Vignette Club gearing up for return of Miss Shelby County

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

For over 30 years, the Miss Shelby County pageant has offered the young women of Alabama the opportunity to win significant funds for their education, as well as build long-lasting friendships during the experience.

Just like every other annual event, the Miss Shelby County Pageant had to take a year off due to the pandemic, but as they prepare for the upcoming reboot of the long lived event on July 10, the Vignette Club of Columbiana, creators and hosts of the pageant, are excited about the outstanding prizes and new venue that come with reopening.

Traditionally held at Shelby County High School, the pageant finds itself moving just down the street this year to the new Black Box Theater at the Shelby County Arts Council.

“We were disappointed to lose a year of tradition, but on the other hand, we are so excited for our contestants and guests to experience this new venue,” Vignette Club president Samantha Rush said.

A portion of the funds that the Vignette Club raises each year, goes to the support of the Shelby County Arts Council.

This year, scholarships and prizes totaling up to $70,000 are available to contestants. Contestants have just a few more days to register for the pageant with the deadline happening on July 3. A four-year renewable scholarship to the University of Montevallo and a two-year renewable scholarship to Jefferson State Community College are the top prizes available.

To qualify for the Miss Shelby County Pageant, contestants must be between the ages of 17 and 25. For Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen, the age qualifications are 13 to still 17 on July 31.

The Vignettes also invite girls aged seven to eleven to become Rising Stars. It’s $40 to become a Rising Star, and these young ladies are paired with Miss Shelby and Miss Shelby Outstanding Teen contestants for a day of activities and dinner together.

“It is  a wonderful mentoring opportunity for young girls whether they are interested in becoming future pageant contestants or not,” Rush said.

Outgoing Miss Shelby County Shiann Harper, just competed at the Miss Alabama pageant, and the outgoing Miss Shelby County Outstanding Teen, Marisa Luna, was second runner up at the Miss Outstanding Alabama Teen pageant. Both of these women were the first to serve in their roles for two years due to the pandemic.

The pageants are the Vignette Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year and allows them to support many different worthy causes in the county.

“We are able to give thousands to local schools, the arts, and many local nonprofits through this event,” said Rush. “Not to mention the scholarships that are provided to deserving women each year.”

To find out more about registering by July 3, find information at Misshelbycounty.com or at their Facebook page Miss Shelby County Pageant.  Those interested in participating in Rising Stars can email Jackie Finklea at MrsJackieFinklea@yahoo.com for more information.