Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Manning High School sophomore Chyna Hickman glittered on stage Friday night after being crowned 2014 Miss Williamsburg County Teen. The pageant was held June 13, at the Alex Chatman Complex. Hickman and five other contestants walked the runway in the second annual Miss Williamsburg County Teen Pageant sponsored by Juantia Green, founder of Mary’s Independent Living for Young Women, a non-profit organization.
The newly crowned Hickman heads the Parliamentary Procedure team of the Manning High School FFA Chapter and is an active member of FBLA, ROTC, and a junior varsity cheerleader.
Hickman was crowned Miss Manning Junior High School and Miss Photogenic in the Clarendon Striped Bass Pageant. She plans to attend the University of South Carolina where she will obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She is the daughter of the late Samuel “Dr. Rock” Lewis and Mary Ruth Hickman. The pageant was hosted by Carletta Shaw and included entertainment by some very talented locals.
The event has drawn criticism from the mother of one contestant whose daughter was allowed to compete and win the runner up title even though, according to Green, she was disqualified before the contest began. “Due to the rules of the pageant, she was disqualified,” said Green. “She was there when we got there and when the curtains and stuff opened she was there so we kept going on with the pageant.”
The rules for the Miss Williamsburg County Pageant state in part that attendance is mandatory at all scheduled events and failure to attend scheduled events and/or rehearsals may result in disqualification.
Unaware that she had been disqualified, the contestant arrived prior to the start of the event and competed. The following day the contestant was striped of her title and another contestant was crowned first runner up. Green said policy dictates participants must attend all rehearsals. The event is an official Miss South Carolina preliminary.
The mother of the disqualified contestant claims the rules and regulations were not with the packet she received. “I’m not trying to tell them to take back what the rules said, but in the papers, none of that was in my paper and for another reason, why allow her to go onstage when you know this?” A representative for the pageant said pulling the contestant off the stage would have been unprofessional. “She was disqualified the night of; however, she showed up at show time and was already behind the curtain.
That would have been unprofessional to pull her off the stage and make a scene in front of our audience and the judges.” The mother said she was at the event before it started, giving pageant officials enough time to tell her what was going on.
The representative said though the judges voted they don’t have the final authority. “The judges vote and tally by final; however, we have the authority if she violates one of those rules and regulations, to go ahead and pass her crown to the next in line.”
The representative added that details that led to her disqualification would not be released. “As far as the breakdown, every small detail - that will violate confidentiality of the situation.