special needs students,” says Rubenstein, a junior at Ocean Springs High School. “I never dreamed they would call my name!”
Rubenstein, the daughter of Jay and Eden Rubenstein will now represent The Pine Belt at The Miss Mississippi Pageant’s Outstanding Teen Pageant, scheduled for June 9-11 in Vicksburg. Swan, Bullock and Buys will compete in the televised Miss Mississippi Pageant, June 22-25 in The Red Carpet City.
In its annual awards, The Leaf Foundation honored The Hattiesburg American as Business of the Year, Marion County’s Columbia Strong as Volunteers of the Year, and The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University as Foundation Partners of Excellence.
MISS LEAF RIVER VALLEY FEATURES TRIPLE CROWNS
The Leaf Foundation announces the availability of applications for its official Miss America preliminary pageants, to be held at 3:00 pm on Sunday, October 11, 2015.
Miss Leaf River Valley’s Outstanding Teen, Miss Pearl River Valley’s Outstanding Teen and Miss Turtle Creek’s Outstanding Teen will be crowned during the competition. A total of three teens will be sent as representatives to Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen Pageant from the October 11 local preliminary pageant.
According to Miss Pearl River Valley Executive Director Carroll Pierce, “The teen division is open to young women who are 13-17 but have not yet reached their senior year of high school.” Contestants in the Teen division will compete in interview, talent, active wear, and evening wear.
Miss Leaf River Valley, Miss Pearl River Valley and Miss Turtle Creek will also be crowned. These three “Miss” division categories will each send representatives to The Miss Mississippi Pageant, which will be held next summer in Vicksburg. Miss Leaf River Valley and Miss Leaf River Valley’s Outstanding Teen must live, work or attend school in Covington, Forrest, Greene, Lamar, Marion or Perry counties while Misses Pearl River Valley and Turtle Creek and their Outstanding Teen Representatives will represent the state at large.
“We are excited that The Leaf Foundation offers these opportunities for scholarship,” says Miss Turtle Creek Executive Director Mrs. Terry Fleming. “The Miss Division is open to young women who are 17-24 and are at least a high school senior.” Contestants in the Miss division will compete in interview, talent, swimsuit, evening wear and platform/community service.”
Colleges and universities currently participating in the Leaf Foundation’s Scholarship Program include: Antonelli College, Jones Junior College, Pearl River Community College, Jackson State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Delta State University, and William Carey University.
Entry forms, schedules, and general information, including corporate sponsorship opportunities, can be found online at leafrivervalley.com or Facebook.com/leafrivervalley or by contacting Michael Marks at 601-520-2666. Entry deadline is October 3.
Parents who would like for their daughters to participate in the Leaf Foundation’s Princess Program for girls 7-11 years old may contact Director Mary Lois Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hattiesburg-based Leaf Foundation contestants Miss Hattiesburg Ivey Swan and Miss Riverland Laura Lee Lewis were preliminary swimsuit winners this week at the Miss Mississippi Pageant. Miss Leaf River Valley Michaela Moore of USM was named a preliminary talent winner and made the Top Ten. Swan was state Quality of Life Platform winner as well with her mission "The Art$: A Road to Success." Swan finished third runner-up; Lewis was 2nd runner-up and Leaf contestant Miss Pearl River Valley Morgan Burnett made the Top Ten as well. Miss USM Hannah Roberts was named the new Miss Mississippi.
The new Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen was crowned Saturday night in Vicksburg. (l-r): Miss Deep South’s OT Holly Brand (3rd RU); Miss Turtle Creek’s OT Brooklyn Mooney (1st RU); Miss Central Mississippi’s OT Grace Post (MMOT); Miss Hattiesburg’s OT Ryone Thompson (2nd RU); and Miss Madison County’s OT Addison Crowder (4th RU). Post will now represent the state at Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando in July. Deep South, Turtle Creek and Hattiesburg Outstanding Teens are representatives of the Hattiesburg-based Leaf Foundation.
LOCAL JEWELER BACKS MISS AMERICA PLATFORMS
(l-r) Miss Leaf River Valley Michaela Moore and Miss Riverland Laura Lee Lewis are honored by Lights Jewelers and Gemologists with Mississippi Snowballs for their civic contributions.
Two women were honored today for their civic contributions. Would be Miss Americas – Miss Leaf River Valley Michaela Moore and Miss Riverland Laura Lee Lewis each received an official “Mississippi Snowball” pendant this weekend from Lights Jewelers & Gemologists.
According to Susan Light, “Lights is committed to supporting the platforms of these two outstanding women. The trademarked ‘Mississippi Snowball’ is a symbol of the quality of life they bring to this community.”
Moore, a theatre major at Southern Miss, is an advocate for prevention of Suicide. She recently lead all fundraisers at the university’s first major fundraiser for suicide, “Out of Darkness” Walk. Her platform is entitled, “Shining a Light on Life.” She recently delivered her charge to the state Student Council Convention. Her activities are chronicled at shiningalightonlife.com.
Lewis’ mission is called Treat Me Fairly: Intolerance Stops With You. Her platform is a call to end discrimination based on race, gender, age, and sexual preference. She recently traveled to Ferguson Missouri to survey the political and social fallout from unrest there. In a recent television appearance in The Pine Belt, she praised Hattiesburg as a model for how to handle community crises. She is a senior education major at Mississippi State University. More on her life’s work is at treatmefairly.org.
Leaf Foundation Board Member Katie Headrick acknowledges, “We are delighted to have Lights on board as a part of our scholarship foundation. This community understands the value of The Miss America Pageant in shaping the lives of the young women who are involved in our local program.”
Both women are scholarship winners of the Hattiesburg-based Leaf Foundation and will compete in the 58th Miss Mississippi Scholarship Pageant this July in Vicksburg.