Organizations postpone pageants to adjust for health and safety concerns

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Brynn Lundy/The Lion's Roar

Miss SLU 2020 Janine Hatcher has been preparing for Miss Louisiana since November 2019 after she was crowned the title. As Miss Louisiana Organization postponed its 2020 competition to 2021, Hatcher plans to participate in the competition next year even if she crowns a new Miss SLU this fall.

In concurrence with the Miss America Organization, the Miss Louisiana Organization has postponed its 2020 competition until 2021.

The Miss Louisiana Organization is presenting current title holders with a few options. Each queen can either keep her title for another year, pass her crown to the next candidate if she chooses not to compete in next year’s Miss Louisiana pageant, or both girls can choose to compete in the state pageant if the preliminary is held and a new queen is crowned. 

Dewana Little, executive director for the Miss Louisiana Organization, sent out a press release on May 8 to announce the pageant’s postponement for the health and safety of the contestants, families and everyone involved.

“Our commitment to providing the best possible scholarships, experiences and opportunities to the young ladies who compete has not changed,” said Little. “Over the next year, we will continue to educate the public on the impact that our candidates from across the state have on their local communities through volunteerism and service, and we will celebrate their accomplishments.” 

The current state title holder, Miss Louisiana 2019 Meagan Crews, has chosen to pass her baton to Courtney Hammons, the first runner-up of last year’s pageant. The organization is holding an official crowning ceremony on Tuesday, June 16 at 3 p.m. at the Civic Center’s W.L. “Jack” Howard Theatre in Monroe, La. 

On June 5, Hammons made her announcement about becoming Miss Louisiana 2020 via her Instagram page, @courtrenham.

 

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“Last year, when Meagan Crews and I were the last two standing on the Miss Louisiana stage, I would have never believed I would become Miss Louisiana in this way: during a pandemic with so much uncertainty,” wrote Hammons. “However, I realize the unique opportunity I’ve been given to serve my state during the most challenging year of my lifetime.”

The decision of the Miss Louisiana Organization impacts all preliminary pageants, including Miss Southeastern Louisiana University.

The current title holder, Miss SLU 2020 Janine Hatcher, commented on the tentative plans to move forward with the scheduled pageant competition in the fall. 

“Obviously, with everything going on, there will still probably be capacity limits we’re looking at, but we are still looking to have a scholarship competition because the main thing, especially right now, people are struggling financially,” said Hatcher. “We don’t want to miss giving an opportunity for another woman to earn scholarships for education.”

Hatcher has been preparing for the state pageant since receiving the university title in November 2019. She plans to participate in the competition next year even if she crowns a new Miss SLU this fall.

“Obviously, the amount of time I’ll be serving will be extended, which I’m happy about,” shared Hatcher “I’m looking forward to crowning the next woman. As far as plans for next year, I do plan to start a Master’s in Business Administration in the fall at Southeastern, so I’ll be here for that. I’m excited to use my scholarship towards that and to continue my year of service.“

Hatcher claimed that she has not viewed any recent events with negativity, including this period of social distancing and the postponement of the state competition.

“I’ve been able to adapt and continue service and in a way that’s unprecedented, so I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn the things I’ve learned during this time,” said Hatcher.

 

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