Andrea Bailey was just a sophomore at Evans High School when Miss Georgia made it all the way to third runner-up in the Miss America pageant. Nine years later, Bailey has made us all proud by coming in as a semi-finalist in the prestigious contest, the highest since another Andrea - Andrea Krahn - took Georgia to the finals.
Bailey is a model of perseverance, having competed five times before winning the Miss Georgia crown. The effort required her to move around the state, winning titles including Miss Augusta, Miss Southeast Georgia and Miss Savannah en route to qualifying.
Her latest home has been in Columbus, Ga., where she prepared for Miss America and where she answered questions from a local newspaper reporter after her high showing in the televised event. Bailey said simply that shes happy, because I did the absolute best I can do. What more can anyone ask?
Ranking in the top 15 is nothing to sneeze at; Bailey brings home $12,000 in scholarship money, which she plans to use to get her masters degree. Thats in addition to the $15,000 she won for Miss Georgia, added to the $65,000 shes won in other competitions.
Speaking to News-Times writer Donnie Fetter after her Miss Georgia victory, Bailey gave her chances at winning Miss America as one in 51. To us, shes one in a million.
Theres a great opportunity coming up to welcome home and congratulate Bailey: Shell appear Oct. 11 at Fire Fest 2003 in Evans, helping to raise funds for her platform charity: the American Red Cross. Bailey is scheduled to appear between noon and 2 p.m., signing autographs and singing her song from Miss America competition.
Its a worthy cause, and were lucky to have Bailey back home to support it.
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