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January 28, 2013

Overcoming tragedies

COMMERCE —  Having overcome personal losses in their own lives, the two new Hunt County titleholders want to spend their year of service helping others in the same situation.

Khrista Bishop of Arlington, was named Miss Hunt County 2013 while Morgan Lackey of Amarillo, was named Miss Hunt County’s Outstanding Teen 2013 Saturday night at the conclusion of the annual scholarship pageant on the Commerce High School campus.

Bishop, who turned 19 on Friday, was selected from field of seven contestants. After receiving the crown and sash, Bishop was also named the preliminary intervew winner.

First runner-up was Sarah McKimmey of Heath also received the preliminary fitness award and second runner-up was Danieya High of Texarkana.

Lackey was chosen from a field of seven contestants. She also swept the preliminary awards — fitness, interview and talent for her vocal rendition of the Broadway song, “Ring Them Bells.”

First runner-up was Malori Carlow and second runner-up was Jasmine Bruce, both of Texarkana.

The Tarrant County Community College student said her platform of “Individuals of Influence” stems from the recent loss of a lifelong friend from a drug and alcohol overdose.

Bishop added that she wondered if her friend would still be alive if she had become more involved in the friend’s life.

“Even if it would have been a difficult situation, I cannot help but think that I might have been the one to planta seed that would have caused him to consider the choices he was making,” she said.

While wanting to target her generation and that of her younger sister, Bishop said she is willing to reach out to anyone or group who is willing to listen.

For the 16-year-old Lackey, her life took a dramatic and tragic turn in 2000, when her father was killed in a plane crash. It led her to her current platform of “ACT — Actions Conquer Tragedies.”

Lackey said winning the Hunt County teen title will enable her to expand her story from the Texas Panhandle to East Texas to any child who is going through the experiences she and her mother, who has since remarried, endured.

“Instead of letting tragedy destroy us, we bonded and fought the horror to overcome our loss together,” she added. “There is no life without pain, without loss, but the greatest human quality is our ability to persevere, to walk through the fire and come out better, stronger than before.”

Perserverance also paid off for Bishop who competed in 21 local pageants over two years before winning her first title. She added that she made changes in all areas of the competition and especially in interview.

Lackey said hearing her name called out as the new teen titleholder in her first pageant competition of the pageant year was a surreal moment that included a few doubts.

“It still doesn’t seem real, I can’t believe it happened,” she added.

The two new titleholders said they entered the county pageant because of the strong reputation it and its executive director, Warren Morrison, have throughout the state.

“I want the people I meet to remember who Miss Hunt County is,” Bishop said. “Not because of me, but because of my volunteering. I love helping others.”

“I want to be someone the people of Hunt County will see a lot and look up to,” Lackey said.

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