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Miss Greater Greer Teen Abby Riggs ends reign Saturday

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, February 6, 2012

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Abby Riggs said her tenure as 2011 Miss Greater Greer Teen helped her learn more about the community, its needs and mentoring young girls as a role model.

Abby Riggs said her tenure as 2011 Miss Greater Greer Teen helped her learn more about the community, its needs and mentoring young girls as a role model.

Abby Riggs’ reign as 2011 Miss Greater Teen comes to an end Saturday night.  She is practicing her the entertainment she will perform, her wardrobe is all but set, appointments set and she has written her farewell speech.

“I don’t want to give up the crown,” Riggs said. “Yet, I’m ready to get on with my senior year in high school (2012-2013) and take what I learned with me.”

Riggs wore her crown well for Greer. She made so many appearances, she said she lost count. Among her community service activities were Cops for Tots, working as a mentor with Washington Baptist Church Girls In Action, participating in the Merle State Hunger Walk and representing businesses and non-profits to draw attention to their sponsorships and missions.  Her appearances were not exclusive to Greer.

“One of the best things about being Miss Greer Teen is learning more about our community. I loved helping with the Cops for Tots. It’s amazing to see how much we take for granted. The children were so happy to get Christmas gifts. And I couldn’t believe how much food the Soup Kitchen needs to provide meals for the hungry. 

The first act after Riggs was crowned Greer’s Miss Teen was to speak at City Hall during a council meeting. “That was my very first appearance and I was so nervous,” Riggs said. "Now, I'm so much better and more at ease.

“Last year was my coming out,” Riggs said. “I was quiet and shy. Now I’m more outgoing and confident. I figured out who I was and interacted better with people with all the interviews we practiced, the sessions with the fitness trainer and other coaching we had for months.”

There comes a cost at being a beauty queen. “I missed out on a lot with my peers." 

The past year will also be forever memorable for Riggs. “I loved being in the amazing place that I could to be a role model.”

Riggs reflected back to her Miss Greater Greer and Miss S.C. Teen pageants. “On pageant night I liked to get into my zone, listen to music and go over what I had to do that evening. I tried to think of interview questions and how to respond. I wasn’t unfriendly to the other girls. The evening of the pageant you are concentrating on the opening number, too.

“When I appeared on stage I liked to find my family. My family would hold up a sign so I would know where they were,” Riggs said. "We were taught to always look at the judges."

Riggs’ evening gowns were created by Gregory Ellenburg of Greenville. “My advice is to wear whatever you look good in.”

The self-confidence Riggs gained during her reign has already been passed to one of her princesses. Olivia Hale, a 15-year-old sophomore from Greer, won the Miss Myrtle Beach Teen pageant this past weekend. Riggs mentored Hale.

“That will keep me involved in the pageant," Riggs said. 

"It will be a sad night Saturday night. But I’m not ruling out that someday that I may do another pageant.”

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