Will recent controversy negatively impact pageant?

Published 6:55 pm Saturday, August 4, 2007

By By ERIKA PICKLES / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The Miss Niles/Brandywine pageant has been in the news lately, the subject of controversy after former Miss Niles Kylee Mudd relinquished her crown after a dispute with pageant chairman Linda Schultz over the interpretation of a pageant commitment.
Many are concerned about how the controversy will influence the future of the pageant.
Most Niles residents surveyed Friday think the damage is done. However, some think the show will go on.
"Maybe girls will think twice about the pageant now," Jeannette Clark said. "Relay for Life is an important event, but so is your high school graduation. If she wanted to leave for three or four hours, that should have been fine. But then again everyone is different and I guess it's just what is most important to them."
Amber Valentine is a 2005 Brandywine graduate and said she feels this is going to have a negative influence on the pageant itself.
"I've always supported it. I went to Brandywine and it's something positive for the girls to do. But she (Mudd) should have been able to miss one thing for a few hours to go to her graduation. It's not like she was going to party or out to do something not important," Valentine said.
Gerry Lilly was busy setting up her booth at Riverfront Park for the Riverfest weekend, but took time to comment, saying it was not Miss Niles' fault that there was a schedule conflict.
"The queens change their life around for us for an entire year. They could at least change some thing for her, especially a graduation."
Lilly continued, saying this will definitely have an impact on the pageant.
"If I was the mother of a daughter wanting to run, I would think twice about it. Those girls work so hard for this and to have it all thrown away like that is pretty sad to see."
Angie Mann said the outcome is bad, but she is glad to see a woman stand up for herself.
"I feel it's a good thing, really. It's neat to see a girl turn in her crown and stick up for something that she believes is right. Some girls wouldn't give up anything for that crown. It's just sad to see this had to happen, especially when she made an attempt to work around the other events scheduled," Mann said.
Mann added that above all this, she doesn't believe it will have an effect on future pageants, as plenty of girls will be 100 percent ready to do it.
Taylor Shepard, Tykeysha Kimble and Jordan Oliver all said that the former queen did the right thing, but they think the pageant will move on just fine.
"It shouldn't have mattered. She could have just went to both. I would still run for Miss Niles because I don't think this gives it a bad reputation," Shepard said.
"I want to be in pageants too," Kimble said. "I like them. But she should be able to do other things too."
Oliver said that too much is expected of queens now, and that she should have been able to miss some of the Relay for Life event so attend her party.
Dimetris Johnson disagreed with his friends, and said the former queen should have stuck wtih her crown and accommodated its responsibilities.
"You can always schedule the party for another date. And I don't think this will be bad for the pageant," he said.