Whitney Caroline Dodd will represent Picayune as she competes for the Mississippi state

Published 12:53 am Sunday, July 27, 2008

Picayune’s Miss Hospitality, Whitney Caroline Dodd, will be leaving this week for Hattiesburg to vie for the state title in the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant, 8 p.m., August 1 – 2.

Dodd, daughter of Donald and Ginny Dodd of Picayune, graduated from Picayune Memorial High School in May, 2007. Since graduating she has been working toward her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Mississippi College. She also attended Pearl River Community College Summer School this year to advance her toward her career goals. She plans to graduate in May, 2011.

As a scholar Dodd has earned numerous awards and honors and she has been involved in a number of civic groups and organizations. Since arriving at Mississippi College she became a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Freshmen Honor Society and the Laguna Social Tribe. She was one of 20 chosen — out of 692 nominees and 250 applications — to be a member of Ole Miss — Trent Lott Leadership and she has also earned her way on to the college Dean’s List.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In high school, as a giving member of her community, she volunteered for Red Cross, helped sponsor a child through Compassion International, became an organ donor, volunteered with the Pearl River County SPCA, donated 10 1/2 inches of hair to Locks of Love and donated to Toys for Tots.

In her spare time, Dodd enjoys singing, working with children, drawing, scrap booking, spending time with family and friends and attending Broadway musicals.

As ambassador of Picayune at the state level, Dodd will be taking the Picayune city motto to the competition: A precious coin in the purse of the south.

Along with her mother she will stuffing more than 50 goodie bags to take to the other 38 contestants and their guests. The bags will include ornaments donated by Campbell’s Photography, cookie cutters donated by Tanya Carr (PMHS art teacher) and sugar cookies donated by Paul’s Pastry — all in the shape of Mississippi. They will also include Picayune coins with an attached history lesson, donated by the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce.

As a representative of the state pageant, Dodd was asked to sell a minimum of three ad pages for the pageant program at $300 each. Dodd would like to thank all the generous local businesses who helped her achieve her goal.

When asked why she feels Mississippi is known as the “Hospitality State,” Dodd responded, “Mississippi is known as the ‘Hospitality State’ because of our beautiful landscapes, a state of mind found in the heart of the people, as well as, a sense of community unlike any place on earth. This truly makes Mississippi the most ‘hospitable state’ in the nation.”

In Hattiesburg, Dodd’s pageant schedule will include a panel interview, a one-on-one interview, a Mississippi speech competition (Dodd has written her own speech using the state’s letters to “spell out” what Mississippi means to her), a little black dress/commercial competition and an evening gown competition.

After the preliminary scores are tallied, the top ten will be revealed, and those contestants will compete in a final competition on Saturday night.

The Mississippi Miss Hospitality Pageant will take place at the Saenger Theater in Hattiesburg. It offers the winner and alternates more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes provided by colleges and businesses.

Good luck to our local representative, Whitney Dodd, as she competes next week.