Autumn Leigh Brown
With tears in her eyes, the overwhelmed 18-year-old Autumn Leigh Brown was crowned Miss Kingsport 2014.
She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship, a $1,000 gift certificate to Tricia’s by Design to fund her wardrobe for the Miss Tennessee Pageant, a Goodwin Photography photo session, ad pages for the Miss Tennessee program book and a luggage set provided by Pageant Director Mary Hamilton.
Proudly wearing her official sash and crown, she signed autographs and posed for pictures with children, members of her church, family and new fans.
The highlight of her performance was her rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the film "Les Miserables." She had to limit the performance to 90 seconds, but she sang it flawlessly, belting out the wide range of notes passionately and accurately.
“I spent countless nights working on my song, and I’ve had a lot of people help me,” she said.
Her performance earned her the Taylor Hamilton Talent Award, a $200 scholarship.
She was the only candidate promoting awareness and prevention of child abuse as her platform issue.
“I hope to influence with my platform, which is child abuse, and I hope to be partnered with the Darkness to Light program,” said Brown.
Vickie Conkin, her grandmother and guardian, along with husband Harvey, who was unable to attend, was overwhelmed with joy as the audience crowded the stage to congratulate Brown.
“She has an amazing voice ... she’s a really good kid,” said Conkin. “She’s just as beautiful inside as she is out. She’s dedicated; she’s just graduated with honors and never missed a day of school.”
Brown is a rising freshman at ETSU and will study pre-med.
A record $4,000 in scholarships were awarded this year, making Kingsport the most giving of scholarship money in the Miss Tennessee Pageant.
Hannah Everhart was the first runner-up and won a $500 scholarship, followed by Kayla Hobbs with $250. Third runner-up Blakely Bays and fourth runner-up Alex Quillin were awarded $200 scholarships. Quillin also received a $200 hospitality award for most tickets sold.
Kaley Castle won the title of Miss Congeniality and sold the most ads for the program book and won $500 of scholarship money in total.
Jacquelyn Crawford received the Rhonda Gass James Memorial Community Service Award, a $300 scholarship.
Everhart also won the Jean Hilton Memorial Swimsuit Award, a $200 scholarship.
All 10 contestants were also awarded $100 for participating.
The judges for this year’s competition were Patricia Edwards, Rachel Davis Burdine, Deborah Sanders, Trish Burchett, Alex Dance and Dr. Gregory Pastrick.
Sponsors were Eastman Chemical Co., Taylor-Hamilton Insurance, WKPT-TV, Domtar and B and E Collision.