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In Memory of Sydney Ridings
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Georgia Forestry Pageant<br> Dianne Dominy-State Director


Georgia Forestry Pageant
Dianne Dominy / State Director

Hello,

Welcome to the Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant and to our website.

I was contacted in 1997 to take over the Directorship of the Miss Georgia Forestry State Scholarship Pageant. I was truly honored, but at the same time, I was like most contestants competing for the first time-very nervous about the idea of being responsible for such an elite organization and not really sure if I could fill the expectations. Although, my family, friends, and Local Forestry Ranger totally encouraged and supported me, I prayed about the Directorship for many months prior to accepting the offer. I almost decided not take the position due to the pageant consuming so much of my free time. Furthermore, I was concerned about the time it would take away from my family responsibilities; at the time I was taking care of my bedridden mom. I also have my own husband and three daughters who I devote a lot of time to. However, I changed my mind after the events of one fateful Monday morning. That morning, my phone rang, and it was Mr. Howard Bennett of the Georgia Forestry Commission's home office. Mr. Bennett was a very active supporter of the Georgia Forestry Pageant, and when I answered the phone he said well Mrs. Dominy I am so excited to know that you will be our new Director of the Miss Georgia Forestry State Pageant. Mr. Bennett was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and how could I tell this nice man whom the pageant meant so much to, no? We have honored Mr. Bennett's spirit and legacy by awarding the Howard Bennett Award in memory of Mr. Bennett. The award goes to a Local Forestry Ranger that goes beyond the call of duty to support the Local and State Forestry Pageant program. The recipient receives a plaque for his office, and his name is put on a plaque that hangs in the Howard Bennett museum in Macon. If you have the opportunity to ever visit the Georgia Forestry Commission in Macon, visit the Howard Bennett museum, it is incredible, just like Mr. Howard Bennett was. I look back now and I know God gave me the answer through Mr. Bennett and I am so thankful for Mr. Bennett's phone call that morning. I have grown so much as an individual while directing the Georgia Forestry Pageant and have gained such a wonderful family outside my own family through the Georgia Forestry Pageant families on the Local and State levels. I have watched young ladies grow into well balanced individuals through this program and have seen many be able to further their education that may not have had this opportunity. I knew, first hand, that it is a great program for young women because I was already directing the Tift County Forestry and Pine Seedling Pageant (and continue to direct this pageant as well) in which I have committed my work to encouraging excellence in young women for over twenty one years. Similarly, through the Miss Georgia Forestry Pageant and Educational Association, Inc., during the past thirteen years under my directorship I felt it was a wonderful opportunity to encourage more young women to push themselves to be their personal best! Thanks to Mr. Bennett, I am very excited to be a part of this statewide organization in Georgia!

The purpose of the Georgia Forestry Pageant from the beginning has been for this program to provide a fair environment in which young women have the opportunity to better themselves, provide educational opportunities to young ladies, and promote Georgia's Number One Industry, Forestry. I hope the Forestry Pageant encourages the Forestry contestants to gain awareness of their self, confidence in themselves, pride in themselves, and develop social awareness. I hope each Forestry contestant improves their ability to communicate effectively, to speak in front of people, and to stand up for what they believe in. I encourage our Forestry contestants to find issues they feel strongly about, and to become involved in organizations and causes that speak to their hearts and promote these issues while promoting Forestry. Each Forestry contestant who has entered the State Forestry Pageant has had different goals and the State Pageant will strive hard to assist each contestant in their personal quest for excellence. The Georgia Forestry Pageant is representing one of the most elite organizations in the State of Georgia. The Georgia Forestry Pageant has some of the most loving, and dedicated local Pageant Directors in the State of Georgia. I would like for you to know they are dedicated in promoting Georgia's Number One Industry, Forestry and dedicated to all the youth of Georgia as well as for the Forestry Industry for the whole State of Georgia. The Local Pageant Directors love and care about each and every one of their contestants and queens, and it is my goal for contestants to be able to compete in a fun and safe environment. The Forestry Pageant promotes good sportsmanship and expects everyone involved to always conduct themselves in a professional manner by showing support and respect for their fellow contestants. The Forestry Rangers throughout the State always meet the queens at each event at each county throughout the State, eager and ready to treat them like true royalty. The Rangers always lend a helping hand in helping these queens to successfully promote the Georgia Forestry Industry.

