Miss Dixie 2017 to focus on service

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After making an appearance during the Homecoming Week events, this is just the beginning of a jam packed year for Miss Dixie 2017 Ella Barlow. 

Taking on the role of Miss Dixie, Barlow’s year of reign will mainly focus on volunteer work for Dixie State University and the community. Miss Dixie 2016 Kelby Morrison said service is the number one opportunity Miss Dixie can take away from this yearlong experience. 

“The Miss Dixie should immerse herself in the school, the community and service because I made so many friends this year doing that,” Morrison said. “It made my year of reign that much more enjoyable with my friends right along side me.”

The moment Barlow was crowned as Miss Dixie, Morrison said the community viewed her as a public figure for DSU. 

“Even when she’s not on school grounds, she is still the face of Miss Dixie,” Morrison said. “It’s not just when you have your crown and sash on; it’s a lifestyle that you live.”

Using her platform, “You are More,” Barlow said she plans to take her experiences struggling and overcoming rheumatoid arthritis to let students know they are more than the obstacles they face.

“I want to utilize my platform throughout the school and help others who might be in a similar situation,” Barlow said.

Aside from integrating her platform with DSU, Barlow will also take on the role as the ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network, where she will raise money for the organization before competing in Miss Utah. 

Barlow will compete against 50 other contestants for the title of Miss Utah in June. 

“I want to go as far as I can, and if I go to Miss Utah and the judges see me as the person they’re looking for for that job, I would take it in a heartbeat,” Barlow said. “I mean, that’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Very few people can say, ‘Oh yeah, I served as Miss Utah.’”

Penny Barben, who was Miss Dixie in 1957, eventually went on to reign as Miss Utah in 1960. As Miss Utah, she visited different parts of the state, making appearances at all kinds of events. 

“Feel like a queen, but [also] treat everyone else like a queen,” Barben said.