Chandler Lawson Is Finalist For Miss America's Quality Of Life Award

Friday, January 4, 2013 - by Wendy King
Chandler Lawson
Chandler Lawson
- photo by Darren Lykes

Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson has yet to begin her first Miss America preliminary competition, but the former Miss Chattanooga was named Thursday as one of the seven finalists for the pageant’s prestigious Jean Bartel Quality of Life Awards for Exceptional Community Service and Volunteerism during the Arrival Ceremony at the Planet Hollywood Resort in Las Vegas.

The winner, who will receive a $6,000 scholarship, will be announced on Thursday. The second place winner receives a $4,000 grant and the third place recipient will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship. Miss Lawson, Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan and the state representatives from Delaware, Idaho, Maryland, Mississippi and Washington will be interviewed by a panel of former Miss Americas who will determine the top three finalists for the awards that have been renamed this year in honor of the late Miss Bartel, who was Miss America 1943.

Miss Bartel, who sold over $2.5 million dollars in Treasury E War Bonds during World War II, was the first titleholder to recommend that college scholarships be awarded to future contestants. The first scholarships were awarded two years later in 1945 and remains today as Miss America 2013 will receive a $50,000 scholarship next Saturday night when the finals are televised on ABC.

Miss Lawson was recognized for starting the Tullahoma chapter of the non-profit 5 Loaves 4 Kids during her junior year at Tullahoma High School in 2007. Since the program’s inception, over 50,000 weekend meals have been provided to low income pupils throughout the Tullahoma and Coffee County area. She has raised over $10,000 for the organization through her Cans 4 Kids food drive and as Miss Tennessee, is the spokesperson for the Nashville based Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee. Miss Lawson has also participated in fundraisers throughout the state for area food banks since becoming Miss Tennessee last June.

During her three years of state competition, Miss Lawson received both the Miss America and Miss Tennessee Community Service Awards for her work with 5 Loaves 4 Kids.

Miss Lawson is the first Scenic City Pageants contestant in the program’s 11 year history to be a Quality of Life finalist but she is the second area representative to be honored in the last four years. Miss Tennessee 2009 Stefanie Wittler of Soddy-Daisy, was a Quality of Life finalist for her volunteer work with the Chattanooga Ronald McDonald House.

If Miss Lawson is selected as a top three Quality of Life finalist, she would be just the second Miss Tennessee to be honored in the 23 year history of the awards program. Miss Tennessee 1990 Dana Brown was the second place finisher the first year the awards were presented.

Miss Lawson and the 52 contestants will be busy with rehearsals and appearances until the three rounds of preliminaries begin on Tuesday. The pivotal private interviews with this year’s panel of judges including retired Entertainment Tonight anchor and former Miss South Dakota Mary Hart, Olympic gymnastics champion McKayla Maroney, Cheryl Burke of Dancing with the Stars and Good Morning America meteorologist Sam Champion will be held prior to the preliminaries.

The finals will be televised on ABC (WTVC NewsChannel 9) next Saturday night which also happens to be Miss Lawson’s 23rd birthday, from 9-11pm with Chris Harrison and Brooke Burke-Charvet hosting for the third consecutive year. There will also be a special Miss America edition of 20/20 airing from 8-9 pm.

 


Lee To Host Saxophone Choir Concert Wednesday

Lee University will host a saxophone choir concert Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Pangle Hall.  The performance will feature students taught by Lee faculty Dr. Brenda Moye and Alan Wyatt, along with students instructed by Clint Schmitt of UTC. Mr. Wyatt will conduct the majority of the program with Mr. Schmitt guest conducting. Also performing with the students will be Dr. Moye ... (click for more)

UTC Piano Festival Honors The Memory Of Sin-Hsing Tsai

The UTC Department of Performing Arts will host the Seventh Annual Piano Arts Festival and will honor the memory of Dr. Sin-Hsing Tsai, March 3-5. Here is the schedule for the festival: Friday, March 3, 3 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall.  Collaborative and Piano Ensemble Master Class.  Special guest ChoEun Lee will coach students in an eight-hand piano ensemble ... (click for more)

Signal School Study Says Under Own School System Much More Could Go To The Classroom; Lennon Says Getting Land, Buildings A Major Issue

A panel studying a new school system operated by Signal Mountain concluded that much more money could go directly into the classroom, helping students further increase their potential.   However, County School Board member Kathy Lennon said how the town would be able to acquire the land and buildings is a major issue.   A group of Signal Mountain residents ... (click for more)

Man, 39, Shot Late Friday Night In The Vicinity Of North Chamberlain Avenue

Police said a 39-year-old man was shot late Friday night in the vicinity of North Chamberlain Avenue.   He was identified as Ruben Williams Sr.   Officers with the Chattanooga Police Department were informed just before midnight that a shooting victim arrived at a local hospital via personal vehicle.   Officers made contact with the victim who advised ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Trump's Latest Delight

I was quite amused this week when Donald Trump’s administration “locked out” several news organizations from the daily press briefings at the White House. The reason I loved it because in the 50 years I have spent in the news business, I have been locked out of press conferences, too. To be truthful, I am a longtime veteran of a bunch of “you versus me” squabbles and, if I do say, ... (click for more)