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Neewollah News and Press Releases

Neewollah News will include a variety of news releases related to Neewollah. News items are listed in newest to oldest order (top to bottom) and are not normally removed even if they become outdated. Please check back often for updated news.

Generalissimo Anne Bertie and Generalissimo Elect

Emcee for Talent Night

Callie Hagood is thrilled to be the emcee for Queen Neelah’s talent night! A native Oklahoman, it’s the closest she’s been to competing for Queen Neelah herself. Callie has a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma and enjoys the stage when she can. She’s been featured in leading roles in Much Ado About Nothing, The Crucible, Crimes of the Heart, and The Miss Firecracker Contest, among others. Her favorite things are baking fancy cakes, juicy romance novels, iced coffee, yoga pants (sometimes while actually doing yoga) and spending time with her boys: Noah, age 5; Adam, age 2; and Matthew age 34.

Emcee for Coronation Night

Lisa Wilson is the President of the Independence Chamber of Commerce. Having worked for the Chamber for almost 9 years, Lisa is deeply involved in the community and definitely “Believes” Independence is the best place to live, invest and visit. She is a past president and member of both Rotary and Soroptimist and currently serves as president of the Optimist Club. She also serves on the William Inge Theater Festival Foundation, Independence Historical Museum and Art Center, and FORPAZ board of directors. She is a 2002 Leadership Independence graduate and a 31-year member of Chapter EF, PEO and a lifetime member of First United Methodist Church.

Lisa is a “Believer” in Neewollah and has been involved with the festival for many years. Since 1990, she has volunteered on numerous committees and has served as co-chair for Queen Candidates, Queens Judges, Coronation Ball, Kick-Off Party, Summer Workshops, Queen’s Fashion Show and has co-chaired Neelah Debs twice. Lisa’s involvement with Neewollah started when she moved to Independence at age 5 and participated in her first Kiddie Parade where she was Little Bo Peep. Years later she enjoyed marching in the Grand Parade and competing in the Neewollah Marching Band Competition. She was a 1981 Neelah Deb and a 1983 Queen Candidate. After competing in Queen Neelah she went on to compete in the Miss Kansas Pageant in 1986 and placed third runner-up, playing the alto, tenor and baritone saxophones as her talent. She is a graduate of Independence High School, Independence Community College, where she was recently inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame, and Pittsburg State University, where she earned her bachelors in business administration, majoring in marketing.

Lisa is the proud mother of twin daughters, Jessie Wilson, a sixth grade science teacher in Boone, North Carolina and Layne Webster, a first grade teacher at Eisenhower. Last year she hit the son-in-law jackpot when Gavin Webster joined the family. Lisa is a “Believer” in Independence and feels honored to serve as this year’s coronation emcee.

Queen Neelah Candidates Leadership Workshop

Queen Neelah candidates recently had the opportunity to attend a leadership and team building workshop. The girls worked together to improve communication skills and teamwork through interactive activities taught by Emily Roth, Greenbush Education Service Center. The training took place at Independence High School and was hosted by Queen Neelah Co-Directors Denise Hines, Melissa Small and Candidate Co-Chairs Mindy Blackard and Haley Marchant

2019 Emcee Queen Neelah’s talent night Announced

Callie Hagood is thrilled to be the emcee for Queen Neelah’s talent night! A native Oklahoman, it’s the closest she’s been to competing for Queen Neelah herself. Callie has a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma and enjoys the stage when she can. She’s been featured in leading roles in Much Ado About Nothing, The Crucible, Crimes of the Heart, and The Miss Firecracker Contest, among others. Her favorite things are baking fancy cakes, juicy romance novels, iced coffee, yoga pants (sometimes while actually doing yoga) and spending time with her boys: Noah, age 5; Adam, age 2; and Matthew age 34.

Queen Neelah Summer Workshop

Queen Neelah Directors, Denise Hines and Melissa Small would like to announce the Queen Neelah Summer Workshop. The workshop will be June 9th at 4pm to 5:30pm at the Nazarene Church. Attendance in the event is important and open to any girl who will be a senior in High School during the 2019-2020 school year. Girls interested in learning more about the pageant are encouraged to bring a parent or legal guardian to the meeting. The girls and their parents will learn about the requirements, see a fashion show and have the opportunity to have questions answered by Queen Neelah volunteers and past candidates. Denise and Melissa are excited to meet the new potential candidates.


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