A year ago, I would have never seen myself earning the title of 2019 Miss Spring City. It has been a long road, but being Miss Spring City has taught me a lot and I wouldn’t want to change a thing.
Like many teens today, I do not live in a traditional family. I live with my Mom and my half-brother in Spring City or at my Granny’s house on Grandview. Sometimes I am at my dad and stepmother’s in Crossville with my four adopted siblings, and my older sister.
I have always wanted to go to college, and so I have been working to save money to get me there. I have worked for over two years at a bio-secure Avagen Chicken House with over 15,000 chickens. I also did babysitting for a Bible Study Group in Dayton on Fridays last summer.
I am working to qualify for the Tennessee Promise grant that pays for the first two years at a community college. I will still need a car to drive to and from community college and money for gas and books.
Last summer I lived and worked on Crosby Springs Farm for seven weeks raising 12 baby calves. I thought it would be all fun, but it was a lot of hard work. I had to bottle feed the calves at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Then we weaned them. They will go to market this spring, and I will have to pay for food, shots, and the price of my calves and the money left will go toward a car to drive to a community college this fall.
After Christmas of my junior year, I heard about the Spring City Chamber Scholarship Program’s $1,000 scholarship. I borrowed a dress and a pair shoes. My entry fee was sponsored by a supporter of the program. So I was ready, right? But I had one small problem… I had never been on stage alone. I had the worst case of stage fright.
It helped that there was a workshop day and a rehearsal the night before the program. The reigning queens, the “Has Beens”, and Directors taught us how to walk on stage, speak into the microphone, and helped us with interview skills. These skills help teens to speak in front of a class or group of people, interview for a job, and feel more confident in meeting new people.
The night of the pageant, I made it through the judging part but I was not prepared for the suspense when all the Miss Contestants were back stage waiting for the judges’ decision. I could not breathe. Then finally they started calling the runner-up numbers. I was left backstage with the 2018 Miss Spring City Keyli Hickey. She took my shaking hands in hers and looked into my eyes. She told me to take a deep breath, then the M. C. interrupted with Miss Spring City number 24. I walked to center stage and my best friend Keyli got to be the one who crowned me. I was floating on air.
My first appearance as Miss Spring City was at the Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament. I got to drive a golf cart for the first time. The River Valley team handed me one of their putters and I got to try my hand at golf. We had a lot of fun time! Also, it was a great experience to be photographed with the very first Spring City Chamber Ambassador Drake Robins who was presented his $1,000 scholarship at the Golf Tournament. We are pleased to have the 2020 Ambassador announced at the Scholarship Program this year.
I was in my very first parade at the Strawberry Festival last year. The theme of the parade was “Classic Crusin’ Berries” so 2019 Junior Miss Spring City Hannah Couch and I dressed with the 50’s look with matching polka-dot umbrellas and red purses full of candy for the kids. We were escorted through the parade by one of Spring City’s Finest Police Officers with flashing lights on the car. We chose to walk so we could meet the children and personally hand out candy. I loved seeing all the kids smile. All the little girls were looking at the crown and saying “It’s sooooo pretty” and hoping someday to have one like it. One of the mothers told her child, “Look, the kind princess is giving you candy.” We had loads of fun that day and our Director treated us to dinner at Winstead’s after the parade.
As Miss Spring City, I also had a few opportunities to polish my public speaking skills. First, I was invited to speak at the Spring City Women’s Service Club. They have been supporters of the Spring City Scholarship Program for many years. Then, I spoke at the Spring City Chamber of Commerce Banquet. I am grateful to have had these opportunities to speak, and I hope to use the skills I have learned to help serve my community.
All four of our 2019 titleholders were at the Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Festival. We helped with the costume contest and the games. There were lots of interesting vendors there and I even got to crawl into a race car and have my picture taken. I bet that was the first race car to wear a crown. Thanks, Colton Profitt for that experience! We were also there for the evening concerts featuring several local groups and our very own Spring City’s Idol, Drake Taylor. Thanks, Drake, for donating your time to our community.
