It's always nice when I can go and cover something different in this news business.
That something different turned out to be the Fourth Annual Miss Dearing Mayfest Pageant, which was held in the cafeteria of Dearing Elementary School last Saturday night.
The event drew more than 100 people - some of them first-timers, like me. I attended this one solely because I wanted to see for myself the talent offered by so many of our young people from that part of McDuffie County.
I was not disappointed. In fact, I shared that with my newsroom partner, Lynn Davidson, who traveled with me to the assignment - she, the writer and me, the photographer. She has covered the event all four years and had told me what a nice event it was. I wanted to see for myself, since I didn't have anything else to do that night.
I really enjoyed myself.
I even got to see several friends - a couple of them old friends, Dwayne and Liz Humphrey. Liz, who works at Harlem High School, did a great job of helping to announce the contestants and judges. Another friend of mine there was Becky Craven, who offered her volunteer services like she does with so many school and other community events in the Dearing area throughout the year. Mrs. Craven also is a volunteer with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services and a 911 dispatcher, employed by the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department.
Without good people like them and many others, the Miss Mayfest Pageant wouldn't be what it is - a very special event for the community and in the lives of those involved as contestants, parents, grandparents, etc.
While I was shooting pictures for The Mirror, one of my colleagues from The Augusta Chronicle, David Ford, shot pictures for Spotted. He took more than 200 photos - many of which since have been posted on our newspaper's website.
This year's pageant was divided into four age categories. Each division of the divisions offered some of the best local talent around.
As I covered the event, I looked around the room and thought what a wonderful idea it was that this small community came together to put on such an event. It brings people together and makes them feel good - not only about themselves, but their community, too.
Other communities could learn much from the great people in the Town of Dearing!
For anybody who had a role in this year's Miss Dearing Mayfest or in past years, I salute you for a job well done and sincerely hope this pageant continues to grow for many, many years to come.