2018 Miss Shelby County, Outstanding Teen crowned

COLUMBIANA – The 2018 Miss Shelby County and Miss Shelby County’s Outstanding Teen were crowned at the 31st annual Miss Shelby County pageant at Shelby County High School in Columbiana on Friday, July 21.

The pageant consisted of 18 young women who live, work or attend school in the county.

During the pageant, contestants were judged based on interviews, onstage questions, a fitness portion, a talent portion and an eveningwear walk. 2017 Miss Shelby County Chassidy Sumler and the 2017 Outstanding Teen Blakely Channell also performed their final walks.

“These girls work out, stay fit, work on their interview skills, work on their talent and they have to be graceful,” pageant director Pam Oliver said. “They practice all year long. They really don’t compete against the other girls, they compete against themselves.”

Charity Bowden, 18, won the title of 2018 Miss Shelby County, and is set to compete in the 2018 Miss Alabama pageant. She also won the talent portion after she performed a vocal rendition of “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart.”

Bowden previously competed in the 2017 Miss Alabama Pageant as the 2017 Miss Front Porch City.

“I don’t quite have the words to say. I am unbelievably excited for next year, to go back to Miss Alabama and watch Jessica Proctor crown the next Miss Alabama,” Bowden said.

Bowden is a freshman at the University of Montevallo and won a $62,600 scholarship from UM, as well as $3,950 in cash scholarships from local businesses and organizations.

“Scholarships are a very big deal to these girls,” Oliver said.

Bowden said she looks forward to promoting her platform, Easter Seals, at the Miss Alabama pageant.

“I would absolutely love to have some sort of benefit concert in Shelby County. I’ll also be promoting it at school and using online awareness,” Bowden said.

Harley Chapin was named the first runner-up, Mary Ann McDougal was named the second runner-up and Emma Owen was named third runner up.

Rising Oak Mountain High School sophomore Katie Gray was crowned the 2018 Miss Shelby County’s Outstanding Teen. While she has prior pageant experience, Gray said this is the first title she has ever won.

“It feels amazing. I was not expecting my name called. When it was called, I was shocked,” Gray said.

Gray’s platform is Above the Influence, a campaign about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.

“I want to go to schools and talk about the dangers of drinking and driving and drug overdoses,” Gray said.

Caitlyn Moreno was named as the first runner-up and Ibby Dixon was named as second runner-up.

Since 1988, the pageant has been hosted by the Columbiana Vignette Club. 2017 Miss Alabama Jessica Proctor served as the emcee of this year’s Miss Shelby County.

The judges were Bragg Scroggins of Birmingham, Debbie Benson of Hoover, Edna Felton of Pelham, Jennifer Neumann of Alabaster and Victoria Sims of Birmingham.

To view or purchase more photos from the 2018 Miss Shelby County pageant, visit Shelbycountyphotos.com.