Locals go extra mile for Miss Georgia Maggie Bridges

Published 5:06 pm Thursday, September 11, 2014

This is the week that Atlantic City has more beauty queens than casinos, more tiaras than slot machines and more rhinestones than poker chips.

The Miss America Contest has returned to Atlantic City after a seven-year stint in Las Vegas, and the New Jersey city rolled out the red carpet for the 53 contestants, representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Decatur County’s own Maggie Bridges, daughter of John and Cathy Bridges of Brinson, is Miss Georgia 2014 and is vying for the Miss America crown to be presented Sunday night.

Miss Bridges, a senior at Georgia Tech, has already been recognized by the Miss America organization for her work as Miss Georgia and as a student.  Before the competition started on Tuesday, Maggie was selected as a finalist for one of five STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) scholarships. The winners will be announced during the televised broadcast on ABC Sunday night.

Email newsletter signup

But that’s not all. Miss Bridges also received one of three scholarships for raising the most money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. After the winners were announced during Wednesday evening’s competition Cathy Bridges said, “Maggie is so grateful for the generosity of folks in South Georgia who helped her reach her personal CMNH goal.”

Bridges was personally involved in each and every fundraising event held in Decatur County.

All of her hometown fans and supporters will be happy to know that Maggie competed in the talent portion of the contest Tuesday night and according to those in attendance, “She nailed the performance.” Miss Bridges sang an original arrangement of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

On Wednesday night, Maggie competed in the onstage interview. Contestants were asked a question about their platform during this portion of the competition. Maggie has selected volunteerism as her platform. She was asked how we can encourage people who claim to have no time to volunteer to do so anyway. Maggie’s answer focused on reminding people that many times, volunteering is about doing what you like to do anyway – and what you may already spend time on during your week – and direct that toward a worthwhile organization. In Maggie’s case, she has an interest in pharmacy and medical fields, so she volunteers by visiting children who are hospitalized.

She also said that organizations like Hands On Network in Atlanta will match your time and interests with organizations that need your skills.

Thursday night, Miss Bridges will compete in Lifestyle and Fitness, which many refer to as the evening gown and swimsuit portion of the competition.  Maggie won the swimsuit portion of this competition during the Miss Georgia pageant.

The week began with her individual interview with the judges. That portion of the competition counts 25 percent of her total score. Talent counts 35 percent, lifestyle and Fitness counts 15 percent, Evening Wear 20 percent and Onstage Interview counts 5 percent. The competition will end on Sunday during a live televised broadcast on ABC.

We have no doubt that Maggie is a shoo-in for the crown, and even folks in Atlantic City claim Maggie as their pick, saying, “I love a Georgia Peach!”

We have to agree, “The best bet in Atlantic City is Miss Georgia, Maggie Bridges!”

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Lori Shiver and Glennie Bench who said they went to Atlantic City on Tuesday to see the process up close and personal and to support Maggie in every way they could. The two women are close friends of Maggie’s mother, having been classmates of hers.

Although they say they were not officially permitted to speak to Maggie personally, they feel she is holding up well. That is the information they are receiving from her mother who said Maggie hopes all the hard work she has put into this will show.

They feel Maggie feels very supported by all her hometown people. It has sustained her.

Glennie Bench said she feels it is refreshing that a smalltown farm girl like Maggie can hold her own among all those others, many of them from more metropolitan areas….”She’s a contender,” claimed Bench.

 The Miss America Pageant will be broadcast on Sunday night, September 14 at 8 p.m. on the ABC network.