Chester Gap: Local contestants make good

Local beauty pageant legacy Alexandra Phillips has competed in her first pageant in the Miss Rappahannock Friends category and secured her first win as well. Allie, as she is known to friends and family, is the daughter of multiple pageant winner, most notably as the former Mrs. Virginia, Janie Phillips, and local volunteer fireman Brandon Phillips.

Allie is a current first-grader at Rappahannock Elementary School and was very nervous about going on stage but with her best friend Carrington Wayland’s hand firmly held in hers she made it through like a champ. Allie was quoted telling her mother afterwards that “I think I’m ready for nationals now!” While her mother politely disagreed with her, I’m just not too awful sure she ain’t myself!

Sheriff Deputy/Dispatcher Katie Burke, a one-time Chester Gap resident who won the Ms. Rappahannock title last weekend, photographed at her day job.

Also of note, is that Katie Burke, the granddaughter of local fire department treasurer Maybelle Gilkey, and a one-time Chester Gap resident herself (albeit when she was little, or at least littler), won the title of Ms. Rappahannock.

As I understand it this was Katie’s first attempt at the realms of pageantry and I must say that she took on the challenge exceedingly well. Katie worked very hard in the weeks leading up to her hitting the stage and did a very fine job of it. Katie works for Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office as deputy/dispatcher but says that the tiara shouldn’t get in the way too awful much while she’s at work, though they may make her take off the sash!

An let us not fail to give mention and due acclamation to Ashleigh and Emily Baldwin as well. They competed in the Rappahannock Mother & Child category and came away with the 2nd Runner Up trophy. Congratulations are in order to not only Ashleigh and Emily but also Emily’s father, our own J.D. Wines, a proud daddy of his little girl.

Birthday Wishes
A very special Happy Birthday is in order for our own Russell “Leo” Williams who turned 70 years old on April 18. Leo is not only a founding member of the Chester Gap Volunteer Fire Department but also a founding member of the much beloved Chester Gap Hillbillies! Leo is never without a kind word or a warm handshake to give to whomever he may meet and a more pleasant fellow to have a conversation with you’d be hard pressed to find. So to a man that I’m very proud indeed to call my friend I say once again Happy 70th Birthday, Leo!!!