Being Miss Spring City has been amazing, and I got to participate in a lot of Spring City’s Christmas events. First, I was invited to the Lighting of the Depot by Mayor and Mrs. Billy Ray Patton. That was another first for me. And to top it off, Mayor Patton surprised me by letting me pull the switch to light the Depot. It was a very pretty beginning to Christmas in Spring City. Then, The first Saturday in December we were invited by the Friends of the Library to help with their Annual Children’s Christmas Party. The Library annex was stuffed full of children and helpers and even Santa Clause was there. We helped the kids with their crafts and posed for pictures with all the little girls who wanted to be “just like us with a big crown” one day.
Christmas Parade Day was a busy day. The Spring City Royalty, our Miss Spring City Pageant “Has-Beens,” and our Chamber Ambassador, Drake Robins, were all at the Tennessee Valley Theater for the Little Mr. and Miss Christmas Pageant for children. Those little boys and girls all looked like winners to me! Then we went to our director’s home for lunch and to get ready for the parade. It is always fun to have our “Has-Beens” with us and we were glad Ambassador Drake joined us there too. There were what seemed like a million pictures taken. Our “Has-Beens” and former titleholders walked beside our cars handing out flyers about this year’s scholarship programs. There is nothing quite as fun as riding in the Spring City Christmas Parade. Thank you, Chamber, for giving us that opportunity.
Spring City Mayor Billy Ray Patton provided a beautifully decorated black convertible and drove me through the parade. It was such an honor to be escorted by Mayor Patton.
-I have mentioned the “Has-Beens” several times. “Has Beens” as we affectionately call them, are former titleholders who come back year after year to mentor our Miss Spring City pageant contestants and titleholders. Thank you Katie Chattin for being a great “Has-Been” big sister. We are excited you are our new Spring City Chamber Scholarship Program Director. Also thanks to Alyssa Dyck, Keyli Hickey, Alex Marsh, and Whitney Reed. They have all helped with my wardrobe and hair.
I want to thank Judith Barger, our retiring Pageant Director, for helping me get through the rough moments and teaching me how to deal with the world today. Hannah Couch, thank you for being there through it all. I loved getting to do this together. We have had our fun but it’s now time for me to go to college and for you to be you and enjoy your last two years in high school.
I want to thank the Spring City Chamber of Commerce and everyone who donated money to the Spring City Chamber Scholarship Program. Thank you for caring about our Spring City youth. You are who we look to as an example of how we should help others when we are adults.
Being Miss Spring City really has made a difference in my life. After saying goodbye, I now will say hello to the future. I will be using my $1,000 scholarship at Tennessee Technological University after I finish community college. I will major in U.S. History and plan to be a high school teacher. While teaching, I plan to continue my education and become a college professor.
Now, as I become a “Has-Been,” I want to say goodbye to this wonderful family I have been brought into.
To my Mom, Thank you for being my cheerleader last year when I won. You and Zane and Granny were all I could hear after they called my name. I will always remember that. Dad and Tessa, thank you for cheering me on from a distance. I know you are very proud of me. And to my sister Hannah, I want to thank you for calling when I was getting ready for events and making me feel better.
It indeed does take a village to raise a child. And my Spring City is an amazing place to grow up.
If you are thinking about checking out this Scholarship Program, I encourage you to go online at www.SpringCityChamberofCommerce.com and download an application or pick one up at the Spring City Chamber of Commerce office, at Spring City Elementary School, at Spring City Middle School, or at Rhea County High School in the guidance office. The deadline to turn in applications for the pageant and for the ambassador program is Thursday, February 27th at 3 p.m.
In addition to a new director, this year’s program has additional changes that will benefit the youth of Spring City. The entry fee is only $10, and there are $4,100 in scholarships that will be awarded that night. For the first time, the first and second runner-ups for the Junior Miss and Miss categories will also receive scholarship money. In addition, the Chamber Ambassador and first runner-up will be announced at the program, as well as awarded scholarships. Borrow a dress and a pair of shoes if you don’t have one, and see how this can change your future!
Please come watch 2020 The Spring City Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Program at the Spring City United Methodist Church Family Life Center on Saturday, March 7, at 5 p.m. Admission is only $5. Hope to see you there!
Madisson Jordan, 2019 Miss Spring City