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Junior Miss: Local programs essential

By By Ida Brown/The Meridian Star
July 30, 2001
While state, as well as the national, Junior Miss programs are highly regarded, Mississippi's Annual Program Chairman Hampton Thames said local programs are essential to the scholarship program.
This year's increase to 40 contestants in the state program is very pleasing to the program chairman.
Even the Meridian and Lauderdale County programs have experienced an increase in participation in recent years.
Mississippi is one of seven state Junior Miss programs recognized for awarding more than $15,000 in scholarships. Thames hopes to increase the state program's current $22,000 awards.
In five years, Thames said he would like the Mississippi Junior Miss Program to award more than $30,000 in scholarships.
The annual program chairman credits his enthusiasm for the Junior Miss to the program's continual influence on the contestants.
In addition to more local programs, rescheduling also has had an impact on the success of the state program.
Contestants for this year's Mississippi Junior Miss Program arrived Sunday to being their week of rehearsals, personal appearances and three nights of competition. According to Thames, public response has been outstanding.
Presented under the auspices of the Greater Meridian Jaycees, the three nights of competition will be held at the Temple Theatre in downtown Meridian. Preliminaries begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, with finals Saturday starting at 8 p.m.
Tickets are available at the Temple Box Office, from 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information, call 693-5353.
Ida Brown is special sections editor of The Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551 ext. 3224, or e-mail her at