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Lincoln County Miss Hospitality aims for state title

Lincoln County’s Miss Hospitality will leave Sunday for Hattiesburg to compete with 42 other young women for the state title and a share of more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Allie Claire Townsend received a send-off Thursday night from Macedonia Baptist Church complete with chocolate cupcakes and lemonade and lots of hugs and well wishes.

Townsend will be joined at the competition by her Little Miss Hospitality, Isabellah Grace Dunaway, a fourth-grader at Brookhaven Academy. Isabellah is the 9-year-old daughter of Kevin and Annah Dunaway.

They’ll compete together July 25 and 26 at the Hattiesburg Saenger Theater.

The winner of the competition will serve for a full year as the state’s official ambassador for economic development and tourism. The contestant’s Little Miss will serve alongside her as she fulfills her duties and responsibilities as Mississippi’s Goodwill Ambassador.

Throughout competition week in Hattiesburg, contestants will attend social events, participate in community service projects, and attend rehearsals and competitions. The public is invited to meet the contestants at the Miss Hospitality autograph party at Turtle Creek Mall July 26 from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Townsend was chosen as Miss Hospitality for Lincoln County in February. Katie Nations, program director for the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the local contest, said Townsend is a natural when it comes to representing Lincoln County and the entire state.

“Allie Claire has already represented Lincoln County so well in every aspect during her time as our Miss Hospitality,” she said. “From ribbon cuttings, Chamber events and assisting in local civic organizations all while going to school full time and working part-time. Her work ethic, time management and composure will certainly serve her well in the state contest next weekend. We are so proud of her.”

Townsend, the daughter of Dwayne and Cindy Townsend, is ready for the judges who will be eyeing her and the other contestants to rate them on their presence, composure and confidence as well as her ability to promote her state with a live commercial.

Townsend plans to graduate next year from Co-Lin and head to Mississippi College for her degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish. She’ll most likely seek her master’s there as well then come back to Brookhaven to teach first-graders.

Townsend was in the color guard at Brookhaven High School and served as Miss Merry Christmas her senior year. She’s involved in numerous activities including the Junior Auxiliary Crown Club, Junior Ambassadors, Co-Lin Baptist Student Union, Macedonia Baptist Church Youth, Acteens, Macedonia Baptist Church Vacation Bible School and Lincoln County Teenage Republicans.