Mar 11, 2008

Crowned Miss Lynchburg

by Dominique McKay

After moving to Lynchburg to attend Liberty University in the fall of 2007, Fitzpatrick — a prayer leader on East 1 — was required to wait a full semester before becoming eligible to compete in the Miss Lynchburg pageant as a resident of Virginia.  According to Fitzpatrick, the pageant season was quickly coming to an end and Miss Lynchburg was her last chance to qualify for the Miss Virginia competition.
“That was the last one I could compete in,” Fitzpatrick said.  “I wanted it really bad just because my new home is in Lynchburg, and it was the Lynchburg title.”
Fitzpatrick had a team of supporters, including her boyfriend, quadmates from Liberty and her mother, who traveled from Florida, cheering her on as she went through each portion of the competition.
“I feel like I had been there with her to see her through the whole thing, and I kind of shared her emotion with nervousness and everything,” said Stephenie Chatman, a junior Spiritual Life Director on East 1.
“I loved to see how she did not compromise herself in any way, shape or form,” said Brittney Felder, a senior and Resident Assistant on East 1. “I personally was so proud to say she was a part of my leadership team.”
“I was really praying that God would bless her for standing up for her beliefs,” said senior Abby Guthrie, who is Fitzpatrick’s roommate. “It was really a testimony of God working.”
The pageant began with an interview portion where Fitzpatrick was asked about her view on the controversial topic of gay adoption.
“This is a common question,” Fitzpatrick explained.  “My general answer to that was, I think we’ve gotten more focused on the parents’ versus the children’s best interests…I believe that every child should have the advantage of a mother and a father figure.”
“She didn’t back down. She said what she thought was right and what she thought God would approve of,” Guthrie said.  “I really admire her for being able to stand in front of all those people and say that.”
Continuing with the competition, Fitzpatrick quickly changed into her swimsuit attire.
She said that this was her least favorite and most uncomfortable of all the portions, and she was one of only two contestants who walked on the stage in a subtle one-piece bathing suit.
“I am a very big fan of modesty, so I support that one-piece all the way,” Fitzpatrick said, “and I actually did end up winning swimsuit and talent, which was a really big shock to me.”
“She came out, and the color she picked was stunning,” said Felder.  “She wore turquoise, it was. . .completely modest.”
After modeling her swimsuit, Fitzpatrick focused on the talent portion.  While most of the other six competitors chose to express themselves in dance, Fitzpatrick used her vocal talent to belt out the song “His Life for Mine” by Lauren Talley.
“I liked the fact that she sang a song about the Lord, and there was no question about what she was singing about,” Felder said.  “The gospel was very clear in her song.”
After her unexpected win in the swimsuit competition, Fitzpatrick went on to win the talent portion as well.
“When she won, I was ecstatic,” said Felder.
Since January, Fitzpatrick has competed in four other pageants, including Miss Apple Blossom, Miss Greater Richmond, Miss Chesterfield and Miss Mountain Empire, placing in the top three of all four competitions.
As the reigning Miss Lynchburg, Fitzpatrick received $8,000 in scholarship and will be representing Lynchburg at the Miss Virginia competition in June. 
“I competed in Miss Florida two years ago,” Fitzpatrick said.  “I’m really anxious to get back to a state pageant just because they are a lot of fun.  They’re stressful, but I work well under stress, so I’m pretty excited.”
As she eagerly awaits the next competition, Fitzpatrick is continually promoting her platform of YES (Youth Engaged in Service) and encouraging young people to get involved in helping their community.
“Right now she’s doing a jeans drive called Being Comfortable in Your Genes,” Guthrie said.  “All the girls from our hall are going to bring jeans, and we are going to donate them to a shelter. It’s about helping girls be comfortable with who they are and not worrying so much about their weight or appearance.”
To find out more about the reigning Miss Lynchburg as she prepares for the Miss Virginia competition, visit her Web site at

Contact Dominique McKay at

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