Mr. Chilton County pageant organized to collect books for children

Published 2:23 pm Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On Thursday evening, local residents will have the chance to watch male contestants vie for the title of Mr. Chilton County, all for the sake of helping children.

Mr. Chilton County will be held at 7 p.m. at Chilton County High School’s auditorium, and the cost of admission is one new or gently used children’s book that will be donated to Chilton County’s Head Start program and Children’s of Alabama hospital.

Miss Chilton County Katie Hilyer said she came up with the idea to hold the pageant as a charity event with her stepmother, Kay Hilyer, in mind.

Kay is an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher in Chilton County.

With Kay’s influence in children’s education, Katie said she decided to replace the cost of admission to Mr. Chilton County with a children’s book donation to benefit Head Start and Children’s.

“It was just an idea that we thought would be fun to do, then it became a reality with the help of some really awesome people,” Katie said.

She organized the pageant while continuing to prepare for Miss Alabama in June, she said.

The winner of the pageant will receive one year of bragging rights and a free Yeti 50 cooler.

Thursday’s program will also feature performances by Central Cheer Dance and Twirl and the Bama Babes.

Ribs to Go benefiting the Lakeshore Foundation will be on sale in the auditorium lobby for $20 per slab.

“At Mr. Chilton County, you can expect to enjoy some great entertainment and of course share a few laughs,” Hilyer said. “The guys participating are dedicated to helping the Chilton County queens collect books to take to Children’s and Head Start. They are all working very hard and practicing their walks to debut on the 20th.”

Hilyer said Austin Rossi, a freshman pre-med student at Birmingham-Southern College, is coming back to his hometown to participate in the pageant.

“It’s all about putting your personality out there on stage and making people laugh,” Rossi said.

The judges will decide the winner based on a scoring of 1-10 in four different categories: Dress Creativity, Walk Creativity, On Stage Question and Overall Personality Score. Contestants are asked to do a beauty walk and answer an onstage question.

CCHS’s program “Blast from the Past” has allowed Hilyer to borrow some dresses for the contestants, she said. Dresses can be typical “pageant” dresses, or they can have a theme that will allow for a higher creativity score. Dresses bought by contestants can be donated after the event as well.

It is not too late to be a contestant in Mr. Chilton County, Hilyer said.

Anyone interested in participating should contact Hilyer at (205) 617-2676 or at for additional information and applications.

Hilyer thanked the Chilton County High School SGA, Clanton Evening Lion’s Club, Rick and Sheri McKee, Dr. Cynthia Stewart, Amy Easterling, Crystal Bass, Holly Deavers, Diane Calloway, Phillip Davis and Kenyon Easterling for their help.