By HALEY ATKINSON
C-I (Camden, S.C.) Localife editor
The Miss South Carolina/Miss South Carolina Teen pageants will June 21-28 at the Township Auditorium in Columbia. Lugoff-Elgin High School and Emmanuel College graduate Allison Sanders will compete as Miss Camden, and North Central High School junior Alexa Williamson will compete as Miss Camden Teen.
The Miss S.C. pageant judges will evaluate such categories as talent, physical fitness, swimwear, evening wear, interview and onstage question. The crowning, June 28 at 8 p.m., will be televised live on Fox 57. According to Williamson, "This is the first time in many years it’s been on TV."
To prepare for the pageant, Sanders and Williamson trained in various ways. Williamson said she practiced her walk, her song, "The House that Built Me," by Miranda Lambert, studied her platform charity, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and working on possible responses to interview questions.
Sanders said she’s been "working out," practicing for the interview, working on her song, "Lessons Learned" by Carrie Underwood and studying her platform charity, Pathway through Bethel Church.
When asked how they were feeling about the upcoming pageant, Williamson said, "I’m nervous about the interview, but I’m excited to strut on stage and show them what I have. People might not think Kershaw County girls can do what other girls can, but we’ll show them."
Sanders responded, "The interview is scary. Walking in a swimsuit and heels across a stage is not something I do every day, so that’s scary too. With the onstage question, you have to be ready for anything."
Williamson added that she thought the onstage question "will be something platform related."
Aside from being beauty queens, Sanders and Williamson have other interests including sports and hunting. Williamson said she plays softball and volleyball and is very active in church functions at Pineview Baptist Church in Kershaw.
"I like squirrel hunting," she said. "I like to be barefoot and I’d rather be outside, riding four-wheelers and playing in the mud."
Sanders said she played volleyball and lacrosse in school and is also involved with activities at her church, Lighthouse Christian Ministries in Elgin.
"I play the drums and I love to deer hunt. I live out in the back woods," she said.
Sanders hopes to become a healthcare administrator and Williamson is interested in becoming a nurse practitioner.
"I want to work with babies, Williamson said. I want to help them when they’re born.
Sanders explained her mother is a nurse and her father owns a business and she feels she’s received qualities from both.
"I like to manage," she said, "but I also want to care for people."
Both girls agree their year as Miss Camden and Miss Camden Teen has been a great experience.
"The highlight of my year was getting the title of Miss Camden Teen," Williamson said. "I represented the title at the Carolina Cup. That was really fun."
"I’ve really enjoyed driving around wearing my crown and going to the car show," Sanders said. "Beauty is often painful and challenging, staying in shape and keeping your teeth white, so it’s good to have fun, too."