Wright’s reign as Relay Queen a special one

Published 1:13 pm Monday, June 26, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Morgan Wright is almost two full months into her reign as the 2023 Miss Relay for Life Queen, and she is enjoying every moment of it. The recent Chilton County High School graduate was crowned on April 29 and her, along with five other queens, represent cancer awareness. The Relay for Life pageant is partnered with the American Cancer Society and they raise money for cancer patients’ transportation to doctor’s appointments and to help them afford treatments.

“It has been a wonderful experience (so far),” Wright said. “It is a great opportunity to give back to the community and meet new people, and be more involved in everything that goes on not just here, but other places as well.”

Wright’s little sister, Carlee Wright, does pageants as well and has served as a Swedish Festival Queen in the past and also competed in the Peach Queen pageants. Wright said Carlee was her inspiration to start doing pageants.

“She is what motivated me to do a pageant,” Wright said. “In my first pageant I was first alternate, and I thought ‘Okay, maybe I can do this.’”

Wright went on to be the second alternate and win Miss Photogenic in the Blackberry Queen pageant, as well as win the 2023 Miss Relay for Life pageant this year. However, it almost did not happen without the help of Carlee.

“I almost did not do (the) Relay for Life pageant because I had a lot of senior things coming up, but my sister told me I needed to do it,” Wright said. “Before I even signed up for the pageant I had already written my speech and everything.”

Wright has a personal connection to the disease that she brings awareness to every day as the Miss Relay for Life Queen. Her stepfather, Andre Craig, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2015 and passed away a year later.

“I did the Relay for Life pageant in honor of my stepfather,” Wright said. “He was my role model, my hero and my best friend. I feel like I needed to do something because everything I do in school I try to make him happy. He said ‘make sure you graduate’ and ‘make sure you do this.’ I wanted to do this pageant in honor of him, and I won. It was the proudest moment I have ever had.”

Visiting WBRC Fox6 News in Birmingham for an interview, the Chilton County Relay for Life event in Maplesville Community Park on May 6 and getting to meet Gov. Kay Ivey to receive a proclamation for their service was among the events Wright and the Relay for Life queens have done so far in their reign.

“That was amazing, I did not think the Governor was real,” Wright said.

In the future, the queens will have photo shoots, attend and help out at the special education prom and have a beach trip in the fall, all of which Wright is looking forward to. The queens will also help out at the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge in Birmingham at Christmas time to cook for patients and hand out gifts.

Wright has picked up specific skills during her reign and time doing pageants as well, such as being more open and social. Wright will attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the fall and wants to study nursing to become a pediatric nurse, where those skills will come in handy.

“I would not say I am a big people person,” Wright said. “I talk to people I know, but now I have to talk to everybody … Doing speeches in front of judges and a huge crowd, you are under a lot of pressure. I am glad I took public speaking in high school.”

Wright said the most important thing about being the Miss Relay for Life Queen is spreading awareness about cancer and the other things involved with it. Bringing light to patients not having transportation to treatments or enough money to afford treatments is an important thing Wright hopes she can raise more awareness on during her reign.

“I want to encourage more people to do this pageant so the more money we raise, the more people we can reach,” Wright said. “I always said I wanted more siblings, and I got it (in the six queen sisters).”