Hometown is proud of Miss Georgia - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hometown is proud of Miss Georgia

July 11, 2007

Fitzgerald --  It was 57 years ago that a young Fitzgerald woman by the name of Louise Thomas won the title of Miss Georgia 1950.

History repeated itself on June 30th when Fitzgerald's Leah Massey was crowned Miss Georgia 2007.

Fitzgerald, Georgia, population 8,920. A town known for its Antique Fire Museum and the Wild Chicken Festival is also home to 23-year-old Leah Massee, who, by the way, happens to be Miss Georgia 2007.

Those who know Massee best say if anyone deserves the title, it would be her. "Like I said, we've known her always, and she's just the ideal girl to be Miss Georgia. We think she's very deserving," said Margaret Hair.

Massee, who dreamed as a child of becoming Miss Georgia, saw her dream come true on the night of June 30th when she received the Miss Georgia title.

Former friends and neighbors couldn't be more proud. "She's always been a winner. Always. She's really active in our church, really active in school. She's just a dynamic little lady," said Morris Campbell.

Fitzgerald's newspaper, The Herald Ledger, was filled with congratulatory ads from local businesses and Massee's hometown church. The announcement even garnered a front page headline in the July 4th addition.

The town of Fitzgerald prides itself with three values: History, Harmony, and Heritage. Now it can add bragging rights to that list as this small South Georgia town is home to not one, but two, Miss Georgia recipients.

Thirty-three-years before the reigning Miss Georgia was even born, a young lady, also from Fitzgerald, carried that very title. Louise Thomas Guardia is Miss Georgia, 1950. She says things are much different now, but still just as thrilling. "It was very exciting. For a small town girl, especially a country girl to get all that attention."

She says she is excited to share this piece of Georgia pageant history with Leah, who she has very high hopes for. "I think we may have a Miss America. "

A crowning achievement, over five decades a part, one small town, two lucky ladies.

Former Miss Georgia Louise Guardia says there have been a lot of changes since she was crowned in 1950. One of the biggest differences, she says, the Miss America Pageant is no longer held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she competed for the national title.

The current Miss Georgia, Fitzgerald's Leah Massee, was in Albany today at The Parlor Hair Fashion where W. C. Webb is the official stylist for Miss Georgia.

Massee says her schedule has been very busy since she was crowned, and she appreciates of all of the support she has received from her hometown of Fitzgerald.

"The support honestly is what gets me through the preparation, the tedious part of the job. It's a lot of hard work and to have that support and that aspect of family that I do have in my home town is just wonderful," Massee said.

Massee says she is looking forward to working with her charity, The Children's Miracle Network. Massee, who is a graduate of Valdosta State University, will also be competing in the Miss America pageant

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