The first Miss Chattanooga in 64 years to win the Miss Tennessee Pageant will be making her initial public appearance in the city since her victory two weeks ago on Wednesday evening.
Chandler Lawson will be singing The Star Spangled Banner and tossing the ceremonial first pitch when the Chattanooga Lookouts host the Pensacola Blue Wahoos at 7:15 p.m. at AT&T Field. Tickets range from $3 general admission for children ages 7-12 and seniors 55 and over to $9 for lower box seats.
The 22-year-old who graduated from UT-Chattanooga in May with a degree in Political Science, won $14,000 in scholarships when she became the 60th Miss Tennessee to be crowned in Jackson on June 23, after being the first runner-up a year ago. She joins 1948 titleholder Dorothy Free Thurmond, who now resides in California, as the only Miss Chattanooga entrants to outright win the state competition.
She has deferred her admission to the University of Tennessee School of Law to fulfill her new duties which will find her traveling statewide and beyond for the next year.
Miss Lawson, who hails from Tullahoma, recently returned from the Tri-Cities in her role as Tennessee’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network along with visiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee which coincides with her platform of reducing childhood hunger. As a student at Tullahoma High School in 2007, she launched her hometown chapter of 5 Loaves 4 Kids which provides weekend backpacks of food for low income students. Since its inception, over 40,000 meals have been donated with the help of community volunteers and businesses to families in Tullahoma and Coffee County.
The daughter of educators Dr. Dan and Karen Lawson of Tullahoma will also visit thousands of young Tennessee students as Governor Bill Haslam’s spokesperson for Character Education during her year of service.
Miss Lawson will be celebrating her 23rd birthday on Jan. 12, by competing in the finals of the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas which will be televised on ABC (WTVC News Channel 9). She will be the second UTC student in four years vying for the coveted title. Miss Tennessee 2009 and former Miss Hamilton County Stefanie Wittler of Soddy-Daisy was the second-runner up at the 2010 pageant.