New Albany native Jodi Parks, 9, recently took home the title of Queen of Hearts in the statewide Miss Heart of the USA pageant.
Parks was able to enter this pageant after she won the Facebook online photo contest in the preliminary Miss Heart of the Holidays pageant. In this pageant, she won the title of Union County’s petite Miss Heart of the Holidays. This was a preliminary pageant for the state Miss Heart of the USA pageant.
The Miss Heart of the USA Pageant was held July 6-7, 2012 in D’Iberville, Miss. with girls competing from all over the state.
Parks has been in pageants since she was four years old.
“I like to win stuff. I like to win crowns – I think they are the most beautiful things I have ever seen,” said Parks. “I like to participate in food drives and fundraisers and I like to show my personality off. I also like to see the other girls in their pretty dresses and I like that my big brother comes to cheer me on.”
The Queen of Hearts title will be Parks’ title for a year. There are 10 titles give away at state. One of the titles, Queen of Hearts, was given to Parks because she brought in 9,383 food items for donation.
All of the Miss Heart of the USA pageants are “Pageants with a Purpose.” Miss Heart of the USA has a goal to teach girls the importance of giving back to the community. All of the pageants, including the preliminaries, require a minimum canned food (non-perishable food items) donation.
A “Queen of Hearts” is crowned at each Miss Heart of the USA preliminary.
All city, county, state and national Miss Heart of the USA Queens are then encouraged to continue their fundraising efforts with the “Help Stomp out Hunger, One County at a Time!” campaign. Queens can organize food drives, “Tips for Tiaras”, or just collect canned food items from friends and neighbors all year long.
The city/county queen who is responsible for the most non-perishable food items donated during her reign is crowned the State Queen of Hearts.
She is the first Mississippi state queen to earn a round crown. In Nov., she will travel to Orlando for the nationals and will compete against girls from all over the country in the National Miss Heart of the USA pageant.
Parks is the daughter of Alvin and Kaye Parks Jr., is the sister of Anderson Parks and Jasmyne Parks, and is a fourth grade student at New Albany Elementary School.