FORT MILL — Lynn Marsh and Denise Rice, advisers of Future Business Leaders of America at Nation Ford High School, have been planning Saturday’s Miss Nation Ford High School pageant since last August.
They reserved the school auditorium months in advance and spent hours planning the program, while contestants in the pageant have been shopping for gowns, selling ads and rehearsing interview questions.
That’s not all.
“Other advisers will also serve as ticket sellers and work in the dressing rooms and backstage area on the event night,” Marsh said.
Though they are guided by faculty advisers, students in FBLA have been the main directors of the pageant.
“Forrest Holloman contacts advertisers and is the project manager for creating the program. Savannah Marsh is assisting with the design of the program. Eric Cirillo and Andrew Bruce are emcees for the event and helped write the script. Landon Bailey is choreographer and, along with Mariah Emenhiser, has helped write the script and secure the judges. These ladies also are a big part of making the entire pageant day work,” Marsh said.
“Other members will help during rehearsals and serve as ticket takers, ushers, security, and backstage crew.”
Holloman, a senior at Nation Ford and the S.C. FBLA president, asserts that much of the work to put on the pageant goes unnoticed.
“Our chapter has again proven that there is business in everything,” he explained.
“Most people don’t think about all the ad sales and ticket sales that tie into an event. They also don’t consider all of the bookings that occur, as well as the management of 30 teenage girls. There is one thing that our chapter can attest to: pageants don’t just happen.”
The goal of this pageant, to be held at 7 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 9, in the Nation Ford High School auditorium, is not to showcase FBLA members and girls in the pageant.
“This year’s theme is geared around March of Dimes as a continuation of our ‘Purple Out’ and ‘Save the Babies’ campaign from the fall football season,” Marsh said. “March of Dimes was chosen as the pageant theme because it is a national partner with FBLA. Our officers determined that we needed to get more involved with March of Dimes because of the national tie to FBLA, so the majority of our community service focus for the entire year has been on M.O.D.”
During the football season, FBLA began its “Purple Out” campaign, asking students to wear purple to games and donate to March of Dimes, whose mission is to research birth defects and complications and help mothers foster full-term pregnancies.
“Our goal was to raise $1,000 for the year,” Marsh explained. “We were able to donate $800 in the fall during our ‘Purple Out’ at the home football game against York High. We will complete our donation on Feb. 9 at the pageant with an additional check of $1200, bringing our total for the year to $2000.”
The club has previously supported other charities, including Make-a-Wish Foundation, The Ronald McDonald House, and Operation Christmas Child.
“Part of FBLA’s national creed is to teach students about the importance of volunteering and giving back in your community,” Marsh said. “Nation Ford FBLA has chosen several charities throughout the years to support.”
In addition to charity work, students in FBLA have been preparing to compete at the District Leadership Conference on Feb. 2 and the state level competition held in North Charleston in April. “Our hope is to advance to Nationals again which will be held at the end of June in Anaheim, Calif.,” Marsh said.
Marsh and FBLA members hope to see a sea of purple from behind the stage curtain Saturday night.
“I’m so glad our students are able to gain additional practice in the business world while also providing a service to their school and community,” said Holloman.