I am writing to express my appreciation to your wonderful town of Sylacauga. My daughter and I recently spent a weekend in your town for the Miss Marble Valley Contest. We were new to the pageant circuit but had no idea just how green we were until we arrived. Never in my life have I as a complete stranger, among so many who knew all, been treated so wonderfully.

Jim Armstrong and Pam Landers were absolutely outstanding in their welcoming and orientation of the pageant scene to both me and my daughter. I felt as if I had known both for a lifetime. Citi who did Mackenzie’s makeup and offered up her advice was lovely. Jamie and Ashley Payton were way above and beyond anything Mackenzie and I ever expected. Their help, advice, and encouragement were so much more than either of us could ever have hoped for. You two earned many jewels in your crown for all you did for us.

Fellow moms and community members who were there whose names I sadly can’t remember, were all fantastic. From telling me about pre purchasing my tickets, to filling out forms, to where to shop and eat --I will be eternally grateful. Each of them went out of their way to offer advice, assistance, and encouragement.

We did this first pageant to see if we would be interested in pursuing this as scholarship options for college and I can answer with a most definite yes, thanks to all of the people we encountered in your lovely town. From Mr. Armstrong, the lady in Magnolias, to the employees of Holiday Inn Express and the lady who waited on us at the Marble City Grill, you all made this absolutely a wonderful experience for us both. Sadly, we did not win or place at the pageant but because of the outstanding experience with the Miss Alabama Pre-Lim circuit, we could not have asked for anything better at our “pageant initiation.” The folks are the epitome of southern hospitality at its finest. You do your city proud!!

One again, thanks for everything. God bless you one and all.

Sandi Bockhold

Cullman, Alabama