Four vie for title of Fair Queen

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 2, 2007

Four young ladies will compete to reign as Franklin-Southampton County Fair Queen this year.

The contest will be held Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. on the main stage at the fairgrounds.

Contestants will be judged on their personality, poise and beauty by way of an interview with the judges. In addition, they will participate in sportswear, evening gown and impromptu question categories.

Ashley Barham, 19, the daughter of Thelma J. and Leslie Barham Jr. of Franklin, graduated from Southampton High School last year.

The granddaughter of Mary and John Lawrence Sr. and Henritta and Leslie Barham Sr., all of Franklin, she attends Paul D. Camp Community College and is pursuing a career as a medical office specialist. Her goal is to become a registered nurse and, eventually, a nurse practitioner.

Barham is a volunteer for Heartland Home Healthcare and Hospice and is currently sponsoring a 2-year-old girl from Brazil. She collects flowers and enjoys photography, jewelry making, animals and exploring nature.

An Avon representative, she is a certified beauty adviser. Barham received an Outstanding Community/Service Award while in the Key Club at the high school.

&uot;I would like to become Miss Franklin-Southampton County Fair Queen because I have so much to give back to my community,&uot; she said.

&uot;I feel like Franklin-Southampton has a lot to do with who I am today. It showed me how to be a lady, have an open heart, and let me know there’s nothing I cannot overcome.&uot;

Barham said becoming queen would allow the community to see what an outstanding lady it has raised.

&uot;This is why I feel I have so much to give back to my community,&uot; she said. &uot;Plus, there’s no place like home.&uot;

Victoria Allen, 17, the daughter of Staci Musselman of Boykins, is an upcoming senior at Southampton High School.

She is a member of FFA and the National Honor Society at school, and plays field hockey and softball. A member of the Boykins Junior Volunteer Fire and Rescue, she received the 2005 Junior of the Year Award.

She is a member of the Think Pink Relay for Life team and a member of Newsoms Baptist Church Youth Group.

Though she considers firefighting as her current interest, she hopes to attend Chowan University for four years, and then attend the Police Academy in Richmond.

She aspires to be fair queen because she considers herself a respectable young lady who would make a good representative of the area.

&uot;I am enthusiastic about helping others and serving my community,&uot; she said. &uot;I think I am a good role model for the younger people in the area.

&uot;It would be an honor to be Miss Franklin-Southampton County Fair Queen.&uot;

Leannah Williams, 17, the daughter of Leah-Beth and Ralph Williams of Courtland, also attends Southampton High School.

President of the Key Club, she is a member of the Student Government Association, Future Teachers of America, Students Against Dangerous Decisions and the Christian Club. She was president of the sophomore Class of 2009.

She has spent three years on the school’s junior varsity volleyball team and the Junior Olympic volleyball team. She is also a member of Relay for Life and Franklin Methodist Church Youth Group.

A member of the National Honor Society, she received perfect attendance for the 2006-07 school year and was presented the Junior Community Star Award.

Her plans following high school are to attend college to become a high school English teacher or a college professor.

&uot;This past year, I have learned about myself and my community,&uot; she said, &uot;and I believe that becoming Miss Franklin-Southampton County Fair Queen would help me grow and prosper into a better leader, role model, citizen and friend to everyone in the community.

&uot;I believe that every child and teen-ager should have a mentor to help guide them into making good decisions for themselves.&uot;

Williams believes that the area needs a representative who is intelligent and caring, and that the queen should also possess the qualities of love, respect and friendship.

&uot;These three qualities are what I try to give to everyone I meet,&uot; she said. &uot;Therefore, through becoming the fair queen I can continue spreading the Southampton hospitality to everyone I meet.&uot;

Mallory Taylor, 16, the daughter of Donna and David Taylor of Newsoms, is a student at Southampton High School as well.

The granddaughter of J.W. and Shelby Coggsdale of Courtland and Lloyd David Taylor Sr. and the late Josie Lee Taylor of Newsoms, she is vice president of the Key Club at school.

Taylor is also a member of the Christian Club, Tribe, Varsity Club and the National Honor Society. She served on the Prom Committee and has played on the volleyball team four years. She received the 2006-’07 Coach’s Award for volleyball.

She is a member of Newsoms Baptist Church Youth Group and the YMCA Leader’s Club.

She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to the beach and singing.

She was selected Maiden of the Ring Dance, first runner-up in the Miss Southampton High School pageant and as a People to People Ambassador, which has given her the opportunity to travel to France, Italy and Malta this summer.

Taylor wants to pursue a career in Health and Nutrition or Mass Media Communications.

Attending the fair ever since she was a little girl, she said it would be an honor to be the queen.

&uot;I loved entering my crafts into the arts and crafts show and singing in the talent show,&uot; she said, &uot;but my most prized memory was meeting the fair queens.

&uot;I always looked up to these young women and wanted to be just like them.&uot;

The winner of the contest will attend the fair each day and award ribbons at the livestock shows. She will participate in local parades and other events that are associated with the Franklin-Southampton County Fair Foundation.

She will also represent the Franklin-Southampton County Fair at the Virginia Association of Fairs Pageant held in January in Williamsburg, where women from all over the state will compete.

The queen will receive a $200 cash award, and complimentary gifts which include a crown from Jewelers of America and Smith’s Jewelers, a sash from Pam’s Tea Room, a bouquet of roses from Kilby’s florist, a 5-by-7 portrait from Pascucci’s Studio of Fine Photography, a tanning package and gift set from Island Tan, a sign for the vehicle from Vic’s Signs & Engraving, and a selection of other gifts from area merchants.