Awards: The Georgia Forestry Pageant has been named to Who's Who and this honor is registered in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The pageant was started in 1940 to offer educational opportunities to young ladies while promoting Georgias Number One Industry-Forestry. To hold a Georgia Forestry title on the local or state level is very prestigious, indeed. The Forestry Queens represent Georgia's forestry industry with it being a 20 billion dollar industry for Georgia. The Forestry Pageants offers all the Forestry Queens from Teeny Miss to Miss many opportunities, and as a mother of three daughters that competed at a younger age, I can appreciate these opportunities because not many pageants include these opportunities for the younger contestants. The Miss Georgia Forestry Pageant promotes the younger divisions as well as the Miss Queen. When you win a Forestry Pageant, your crown and banner doesn't sit on a shelf, you are seen in public and are known as a Forestry Queen. Many contestants compete in pageants for the crown, for the prizes, for the appearances, for the publicity, for the scholarships, for the fun, to make new friends, and for the opportunity to grow with self confidence. The Georgia Forestry Pageant is proud to offer all of these opportunities. The Georgia Forestry Pageant has been blessed with the ability to give such a large prize package and scholarship program and for that I am very grateful. Please click on the link at the bottom to see the prize package that was given to all the queens at the 2015 pageant.

The Georgia Forestry Pageant provides a fun and safe environment for all contestants. I do not allow video cameras or photo cameras at the pageant. This is to provide a safe environment for my contestants. If I allow anyone to take pictures, who else could be taking pictures of your children and where could your child's picture end up? This rule is for the protection of each contestant. As a parent, I believe every parent should be grateful that the Forestry Pageant cares enough about the safety of your child to take these extra precautions.
The Forestry Pageant promotes Good Sportsmanship. Anyone showing unsportsmanlike conduct will not be asked back to compete in a Forestry Pageant.

The Forestry Queens never have to get out and find appearances, ask someone to let them appear, or to be able to wear their crown and banner. Appearances of all the State Forestry Queens are set up by me, and Queens have professional built floats waiting on them when they arrive. She also has the chance to earn extra money through money earned from appearances. Through the many appearances and opportunities received by the Forestry Queens, they grow tremendously in self confidence, not to mention developing strong public speaking skills. Through all of these events, they have a great time and make many friends, with some becoming college roommates. I have this motto with pageants: Trophies and crowns will tarnish, but friends will last a lifetime. The Forestry Pageants, on the local and state pageant levels, are a family that support each other. I believe in strong family values and our appearances are events that are entertaining for all the family members. Click on the link below to see the many fun things that Miss Georgia Forestry gets to participate in and Click on the link below to see the many fun things that Teeny, Tiny, Little, Junior, and Teen Miss Georgia Forestry Queens get to participate in. To see the many fun things the Local Forestry Queens are participating in click on their link below.

I work with the queens on these appearances, and I do realize that there are some things more important. The pageant is an Educational Association, and I support education, so therefore I work with our queens on their schedules around school activities. The Georgia Forestry Pageant has opened many doors for the queens, with all of the queens becoming successful in life.

I am pleased that a large number of Forestry contestants each year have never been in a pageant, and they find it to be a rewarding and worthwhile experience with many wanting to return the next year. Many Forestry contestants have won their first time out, and many others return because of the positive experience they had in the State Forestry Pageant. I like to think that each Forestry contestant walks away from the Forestry Pageants a little more ready to deal with the world around her, and more importantly, the world ahead of her. I take pride in our Forestry Queens and their accomplishments. I am proud to say many of our queens went on to do well in many other pageants such as winning Miss Georgia, Miss Teen Georgia USA, and placing in many large pageant systems, with many competing in the Miss USA and Miss Georgia systems this upcoming year. I hope the Georgia Forestry Pageant helped prepare them for these pageants.

