Candidates sought for Fall Festival Cover Girl title

From Staff Reports

July 3, 2008 - Hopkins County Fall Festival is looking for about half a dozen young ladies willing to work hard at having a lot of fun. The payoff? Chances to win scholarships and grace publicity materials promoting the annual festival as the 2008 Cover Girl.

In order to enter the annual Cover Girl Contest, the participant must be a Hopkins County resident, entering their junior year of high school and pay a $25 entry fee no later than July 25.

Before school let out for the summer, representatives from the Cover Girl contest talked to sophomores at Hopkins County schools about participating in the contest. Each girl was given an information packet to read and discuss with their parents.

Participants need to fill out the forms, also available at Hopkins County Regional Civic Center box office, and return them along with the $25 entry fee and a clear, printable head-shot picture by noon July 25. Pictures may also be e-mailed to the coordinator to be used in the Fall Festival brochure. Information packets may also be obtained from the Fall Festival website: hopkinscountyfallfestival.com.

"There is a lot that is expected to do to participate in the contest and to be the Cover Girl. The deadline to have everything turned in will be 12 noon on Friday, July 25. No one will be accepted after the deadline," said Tracy Dennis, Cover Girl event coordinator. "This is not a beauty pageant where they have a talent, formal, etc. ... They compete in 'country' type skills. Competing in the Cover Girl Contest is a lot of hard work, but it is a fun and exciting experience. The girls learn to do many things they would otherwise never do. Hopefully, they learn responsibility, competitiveness and to make friendships with girls from other schools."

Some of those experiences will include the standard selling of raffle tickets, decorating a parade float as well as a window in a downtown business. Each girl will also be asked to participate in two days of competitions which include milking a cow, bottle feeding a calf, driving a tractor through an obstacle course, saddling and mounting a horse, cutting up a chicken, calf scramble and goat tying. One change this year will be the roping of a steer head instead of a pig scramble.

The contest is designed for fun and healthy competition and is an individual event, not a team event. The categories for competition are basically timed events, and the girls are given points for participation in each, with the one rated best overall taking the title.

The Cover Girl will be chosen according to her ability and creativity and not by a judge's opinion. In order to make the contest as fair and non-biased as possible, time keepers and judges are not a part of the Fall Festival board or other events.

The parade is Saturday, Sept. 13, and timed events are Tuesday, Sept. 16, and Thursday, Sept. 18. They'll meet with the coordinator, vendors, booth operators and Fall Festival officials Friday morning, Sept. 19. At the end of the event, Saturday night, Sept. 20, during the Starnite performance, 2007-2008 Cover Girl Somer Gregory will crown the new Cover Girl and drape her with a sash she's had prepared for the occasion.

And as Somer can tell you, the work doesn't end there. The Cover Girl makes a year-long commitment to represent Hopkins County and the Fall Festival. The Cover Girl is required to attend at least 80 percent of all ribbon cuttings and other civic events or forfeit their scholarship. The Chamber of Commerce will notify the event coordinator, who will in turn let the Cover Girl know when and where the events will be held. As some of these events occur during school hours, the Cover Girl is generally allowed to miss class during certain events, but must return to school as soon as they are over.

In return for the hard work, the Cover Girl not only earns the title, but also is awarded a $750 scholarship, distributed in amounts of $375 per semester with proof of enrollment. The scholarship must be claimed within two years of graduation from high school, and is forfeited if the Cover Girl opts not to attend college or another school for continuing education. Any forfeited funds are reinvested in a savings account to increase its value to go back into the scholarship fund for future Cover Girls. The Cover Girl also is awarded a $100 Visa gift card and a $50 saving bond.

The first runner-up will receive a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester upon proof of enrollment), $75 Visa gift card and a $50 savings bond The second runner-up will receive a $50 Visa gift card and a $50 savings bond. Gift cards for $25 will be awarded to the parade conveyance and raffle ticket sales winners.

Also, all Cover Girl contestants will vote for the girl they believe to the the friendliest, most helpful and who had the best all-around attitude. The girl getting the most votes from her co-contestants will be named Miss Congeniality and receive a $50 gift card and a $50 savings bond.

All girls that have signed up by the deadline to compete in the Cover Girl contest will have a planning meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 27, in the conference room at B&B Steakhouse (formerly K-Bobs).

Reigning Cover Girl Somer Gregory, daughter of C.W. and Marta Gregory, also will be on hand for the events. The 2007-2008 Cover Girl just finished her senior year. She was very active in FFA, serving as an officer. She enjoys team roping and hanging out with her friends. She works at C.W. Gregory Motor Co. and is planning to attend college in the fall and eventually get a degree in design engineering.

Any additional questions may be directed to Cover Girl coordinator Tracy Dennis at 903-885-9366 or at tdennis@northhopkins.net.

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