Newman named state’s new Miss Hospitality

Published 5:00 am Monday, July 29, 2002

The past year for Katie Newman has been unforgettable,especially since being named the state’s Miss Hospitality duringthe annual event Saturday night at the Seanger Theatre inHattiesburg.

Newman, the 20-year-old daughter of Henry and Vickie Newman ofBrookhaven, was chosen among over 30 other contestants as the topwinner in the contest. She was crowned by Governor RonnieMusgrove.

“I’m so excited — I don’t even know what to say,” said Newman,after winning the event.

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Newman represented the Brookhaven and Lincoln County area asMiss Hospitality 2002 beginning with orientation last Sundaymorning in Hub City.

She spent the past week rehearsing the productions that wereperformed during the preliminary competition at 7 p.m. Friday atthe Sanger Theatre.

Actual competition began Wednesday with individual interview.Newman and the other contestants mingled with the judges and boardof directors Wednesday night during a cocktail dessert party.Thursday was filled with panel interviews and dress rehearsal.

On Friday morning, each contestant did a 90-second speech infront of the judges on how to promote a visitor in Mississippi.Newman prepared herself by studying the facts on Mississippi andkeeping up with the news as preparation for the competition for thelast few months.

Despite some technical sound problems at the competition, Newmanconfidently displayed her knowledge of Brookhaven and LincolnCounty to the judges and audience.

As Brookhaven’s Miss Hospitality, she told a crowd of spectatorsduring the final interview portion of the event that she haslearned to cherish every moment she has been given in life.

“I’ve learned not to take for granted our walk of life everyday. Truly God has shown me how blessed I am to be an American anda Mississippian,” said Newman.

Newman, a well-rounded student, is the epitome of a tophospitality winner. She is a sophomore at Mississippi College whereshe is majoring in biology and working to become a physicaltherapist. She is also a member of the Lady Choctaws basketballteam. She will go on to represent Mississippi, promoting its causesat several events across the state.

Newman is excited about the opportunity to serve the state andis grateful for the support of her parents, other family membersand the people of Brookhaven.

“You all have been so special to me,” she said.

She also received a great deal of assistance from Kay Burton,Amanda Burton, Chuck and Jullia Ivey and Rita Rich, who volunteertheir time every year to prepare Miss Hospitality for the stateprogram.

“This is long overdue for Brookhaven,” said Chuck Ivey, aboutNewman’s win.

Not only did the experience give Newman an opportunity to learnmore about herself, but it was also a chance to make new friendswith the dozens of other contestants, many of whom she has alreadymet.

“We had an orientation in June and I got to meet all the girls.That was a lot of fun,” she said, adding that three of thecontestants are fellow classmates at Mississippi College.

For being named the state’s Miss Hospitality 2002, Newman willreceive numerous scholarships and other prizes. Other contestantsplacing in the competition were first-runner, Casey Wheeler ofLaurel; second runner-up was Ginger Todd of Winston County; thirdrunner-up was Lana Rogers of Leake County; and fourth runner-up wasHeather Warren of Scott County.