My philosophy for the Miss Georgia Forestry State Pageant is not about encouraging contestants to worry about winning the crown, but to encourage contestants to develop life skills that will ultimately help them win in life by being their personal best in everything they do, to be dependable and dedicated individuals, and to learn and support their fellow mankind. The State and Local Pageants have many contestants who have never spoke in public or during an interview. That is where the educational part of our pageant begins; the Local Pageant Directors are there to teach each contestant how to speak and perform well in their interview prior to their interview competition. With this in mind, everyone comes out a winner because they have learned how to speak fluently in front of others. Most of the Local Pageant Directors hold free workshops for their contestants prior to their local pageant where mock interviews are performed. Contestants are taught how to give a speech, how to interview with a panel of judges, attire, etiquette, as well as, all other phases of the competition. Also added to the educational part of the Forestry Pageant is to offer educational opportunities to our winners while educating our society on the importance of protecting our most valuable resource, Trees.

The Georgia Forestry Pageant system is not a weekend pageant and it is not a commodity pageant. It is scholarship program that promotes Forestry, not locally, not regional, but statewide for one full year.

Most people ask themselves before entering any pageant, what is the purpose of this pageant, what am I going to get out of this pageant, and what will I represent? I can tell you if you have the opportunity to hold a local forestry title or represent your county or college at the State Pageant, you will have the opportunity that not every girl in the State of Georgia gets. The Georgia Forestry Pageant does not let anyone that wants to enter become a contestant in the State Pageant. I only accept one contestant per county, per college or per school in each age division. If your county has a local pageant, then the winner of that local pageant in each age division will be the only contestant from that county that can compete in the Miss Georgia Forestry Pageant. If you do not have a pageant, you have to be the first to enter from your county, school, or college to compete.

Why do we hold the pageant:
Although Forestry Queens compete in other pageants, the pageant is held to crown an Ambassador for the Georgia Forestry Industry, to promote Forestry for Georgia, and yes, the Forestry Pageant does expect our Queens to promote Forestry. If the Georgia Forestry Pageant didn't expect this, there would be no need in hundreds of people across the State of Georgia putting forth the effort to produce the Forestry Pageants, there would be no need in thousands of dollars being spent on floats and appearances. The Forestry Pageant is more than just giving crowns and trophies, I believe the Georgia Forestry Pageants offer once in a lifetime experiences and opportunities for many queens on the local and state levels. Some are mislead by others to believe if they win a forestry pageant they can't compete in other pageants, NOT TRUE! Forestry Queens compete in other pageants, they just have to promote Forestry!

Local Pageants: I strive very hard to make local pageants available in counties across Georgia for all contestants. It is very unfortunate that I don't have directors for some counties. If you would like to see a local pageant held in your county, please contact me.

What to expect at the State Pageant:
Baby,Teeny,Tiny, Little, and Junior will have rehearsal on June 9, 2016. Baby, Teeny and Tiny will compete on June 10, 2016 and Little and Junior will compete on June 11, 2016. Teeny,Tiny, Little, and Junior will be scored a 1 to 20 on poise, personality, beauty, gown, and overall appearance. A top 10 will be selected in each age division followed by the 4 runner-ups and the queen. The top five finalists in the Teeny, Tiny, Little, and Junior all receive the large gift package, prizes, and scholarships. All contestants will receive a trophy and gift.

The Teen Miss will begin interviews on June 17, 2016 and continue on June 16, 2016. The Teen Miss will compete in evening gown onstage and a top 10 will be announced. The top 10 will be asked onstage questions, with the top five finalists all receiving scholarships and the prize package. All Teen contestants will receive a trophy and gift.

The Teen and Miss contestants will arrive on June 16, 2016, beginning with a rehearsal. After the rehearsal they will tour the Georgia Agrirama, followed by a police motorcade in honor of the Miss contestants, the motorcade will end at the Georgia Agrirama where a reception will be held in honor of the Miss contestants, Forestry Rangers from all over the state, and Local Forestry Pageant Directors. On June 17, 2016, Teen and Miss contestants will begin their interviews, tour a tree farm, and attend a formal ball in honor of the Teen and Miss contestants will be held that evening. Teen and Miss interviews will continue on Saturday, June 18, 2016. The Miss contestants will compete in evening gown, and the top 10 finalists will be announced. The top 10 will answer on-stage questions. The top five finalists will all receive scholarships and the prize package. Teen and Miss contestants will be scored 50% interview, 25% on a one minute platform speech, and 25% evening gown.

