During the final segment of the pageant held at Samford University, Brewer received the pageant’s “Director of the Year” award from Miss Alabama officials.
“Receiving the Director of the Year award is shared with our committee, who all share the passion for giving to others,” Brewer said.
Brewer became executive director for the Miss Talladega County Pageant in 2003, but his work with pageants dates to the days of the late Maxye Veazey and Beth Yates working with the Miss Sylacauga Pageant.
“Miss Veazey heard me play the piano and insisted that I play background music for the swimsuit and evening wear competition at the Miss Sylacauga Pageant that year,” Brewer said. “It was 1978.”
After that experience, Brewer said he saw first hand how the pageant program helped young people grow as individuals.
“So, I wanted to do more,” he said.
That initial impression has grown through the years, Brewer said.
“I have seen how this organization changes lives as a result of the unbelievable scholarship opportunities that are available,” he said. “We are not a ‘beauty pageant,’ but a scholarship program through which young people can gain numerous life skills by participating.”
These skills include learning how to conduct themselves in interviews, how to develop onstage presence and learning to keep composure in front of an audience, Brewer said.
“Learning to develop self confidence is a huge benefit, too,” he said. “We have had young women come back to us and say that they were offered a job as a result of the interviews skills they learned through taking part in the program.”
Brewer pointed out that there are so many negative situations young people can find themselves involved with, and the pageant experience is one that remains positive.
“It can enable young people to reach their full potential by reaching their scholastic and career ambitions and also becoming a vital and productive part of our communities,” he said.
These and many more reasons are why Brewer said he continues to work with the pageants.
Working on the pageants is a full-time job, Brewer said, but also one that has many benefits that go with it.
“The real joy is getting to know these young women and being part of their lives for a year,” he said.
After the local pageants are over, Brewer said he sits down with the winners to learn about their goals for the state pageants, along with their personal goals.
“I strive to design a plan by which I can help them the most,” he said.
Three years ago, because of limited lack interest in participation, Brewer opened the Miss Talladega County Pageant to allow young women from other areas to compete, as many Miss Alabama preliminaries do.
The local community has been extremely welcoming to the pageant participants, and Brewer said there has been continuing support in many ways for the pageant.
“We have an amazing group of volunteers who serve on our committee and give unselfishly with a servant’s heart,” Brewer said. “There are numerous businesses and individuals who see the value in what we’re doing and contribute by purchasing ads in our program books, provide food for our contestants or offer gifts or services for our contestants and winners.”
Area college also support he pageants, providing scholarship opportunities for participants. These include Talladega College, Central Alabama Community College, Troy University and others.
The pageant is also indebted to the Talladega County School System, which provides the facility at B.B. Comer High School for the event, Brewer said.
Looking at the array of support, Brewer said it’s obvious what the pageants are really about.
“You can see, this pageant is not about me, it is about the people of this county and everyone’s desire to serve and help make life a little bit better for others,” he said.
Brewer is a native of Sylacauga and a graduate of Sylacauga High School and Central Alabama Community College.
He has served as chairman for the Sylacauga Christmas Parade, was the 2009 Lay Citizen Award recipient named by the Alabama Parks and Recreation Association for community service and was named Outstanding Citizen 2009 by Sylacauga Mayor Sam Wright.
In addition to directing the Miss Talladega County Pageant, Brewer began the Little Miss and Mr. Talladega County Pageant to generate experience opportunities for pageant contestants and also as a way to raise funding for scholarships for the Miss Talladega County Pageant.
In May, the Miss Talladega County Pageant was recognized by the Miss Alabama Pageant for making available the largest amount of in kind scholarships in the state, a total of $3.3 million.
The 2010 Miss Talladega County Pageant will be held July 24 at B.B. Comer Memorial High School. Entry information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.