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Cash crowned Junior Miss

With a smile across her face, Kelly Cash hugged her mother tightly and laughed.

“You aren’t crying, are you?” she said in a teasing voice.

No, answered Jane Cash.

“But I did tear up a bit,” she confessed later.

Kelly, the youngest child and only daughter of Jane and Russ Cash, had just been crowned Pike County’s Junior Miss for 20101. “If I think about it too hard, I know I will cry,” Jane said just moments after the ceremony.

Kelly, however, shared none of those nerves. She was beaming, relieved in part the hard work of the week was over.

“It was fun,” she said. “But it was hard. All of the preparation and work … it was really hard.”

Cash, who was crowned Junior Miss, also won the Spirit of Junior Miss Award, the Fitness Award and the Talent Award, all of which carried individual scholarships.

First runner-up was Hannah Johnson, who also won scholarships for winning the interview competition and the self-expression competition. She is the daughter of Louis and Karla Johnson.

Second runner-up was Olivia Bensinger, daughter of Brad and Ivett Bensinger. She also won a $200 scholarship for winning the academic competition.

Shelley Cox, daughter of Kenny and Lydia Cox, won the “Be Your Best Self” scholarship.

Kathy Brunson, pageant organizer, said the more than $5,000 scholarships awarded during the competition are funded through program sales and business donations. “Everything we raise goes back to these girls,” she said.

And, this year’s field of 11 competitors, was exceptional. “This is one of the largest groups we’ve had in several years,” she said.

Cash will represent Pike County in Alabama’s Junior Miss competition later this year.