Seven children will compete in a pageant this Saturday, June 11, that will help raise money for scholarships that are available to high school seniors going to a four year university.
Prince and Princess Ebony will be crowned in the pageant, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Sunset Avenue School. The pageant is being put on by the Sampson High School Alumni Association in order to raise money for the scholarships that the association offers to undergraduate students who will be going to a four year university.
Seven children will be participating in the pageant. “The kids are excited,” says Geraldine Boone, one of the coordinators of the event. The kids are raising money by receiving donations, which Boone says mostly come from, “churches, family and friends.”
The Sampson High School Alumni Association is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1973 by graduates of the school so that they could stay in touch with past graduates. Sampson High School was phased out in 1969 when schools were integrated, and the building now serves as the organizations headquarters. The Alumni Association works on projects in the community and gives scholarships to students in need.
The pageant originally ran from 1984 to 2004, along with the pageant that would crown Mr. and Misses Ebony, where teenagers competed. Over those years, $387,000 was raised for the scholarships by the association as a whole. After the passing of one of the original coordinators of the pageant, May Alice Kirby, interest was lost in continuing the pageant. Now, the children’s pageant is returning, with this years show to be dedicated to Kirby.
“(Kirby) worked hard with the kids and was one of the original helpers,” says Boone. Boone worked with Pamela Bennett to get the children’s portion of the pageant back in action, and hopes to make it an annual event again. It had been in talks for a few years, but this year it was “perfect timing,” according to Boone.
“I said to Pam, ‘this what we’ll do, I’ll coordinate (the pageant),” says Boone.
The kids who are in the pageant and have a chance of being Prince and Princess Ebony are Arianna Smith, Blake Royster, Mauriana Ruffin, Jabari Daughtry, Nia Carr, Tremayne Ashford, and Cheyenne Herring.
The organizers of the pageant are seeking past winners of the Mr. and Misses Ebony pageant, and encourage them to come to the pageant on June 11, so they can be recognized on stage in a timeline of winners throughout the years. This invitation is also for area high school king and queens.
The scholarships that the money is being raised for are academic scholarships that include a $6,000 a year scholarship and smaller $2,000 scholarships.
The community is encouraged to come out and supported the children and the Alumni Association. There will be a donation of $5 at the door.
Reach Mallory Turner at 910-592-8137.