New Chesterfield queen helps fight illiteracy

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New queen Faith Allen, on left, poses with last year’s queen, Dominga Murray. (Ellie Browning photo)

Beauty graced the stage on Monday, Aug. 26, as four competitors battled it out with glitz and glamour to be crowned Miss Chesterfield County Fair 2019.

With a theme of Pageant Hollywood, contestants participated in four rounds: an opening dance routine, a fun outfit, a glamour outfit and an onstage question.

The winner was Faith Allen, a homeschooled student from Forest attending Liberty University. Runners up were Bailey McKee, Megan Bowles and Madison Wells.

“I hope to continue my education through law school and become a common loss attorney, but next up is Miss Virginia Association of Affairs,” Allen said, speaking of her next pageant.

Interestingly, Allen got her start in the pageant world from a challenge. “My aunt, mom and dad dared me to compete in my very first pageant,” Allen said. “That inspired me to compete because they noticed that I needed to grow as a person.”

“I’m able to stand on stage in front of a large audience and blossom into the young woman I was meant to be,” Allen said. “I was 17 years old then and now I’m 20. So I’ve been competing for awhile now, but I’m still ‘fresh meat.’”

In the past, Allen struggled with comprehension in school and has since dedicated her time to advocate for youth.

“I love reading. That’s why I created Faith’s Focus to help end illiteracy,” Allen said. “It’s so important; I want to help elementary school kids who struggle with reading.”

Allen and the volunteers at Faith’s Focus donate new books to local schools in an effort to fight illiteracy. “I work with local businesses and community members. We gather brand-new books for kids, and we donate boxes of them to schools. We will bring them in person and hand out the books to the kids. They cry every time, but it’s one of the most special moments.”

Last year’s queen, Dominga Murray of Chesterfield, had the opportunity to crown this year’s Chesterfield County Fair Queen, who was a familiar face from her past. “Faith was my roommate at Miss Virginia, so I’m really excited for her. We had some bonding time and she was my go-to person,” Murray said. “It’s coming full circle for us.”

Allen remembered her time at the Miss Virginia Pageant with Murray. “We became super close,” Allen said. “It’s a true sisterhood. My favorite thing [about doing pageants]is not only the personal growth, but that I made lifelong friends.”

If interested in participating in next year’s Miss Chesterfield County Fair Beauty Pageant, go online at ChesterfieldCountyFair.org.

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