Story by Emily Reed
Since being crowned the 2019 Miss Peach Queen in June, Thorsby’s Marybeth Porter has enjoyed her time filled with new experiences and opportunities.
“The moment that I found out I was Peach Queen, I was shocked,” Porter said. “I felt like it was an answered prayer.”
Some of Porter’s favorite moments as Peach Queen have been car rides with her queen sisters, trips to Peach Park and the Peanut Festival in Dothan.
“I also love being a role model to the girls in my county,” Porter said. “It brightens my day when little girls get excited to meet Miss Peach. It reminds me that God has a purpose for everything.”
When she is not going throughout the county with various Peach Queen activities, Porter said most days are centered around going to school and extracurricular activities.
“I have to make sure when I plan something that all of my activities and responsibilities do not overlap,” Porter said. “For fun, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and having acoustic sessions with my guitar.”
One thing that has surprised Porter since being crowned is the amount of “tradition and history” behind the peach queens.
“I have also been surprised by how well known the Peach Queens are throughout our state,” Porter said.
For competing in the pageant, Porter received scholarships totaling $4,700.
“The scholarships will help fund my college education and were one of the main reasons I participated in the pageant,” Porter said. “These scholarships and the sponsors of the pageant have led me to so many opportunities throughout my reign that I would not have had otherwise.”
Porter received a $2,000 scholarship for the title, $1,200 scholarship from St. Vincent’s Chilton and a $1,000 Lions Club Peach Festival Scholarship.
Porter’s future plans are to attend either Troy University or UAB where she hopes to earn a degree in nursing.
“My dream is to become a nurse practitioner specializing in pediatrics,” Porter said.
Porter said during the pageant, her onstage question was given to her by God five minutes before she went on stage.
“I had pondered all day on an answer to the question, ‘your first responsibility as Miss Peach Queen is to name a new variety of peaches, what would you name them and why?’ and even though that was only one of seven questions, I was nervous that would be the one I would get,” Porter said. “After getting ready for evening gown, I prayed and asked God to give me an answer that would be something that I could live by. God gave me the answer ‘queen, because a peach is everything a queen should be.’ She should be sweet, but also be a healthy influence on her community. She should bring joy everywhere she goes and truly be a sweet role model all throughout her community. This answer changed my life, because now it is something I strive to live by daily.”
Since being crowned, the thing she enjoys the most as Peach Queen is being a role model to the girls in the community.
“I enjoy when I am talking to people that I meet outside of our county and they ask where I live,” Porter said. “When I tell them I am from Chilton County, they usually say, ‘oh, where the peaches are!’ That is when I enthusiastically reply, ‘Yes, and I am the Peach Queen!’ I take a lot of pride in that response.”
Porter hopes to spend the rest of her reign trying to be a positive influence on the girls in the community.
“I am very grateful for everything that the Clanton Lions Club does for the Peach Queens and most importantly for giving me the opportunity to be the 2019 Miss Peach.”
Porter’s reign will continue into 2020 until the next Peach Festival.