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Local young ladies in running for Miss UWA

Eight students will vie on Thursday, Feb. 11, for the title of Miss University of West Alabama.

Among the hopefuls are Savanna Dickson, a junior nursing major from Demopolis, and Le’Cresha Jenkins, a sophomore criminal justice major from Livingston.

Now in its 29th year, the annual public program will select a campus representative to the Miss Alabama Pageant, a Miss America preliminary held this summer in Birmingham.

The Miss UWA pageant, which begins at 7 p.m. in Bibb Graves Auditorium, will take the audience “Walking in Memphis.” Admission is free.

This year’s master of ceremonies and entertainment is Shane Tucker, an Elvis tribute artist and 1990 UWA graduate. The Foley High School assistant principal is a native of south Alabama, and his wife, Carmyn, is a former Miss Livingston University (now UWA).

Miss UWA 2009 Kaley Hayden of Livingston will crown the new titleholder. The Miss University of West Alabama Pageant will also award the Miss UWA People’s Choice Award, given in conjunction with the Miss America national platform, Children’s Miracle Network.

Each of the eight Miss UWA contestants will have a contribution jar in the auditorium’s lobby, giving audience members the opportunity to donate in the name of their favorite contestant.

At the end of the evening, the contestant whose jar contains the largest contribution will be named the People’s Choice winner. Funds are raised only during the pageant, with all proceeds going to the Children’s Miracle Network.

As the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of the nation’s leading achievement programs, the Miss America Organization last year made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. The Miss America Organization provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service through a variety of nationwide community-based programs.