Alabaster student competing in national pageant
Published 5:09 pm Wednesday, November 18, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Lynleigh Weltzin, a second-grader at Alabaster’s Meadow View Elementary School, will be traveling to California with her family the week of Thanksgiving to compete in the National American Miss competition, but she won’t be traveling without the support of her classmates.
Just inside the front doors of MVES, several trash cans and boxes filled with canned food goods serve as a testament to this support.
“I really didn’t think it would be that much,” Weltzin said with a smile as she stood in front of the overflowing containers of food donations on Nov. 18. “That makes me feel good.”
For the past few weeks, MVES students have been donating non-perishable food items through the Alabaster City School System’s Doug Trotter memorial food drive, and to support Weltzin’s platform of giving back to the community.
Weltzin was recently crowned Miss Alabama Princess, paving the way for her to compete in the National American Miss competition in late November. While competing, Weltzin has been living her platform by visiting nursing homes, volunteering at animal shelters, filling boxes for Operation Christmas Child and collecting food items to benefit Manna Ministries.
A few weeks ago, Weltzin approached MVES Principal Rachea Simms and asked her if she could support the Doug Trotter food drive as part of her platform.
After Weltzin and her mother designed decorations for the food collection bins and encouraged the school’s students to donate, the drive took off.
“We’ve had to start adding collection boxes because the trash cans are full,” Simms said. “We asked each student to bring at least one food item, but they’ve been bringing six to 10 at a time.”
The drive ends on the 24th, when Weltzin will be competing in California for the national crown – The highest award she has ever contended for.
A few days before departing for the west coast, Weltzin was confident in her chances to make a national splash.
“I’m nervous a little bit,” Weltzin said. “But I’m really excited.”
While she is competing, Weltzin will certainly have the support of her classmates, Simms said.
“We are very proud of her, and we know she will do great,” Simms said.