Story by Adell Pitts and Laura Santos, Photo by Laura Santos

Blue and white balloons cover the entrance to the auditorium last Saturday. Junior ROTC set up the Miss Silver Fox Pageant. From the blue and white balloon arch, to running the concession stand, to helping out the contestants and moving props on the stage.   

“[JROTC] really work hard. They’re [JROTC] backstage helping the girls, getting dress,” production director Melanie Davis said, “They also provide breakfast and supper for the judges, and do all the decorations.”

Sophomore Ebony Chapman was a volunteer at the pageant, who helped the contestants in the dressing room. Ebony help the girls change into their different outfits.

“The pageant has three phases of competitions; for the middle school we have an application form 20%  of finale score, theme wear and evening gown which each counts for 40%,” Davis said. “For the high school; interviews which are 30%, theme wear counts as 30% and evening grown 35%. This year the theme of the pageant is Once Upon A Time. We don’t tell them what theme wear to wear so they can take that theme and their creativity to come up what they are going to wear during the theme wear competition.”

Junior Brianna Brinder was a contestant and she said she had a wonderful time.

“[Pageants] are a way that people can come out try it to see how it feels,” Brianna said. “To get out of your comfort zone a little bit to show people your true self though theme wear, [evening wear],  interview to show them you can try different things and succeed at it.”

Davis said she feels the same way as Brianna. That pageant can help people.

“I feel like the girls who do the pageant really have a good time. I have some girls who are now seniors who have done the pageant was for 6 years. So that’s really fun to see how they grow and evolve as they mature and get older,” Davis said. “The big thing about the pageant is like what I told the kids last night it’s not about who has the crown on top on their head at the end of night. It’s about who has grown as a person from doing the pageant.”

There were 34 crowns handed out that night. JROTC help assistant with the handing out the crowns and bouquets. JROTC also perform at the pageant.

“I’m performing silent drill,” Ebony said. “Silent drill is JROTC version of step basically.”

JROTC cadet, senior Mario Sais, perform exhibition arm drill also at the pageant. Rifle drill is basically someone spinning a rifle around. JROTC sabre team and color guard also perform at the pageant. JROTC cadet, freshman Dallas Koon perform with sabre team.

“Junior ROTC runs the [Miss Silver Fox Pageant],” senior Michael Lane said. “JROTC wants to support the [Dutch Fork Middle and High] schools and school spirit.”

The Miss Silver Fox Pageant has been around for eight years now and doesn’t seem to go away anytime soon.

“Dutch Fork ROTC eight years ago started the Dutch Fork Miss Silver Fox Pageant because one of the parents had been in beauty pageants for 20 years,” aerospace science instructor, Master Sergeant Joseph Whetstine said. “We didn’t have one, Chapin High and Irmo High had one but we didn’t have one so we started our own silver fox and this is what it has grown into. We added the middle school six years ago.”