DeKalb Reigns Supreme at State Fair

September 19, 2012
Crowns for a Cause
Taneah Cantrell
Tyra Graham and Shan Burklow

DeKalb County was represented by an impressive number of contestants at the Tennessee State Fair Pageants earlier this month. Due to the massive turn out, DeKalb County Fair will be awarded a plaque and a $500 Cash Prize for showing the most overall county support at the state fair pageants in Nashville. The award ceremony will take place at the Tennessee State Fair Convention in January 2013. Several crowns and titles were awarded to contestants that currently reside in DeKalb County. The State Fair Pageants also hosted a crown ceremony so that beauty queens across Tennessee could donate their crowns to children of Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital so that they, too, can be 'Queen for a Day. In a heartwarming swell of emotion, queens from ages 4 to 70 gave away 65 crowns as well as raising $1,740.00 to purchase additional crowns for the children. The crowns will be delivered in late September.

"We were amazed at the number of queens that came out to support the two day event," Pageant Director Shan Burklow remarked, "Crowns for a Cause received enough money to not only allow every sick little girl to be 'Queen for a Day', but they are also purchasing fire hats for all the little boys along with a visit from the Nashville Firefighters to salute them as 'Hero for a Day'. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude to all of the beauty queens as well as their friends and family for making this small idea such a huge success! I wish I could thank each one of them in person."

Having been born severly premature, blind, and weighing only 2 pounds 6 ounces, Burklow has experienced Vanderbilt Hospital firsthand. When asked what she plans to do next, Burklow smiled, "I was very happy to support a cause that is very dear to me. I am thankful for the support of my family, and especially my hard working sister (Beth Chandler). I want to continue to pay it forward in any way that God sends me the ability. If we all try and do one small good deed a day...well, that would really be something!"

Contestants placing from DeKalb County include: TN State Queen Supreme Overall - Tyra Graham, the 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville, TN / Tennessee Top Model Queen - Taneah Cantrell, the 16 year old daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell of Smithville, TN / Miss Sweetheart Queen - Addison Grace Oakley, the 11 year old daughter of Clark and Lisa Oakley of Liberty, TN / Little Miss Princess First Runner-Up Arlene Kirby, the 8 year old daughter of Jesse and Shauna Kirby of Smithville, TN / Fourth Runner-Up Addison Jean Puckett, the 8 year old daughter of Jimmy and Anita Puckett of Smithville, TN / Little Miss Third Runner-Up Isabella Faith Rackley, the 4 year old daughter of Gordon and Jessica Rackley of Smithville, TN / Junior Fair Princess Second Runner-Up - Tyra Graham, the 14 year old daughter of Kyle and Doris Graham of Smithville, TN / Third Runner-Up - Taneah Cantrell , the 16 year old daughter of Scott and Tammy Cantrell of Smithville, TN / Fourth Runner-Up - Liz Abigail Qualls, the 14 year old daughter of Brad and Kim Trapp of Smithville, TN. Other optional awards were given to various other DeKalb contestants including Madison Brooke Dawson, Ashley Medlin, Addison Jean Puckett, Maeloree Kirby, Sophia Angeletti, Alexis Atnip, Makayla Shea Funk, and Sydney Jayann Robinson. (see photos)

(Captions in blue - pictured from left to right)

Photo 1: Queens across TN donate their crowns during a ceremony at the TN State Fair Pageants.
Photo 2: Tennessee Top Model Winner - Taneah Cantrell of Smithville, TN
Photo 3: TN State Queen Supreme Winner Overall - Tyra Graham of Smithville, TN with Pageant Director Shan Burklow of Dowelltown, TN
Photo 4: Crowns for a Cause Queen Emily Burklow of Dowelltown, TN donates her crown
Photo 5: Tyra Graham of Smithville, Hope Stephens, Avalon Huddleston, Taneah Cantrell of Smithville, and Liz Qualls of Smithville, TN
Photo 6: Madison Little, Dorothy Montanye, Ryleigh Street, Ava Lowe, and Isabella Faith Rackley of Smithville, TN
Photo 8: Abby Sholar, Danielle Dildine, Queen Addison Oakley of Liberty, TN, Lexi Caldwell, and Christina Sisco
Photo 9: A group of donating queens celebrating after the crown ceremony including: Ashley Medlin and Taneah Cantrell of Smithville.

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