Teeny, Tiny, Little, and Junior will only need a pageant dress or gown of their choice.

Teen Miss contestants will need a white shorts, skirt, or pants of their choice. They will wear these with their Georgia Forestry Pageant t-shirt on Thursday's activities. Teen Miss will wear interview suit for interviews. Shoes and accessories of your choice. Teen Miss will wear evening gown of your choice for the evening gown competition and to the formal ball.

Miss contestants will need white shorts to wear with Georgia Forestry t-shirt to all events on Thursday. Miss contestants will need an interview suit for interviews, gown for formal ball, comfortable outfit for the tree farm, competition gown of your choice.

For the Teen and Miss only: There will be a podium set up in the interview, contestants will go to the podium and give their one minute speech. After the speech, contestants will continue to stand at the podium for the interview, and the interview will begin immediately following the speech. Interviews are round robin.

There will be five very qualified out of state judges for the Teeny, Tiny, Little, Junior, Teen, and Miss Georgia Forestry competition.

How to Enter:
Miss contestants only have three options. 1. if you have a local pageant, you must win it. 2. If you are in college or technical school, be the first to enter from your school or college. 3. If you don't have a local pageant, be the first to enter from your county. To compete in the Miss Division in a Local Pageant, a contestant must reside, work, or attend school in the county the pageant is being held in. If you do not have a local pageant, I encourage you to be the first to enter from your county. The judges will not know which contestants won a local or which contestant is coming at large. I present all the Miss contestants with banners with the county or school they are representing so everyone looks alike. The State Pageant has many contestants to win State from coming at large. The advantage of winning a Local Pageant is the opportunity to promote Forestry for that county for the upcoming year, and to win scholarships, prizes, and entry fees paid to state through the Local County Forestry Pageant.

Local Pageants for Tiny, Little, Junior, and Teen are open to all counties. If you really want to compete at state, I recommend you compete in as many locals as you can to have a better chance of competing at state. Click on the link below for local pageant listings with dates, directors, and contact information. If you don't have a local pageant, you can be the first to enter in your age group from your county. Tiny, Little, Junior, and Teen only have 3 options to compete at state. 1. You can win your local pageant and represent your local county. 2. You can compete in another county and represent that county. 3. If you don't have a pageant in your county, you can be the first to enter in your age group and represent your county. If you win a local pageant, the local pageant pays your entry fees to state. If you don't have a local pageant, then you have to get sponsors or pay your own entry fees.

The Georgia Forestry Pageant strives to only approve Directors of Local Forestry Pageants that meet the standards set forth by the bylaws of the Georgia Forestry Pageant and Educational Association, Inc.
Local Directors must be able to submit and pass criminal background checks.
After the Pageant: Miss Georgia Forestry is off to the Georgia Forestry Commission for an orientation where she learns all about the Georgia Forestry Industry and the schedules for the upcoming year.

Appearances in National magazines, radio, and television. County signs welcoming people to their county and announcing they are in the county that is home of the Teen and Miss Georgia Forestry Queens.
The summer is spent preparing the queens for their appearances with most appearances beginning in September.

Conclusion:
Hopefully, the Forestry Pageant website has provided you with a sense of the Georgia Forestry Pageant, the beliefs, the purpose, and the many opportunities that it offers. I hope it has answered most of your questions about the pageant competition, as well. Nevertheless, I realize that there is no way I can answer all your questions and tell you how much I genuinely believe in the Georgia Forestry Pageant system without speaking to you personally. Please don't hesitate to contact me or any of the Local Forestry Pageant Directors at any time about your questions or concerns. Remember Theodore Roosevelt once said To exist as a nation, to prosper as a state, and to live as a people, we must have trees. The Georgia Forestry Queens on the Local and State levels have the opportunity to get this point across. The Georgia Forestry Industry is of vital importance to our world, we can live without a lot of things, but we can't live without trees. Many new and exciting events will be coming soon to the Georgia Forestry Pageant, and as always, we will continue to add to our scholarships and prizes.

I sincerely hope that you will come and be part of our Georgia Forestry family!

God Bless,
Mrs. Dianne/State Director
President, Georgia Forestry Pageant and Educational Association, Inc.

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