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Miss Magoffin named People’s Choice

BOWLING GREEN – This week the SI talked with Miss Magoffin County Lauryn Whitaker about her recent run in the Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant, where she placed in the top 12 and won the People’s Choice Award.

Lauryn Whitaker, 20 years old and a junior at the University of Kentucky, represented Magoffin County in Bowling Green last month in the statewide competition, telling the SI she is so thankful for the experience.

“I did the Miss Teen pageant some, but pageants are not really my thing,” Lauryn laughed. “Going to Bowling Green, it was really cool to do that since I don’t do pageants, and because other people had been there five or six years in a row, so I was one of the only new people.”

She also said that coming from a smaller community, her pageant director, Jincy Bailey, was able to give her a lot of one-on-one attention, while other directors would have five or six girls competing in the Miss Kentucky Pageant.

“Jincy does such a great job with us,” Lauryn said. “She helped me with my paperwork, and we did a lot of mock interviews. The one-on-one time was great, plus I just love her.”

While she has danced most of her life with Dance Etc. and then on the Magoffin County High School Dance Team, using her long history in dance for her talent, she said she wasn’t nervous about going out on stage, but she didn’t know what to expect about her competitors.

“Practicing with the other girls was so much fun and was just a brand-new experience for me,” Lauryn said. “I was so nervous to go, but the girls were great. They all root for each other and they were really above my expectations.”

So much so, she said some of her favorite experiences were going on outings with the girls.

“Whenever we would all go out together, and we were not worried about the competition, we really got to meet everyone and talk to every single person and it was great,” she said.

She also loved being able to go with the other contestants to volunteer at the Buddy House, a place that helps families with kids with special needs.

“We talked with the kids there and did crafts with them, and even bought jewelry they had made,” Lauryn said. “It was just awesome.”

The hardest part of pageant week was the extremely long days, Lauryn said, noting they would start at 8 a.m. and stay at the pageant location until 11 p.m.

She also said having her princess, Sloane Chapman, there with her made the experience even more memorable, bragging that Sloane was named the Rising Star and had a Top 3 placement in her division.

Lauryn said she would encourage anyone thinking about participating in a pageant to try it out.

“Pageants are something I never do, but you should definitely try it,” Lauryn said. “Even if you don’t win, it’s a great experience regardless. You get to experience the interviews and speaking on stage, and those two things help you outside of the pageant world.”

As her reign as Miss Magoffin County begins to wind down, Lauryn said she is sad to see it end, but she’s excited to get to help with the pageant this coming fall.

“It will be exciting to see who gets to have the experience I just had,” Lauryn said, looking toward the next Miss Magoffin County Pageant.

“I loved being Miss Magoffin and I loved working with the kids in our county,” Lauryn said. “I was able to have a little dance class in all three of the elementary schools, and getting to do that with children here was my favorite part of the whole experience. Whenever I would wear my crown in public – like at the Fourth of July pageants – the kids always wanted to talk to me and would wave at me, and I love getting to work with kids.”

Lauryn is going into her junior year at the University of Kentucky, studying business and minoring in dance. She is the daughter of Kevin and Melissa Whitaker.

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