By Matt de Simone
A Lord Botetourt High School grad prepares to take the stage in Lynchburg in the inaugural Miss Virginia Volunteer pageant.
Lindsey Owens was recently announced as the Roanoke Valley’s representative in the competition that provides opportunities for young women throughout Virginia.
Owens grew up on the border of Botetourt and Roanoke County. Following high school, Owens graduated from West Virginia University, where she majored in Sport & Exercise Psychology with a minor in Communications and Law & Legal Studies.
Currently, Owens is a paralegal for the Commonwealth’s Attorney in Martinsville. She recently passed her Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and will attend law school in 2022.
The winner receives $10,000 in scholarship funds for education. Additionally, Miss Virginia Volunteer gets an apartment in Lynchburg during her year of service, an SUV for appearances, beauty assistances provided by Lynchburg’s Hollywood Glow Tanning & Salon and Sol’s Hair Studio in Roanoke, and a custom wardrobe.
The inaugural pageant marks Owens’s first attempt at pageant competition on a state level.
“The only pageant I ever competed in was the Miss Cavalier competition at Lord Botetourt,” Owens stated. “I actually won that. Other than that, I’ve never competed in a pageant before.”
Pageanting is in her blood. Her mother grew up in Covington and competed for Miss Alleghany Highlands. Owens always had an interest, she explained. Over the last year, Owens wanted something to do after moving to a new town. Soon after that, she saw a Facebook post about the pageant and signed up.
“It was kind of out of the blue,” Owens continued. “It’s been so much fun. I’ve met so many people, so many of the girls are incredibly kind, and working with the many organizations has been fun. I just love it.”
Owens enjoys helping the children at the Ronald McDonald House. She chose her platform as a tribute to her cousin, Hannah Snuffer, who suffered from a chronic intestinal disorder. Hannah’s parents spent a lot of time at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus, Ohio, during Hannah’s hospital stays. After a long battle, Hannah passed away last year. Her parents set up a blog in her honor (www.lifelynx.net) to support other families with special needs children.
“[The Ronald McDonald House] always took care of my family, and I love them for that,” Owens explained. “They are so incredibly kind. When I was at WVU, I chose to work with the Ronald McDonald House cooking food for families. I love what they do, and I want to honor her throughout this process.”
Owens feels that her experiences working with charities and the community sets her apart from the other competitors. Her real-world experiences and professional career play into why she’s the right choice to become the first Miss Virginia Volunteer in 2021.
“I would really love to start an organization to better research Hannah’s rare disorder,” Owens stated. “I also would like to help with Children’s Miracle Network to start a brand new program of research because I don’t think there is a lot of information out there.”
Along with competing in this year’s pageant, Owens enjoys spending time with family and other activities outside of pageant competition.
“I love going to the gym every morning with my little cousin Morgan Joyce,” Owens said. “She is my fitness motivator. Additionally, I love special effects makeup and feature my work on my Instagram page. I love cooking, hiking with my dog, and traveling whenever I can.”
The Miss Virginia Volunteer Pageant takes place on August 14 in Lynchburg at the Historic Academy Theatre at 7 p.m. For tickets and information, visit https://academycenter.org/event/miss-va-volunteer/.