Raven Jackson braved the gloom and the mud Friday to deliver her father a sparkling birthday present.
Jackson was crowned Lakeside High School's homecoming queen during halftime of the Panthers' win over Westside -- the same day her father and escort, Dr. Calvin Jackson, turned 48.
"She's a great girl," Jackson said. "It's been a pleasure to be her father."
Raven was wearing a shiny gown with silver polka dots picked out by her mother. Her dress and the others of the court drifted dangerously close to the soggy football field as participants were introduced and walked down the 50-yard line.
The weather had been nasty all day, and mud lined the sidelines and entrances to the field. But the rain held off during the game and homecoming ceremony.
"I was praying," said Jackson, who plans to attend Emory and become an oral surgeon. "I knew that God was going to take care of the weather for tonight. We had a very good court."
Jackson had been voted earlier in the day by Lakeside teachers and administrators as Miss Lakeside High School. She serves as the school's student government president and heads the Beta Club.
Jackson also is a drum major and captain of Sophisticated Lady Steppers. She sings in her church choir and plays the flute in her orchestra.
Ellie Bissell finished runner-up on the court.
Bissell has been a varsity cheerleader for four years and is a member of the Beta Club, Ladies First and the National Honor Society. She's also a member of Students Against Destructive Decisions and Student Council. She plans to attend the University of Georgia and study nursing.
Second runner-up was Meagan O'Banion.
She has been a member of the Lakeside High School show choir for four years and has participated in chorus the past eight years. O'Banion has been active with the American Red Cross, is a certified lifeguard and swimming instructor, and has volunteered at local soup kitchens and done missionary work through her church.
She plans to attend Augusta State University.
Also on the court were Beth Carter, Jessica Hobbs, Laura Lynn Kight, Sasha Marie Antoinette Martin, Bianca Sterling and Lara Thompson.
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