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Prepping for the contest

Scholarship money is on the line in Tuesday’s Miss Central Alabama Beauty Pageant.

The event will feature 22 girls between the ages of 17 and 21 from Morgan Academy, Meadowview Christian, Selma High, Dallas County High and Concordia College.

“It’s an opportunity for girls to earn money to put toward school,” said Beth Pearce, pageant director. “We are giving away approximately $1,000.”

The winner will receive $400 that can be used whatever way she deems, though participants are encouraged to use winnings to offset collegiate expenses.

The first runner-up receives $200 and second runner-up receives $100.

This year’s pageant includes a new interview category. The contestant who scores highest on her interview will receive $100.

“We just want the girls to broaden their horizons,” said Pearce. “We teach them what they need to know for a real world interview. We also teach them stage presence and speaking in public.”

The contestants see the pageant as an opportunity to plan for the future.

“I’ve always been interested in pageants and modeling,” said Angel Pearson, a 17-year-old senior at Selma High. “The scholarship money was also a big draw.”

Another draw is up to five community service hours — now a requirement at several area schools — that can be gained by participating.

Pearson needs 40 to earn an advanced diploma. Her peer, Brook Robertson, a 17-year-old senior at Morgan, needs 75.

But Robertson didn’t join for community service.

“Several of my friends participated in the past, and I wanted to as well,” she said.

The pageant is 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Central Alabama Fair Pavilion.