Collard wins 2008 Miss Vidalia pageant

Published 12:52 am Sunday, January 20, 2008

NATCHEZ — The 2008 Miss Vidalia is Amberlee Collard.

First runner up is Rachel Wagoner. Second runner up is Lissa McManus. Third runner up is Mallory Guidroz. Fourth runner up is Tori Lemoine.

But for these girls, it’s not about the winning, but rather the experience along the way.

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Saturday night Miss Vidalia 2008 was crowned but mere minutes before the pageant, the girls didn’t want to talk about the crown, only of how much fun they’ve had preparing for this one special night.

When asked what was most fun about their participation in the pageant, the response was unanimous — the practices.

Rachel Lindsey said that’s when the girls could kick back and get to know each other.

“We talked and picked with each other and laughed,” Lindsey said. “It was fun.”

Guidroz chimed in by saying it was a time to joke around and play.

“There was never a dull moment,” she said.

Hillary Guillot said she’s enjoyed all of the friendships that have been made.

“I’ve also (liked) seeing eveyone’s personalities,” she said.

McManus said learning to do the dances during practice was enjoyable.

Mary Catherine Golden said she was most excited about the dance.

“It’s funny, I think everyone will enjoy it,” Golden said.

But Donna Tarver said it’s not the practices alone that cause all the girls to have fun.

“It’s the people, they make it fun,” Tarver said.

The girls all said they enjoyed getting to know each other.

Lemoine said she really enjoyed the bonding.

“Getting to know the girls, that’s my favorite part,” she said of what she’s taken away from the experience.

For Tarver, it was all about the confidence she got from her participation.

Mary Catherine Golden, who said she is normally into sports, got to discover another side of herself through the pageant.

“This kind of thing is way out of my league, but I’ve learned how to be a pretty girl,” Golden said.

Collard, before the start of the pageant, stated her reasons for her involvement and what she hopes to accomplish.

“I love Vidalia and I want to make it a better city,” Collard said. “This will help.”