Jun. 19—LUMBERTON — Jordyn McArthur and Saeed McElveen were crowned queen and king of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Lambda Eta Zeta Chapter's annual Kiddie Blue and White Revue Scholarship Pageant.
Jordyn, whose parents are Eddie Thompson Jr. and Ashley McArthur, was crowned queen; and Saeed, whose are parents Freddie Jr. and Ilka McElveen, was crowned king.
For the past 37 years, the chapter has sponsored the pageant to support one of its founding principles. For some time the pageant was held at the Carolina Civic Center, but in recent years, the event has been held at Lumberton Junior High School.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, changed how the chapter members work, play, go to school and how they would continue to show support through services to their community. Because of the pandemic the 38th annual Kiddie Blue and White Revue was held virtually via Facebook Live.
In addition to Jordyn and Saeed, five other contestants competed. They were Tygnn Barr, Kennedy Betrand, Josiah Brown, Kimari Odum and Saniyah Sinclair.
The contestants introduced themselves in outfits that were indicative of their career paths, described their supernatural hero, performed their talents, and were beautifully and handsomely dressed for the coronation.
"[T]o actually realize we would be able to present this 2021 historical Virtual Kiddie Blue and White Revue was amazing," said Hazel Sumner, pageant committee chairperson. "Initially, our anxieties were high, but reassurance from Dee Grissett, our technology specialist and Social Media chairperson, and Patricia Blue helped us to realize it was possible.
The committee's co-chair also had reservations about the pageant's success.
"[W]hen the committee first started talking about a virtual Kiddie Blue and White Revue Pageant, I was skeptical, but after rehearsals started that all changed," Deborah Linsey said. "These girls and boys did an outstanding job in their presentations in every category of the pageant."
In addition, Sumner said Zavery McDougald, choreographer, brought the event together, and as a result, the contestants presented to the world a historical Virtual Kiddie Blue and White Revue.
"To this moment, I am still on a cloud because the contestants were amazing," Sumner said.
Sumner thanked Grisette, McDougald, parents, contestants, and the Kiddie Blue and White Revue Committee for making the pageant possible.
"The cost of the virtual pageant was less than an in-person pageant and the number of people who were able to attend the pageant more than tripled. And because members of the Facebook community can share videos, even more people were able to view the pageant from wherever they live," said Lambda Eta Zeta President Sharon Scott. "Additionally, we were able to have contestants from other cities and states because all rehearsals were virtual instead of in-person."
Chapter members were challenged because of the pandemic to be more creative with raising funds, Scott said. As a result, 12 high school students have been awarded scholarships that will help them begin their matriculation in college.
"A thousand thanks to all who contributed funds, which helped make this pageant one of the most successful scholarships pageants in our chapter's history," Scott said. "The overwhelming success of this history-making pageant and the many successful community service events sponsored by Lambda Eta Zeta Chapter gives me unspeakable joy!"
The sponsors of King Saeed McElveen were Krystle Melvin, Alice Mclean Melvin, Lisa Troy, Wixie Stephens, Diane Phillips Surgeon and Scott. The sponsors of Queen Jordyn McArthur were Elaine Brown, Alesia Carr, Venega McArthur, Latasha Murray, Rhonda Thompson and Bianca Vines.