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.

 


Nightfall Season Begins May 6 With Polyrhythmics

The free Nightfall Concert Series, produced by Chattanooga Presents, will open its 29th season on Friday, May 6, at Miller Plaza, with a headline performance by Seattle-based funk band, Polyrhythmics and local opener Opposite Box.   This year Nightfall will be held over the course of 15 Friday nights at Miller Plaza in the heart of downtown Chattanooga. Stretching through ... (click for more)

River City Sessions Hosts Live Concert At Lula Lake Land Trust June 10

River City Sessions will be hosting a fundraiser benefiting Lula Lake Land Trust on Friday, June 10, at the land trust’s core property.  River City Sessions is a monthly program at The Camp House featuring local and regional musical acts along with southern storytelling.    “We’re really excited about performing at sunset on such a beautiful property,” said Michael ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)

Expansion By Developers Of McCallie Commons Would Raze 3 Old Houses On Oak Street

Developers of the McCallie Commons student housing at McCallie and Central are wanting to expand the project, but it would involve tearing down three old homes on Oak Street. The proposal from developer David Hudson would be an expansion of the four-story apartment building and separate parking garage with 300 parking spaces proposed that was approved earlier. The original ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Yes, A Social Experiment

JoeySalads, his screen name, is widely known for his funny pranks except for the fact he calls them “social experiments.” So while we are still on the transgender-restroom issue, our boy JoeySalads got a transgender friend to approve his attire before he tried his luck at entering women’s restrooms. I don’t think you’ll be real surprised at what really happened in this video. Click ... (click for more)