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Tuesday, September 22, 13:52:34Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 123[4]567 ]
Subject: First black woman wins pageant

The Sun News
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Date Posted: 06/ 4/05 4:29:44pm

Posted on Sat, Jun. 04, 2005

Joycelyn McElveen, 19, of West Columbia, is crowned the 2006 Miss Sun Fun USA.

Joycelyn McElveen wants to be an actress and model.

McElveen makes history as 2006 Miss Sun Fun USA

Joyce McElveen winced when she saw the No. 13 attached to her daughter's hip, but something inside her still knew victory was certain.

"I said, 'Oh no!'" McElveen said while wiping away tears. "Why did they give the unlucky No. 13 to my baby?" Then I said, 'That's OK. She will win, anyway.'"

Her mother's intuition didn't fail her.

On Friday, Joycelyn McElveen, a 19-year-old from West Columbia, became the 2006 Miss Sun Fun USA and made history Friday during the 54th annual Sun Fun Festival.

McElveen, who wants to be an actress and model, is the first black woman to be crowned winner for the pageant, which is presented by Hawaiian Tropic.

"I feel like Halle Berry," said McElveen while crying. "People can do what they dream."

In 2002, Berry became the first black woman in the history of the Academy Awards to win an Oscar for best actress. It was a moment in which Berry cried a bit before gaining her composure to speak. McElveen, who also was voted Miss Congeniality by her competitors, wept, too.

Her mama, however, cried more. Joyce McElveen, 49, raised her daughter as a single parent. And there were rough times, but she said she always encouraged her daughter to believe in herself and hold firm to her faith in God.

"I always said, 'Joycelyn, don't ever be fake. Be yourself. Never be ashamed of who you are,'" she said. "And she did that. What you see is who she is, and she is a warm and energetic person."

Vera Morris-Bennett, Miss North Carolina USA 1998, told her parents and Joyce McElveen that Joycelyn got everyone around her hyped-up with excitement and confidence through sheer effervescence.

"She was telling the girls, 'You can do it! You can do it!,'" said Morris-Bennett while pumping her fists into the air as McElveen did. "And I was like, 'Yeah, you can do it!'"

Other pageant winners, including Ashley Cannon who won Miss Bikini Wahine 2005 and Nina Tuttle, Miss Sun Fun 2005, were among the women who lined up to hug McElveen.

Other girls who won rave reviews from audience members included Kirsti Grinna of Myrtle Beach, who designed her own dress out of canary yellow bathing suit fabric for the teen competition. Kristin Oates of Myrtle Beach, wore a white evening gown with a thigh-high slit during the Miss Sun Fun competition.

This year marked the first Miss Sun Fun USA and Miss Sun Fun Teen USA contests, both preliminaries to the Miss South Carolina USA and Miss South Carolina Teen USA pageants.

Marlana Carter, a student at Fort Mill High School, won 2006 Miss Sun Fun Teen USA.


Winners of Miss Sun Fun USA pageant

Miss Sun Fun USA | Jocelyn McElveen, West Columbia

First place | Reid McLeod, West Columbia

Second place | Brittany Gantt, Cayce

Third place | Kristin Oates, Myrtle Beach

Fourth place | Jessica Horton, Abbeville

Miss Photogenic | Kristin Oates, Myrtle Beach

Miss Congeniality | Joycelyn McElveen, West Columbia

Miss Sun Fun Teen USA | Marlana Carter, Tega Cay

First place | Kellie Horton, Abbeville

Second place | Ashlyn Clark, Myrtle Beach

Third place | Kirsti Grinna, Myrtle Beach

Fourth place | Taylor Stathes, Conway

Miss Photogenic | Marlana Carta, Tega Cay

Miss Congeniality | McKenzie Byrd, Myrtle Beach

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