Newly-crowned Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest Grace Turner said she was so nervous when she realised she had won the title that the moment was ‘an absolute blur’.
The 19-year-old was crowned this year’s winner at a glittering ceremony at the John Fretwell Centre on Saturday night.
The performing arts student told Chad that she almost didn’t enter the competition but was spurred on by friends who had entered in previous years, and her mum who encouraged her to apply.
And apart from the top award, the former All Saints’ student also won the Miss Congeniality and Miss Chad Popularity 2013 award - voted for by Chad readers.
During a three-week period, readers were asked to vote for their favourite finalist, and Grace will be presented with a framed copy of this story as a lasting memento.
Grace, who is currently studying at Clarendon College in Nottingham, said: “I was very emotional when I got to the top six - I was just thinking to myself, ‘I’m in the top six, I’m happy, I’m happy’, but then it was a total blur when they said my name. I just cried and it was so overwhelming. I never expected to win at all.
“A lot of people were telling me to go for it and when I found out that I’d made the top 12 I was at a wedding. I came out of the church and I had a text congratulating me, so it became a double celebration.
“When I’m doing a play at college I have to go on stage, but there I’m being someone else. At the weekend I had to go on stage as myself, so I was really, really nervous.
“I really want to use my year to raise money and promote my chosen charity, Little Princess Trust, and to just be a good ambassador for Mansfield.”
The charity provides real-hair wigs, free of charge, to children across the UK and Ireland who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.
Aside from a packed social calendar Grace, who succeeds Alice Kurylo in the hotseat, took home a host of top prizes, including an all expenses paid trip to Mansfield, Ohio, in the USA, a professional portfolio from Spike Photography and a year’s membership to Oasis Gym, in Portland Road.
The fitness fanatic, who still goes back to her old school to help teach performing arts, will also compete in the Miss England Grand Final in June.
First runner-up was Rebecca McAllister (22), a primary school teacher from Sutton, while second runner-up was 19-year-old Sadie Hart, a sales assistant from Worksop.
Other finalists were Bethanie Ulyett, Liana Berzina, Lindsay Oxborough, Samantha Banner, Lucy Kellett, Kimberly Banner, Laura Bradley, Charlotte Bullock and Shannon McDonald.
This year’s event also included 10 other awards sections, including Miss Fitness, Miss Photographic, Miss Radiant Beauty, Miss Congeniality, Miss Professional Look, Miss Chad Popularity 2013, the Stunning Hair Award, Beauty with a Purpose, Style Queen 2013 and Eco Outfit - which saw contestants design and wear an outfit made from recyclable materials.
Judges included Ian Jephson of Jephson’s Shopfitters, Rachel French, owner of Ten Green Bottles coffee lounge, Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton, personal trainer Sally Withers, Mark Gillborn of Hucknall Van Hire, Peter Topley from Mansfield 103.2, beauty therapist Lisa Twigger, Miss Mansfield 2011 winner Alicia Caley, Chad assistant editor Ashley Booker and Cate Hunt from West Nottinghamshire College.
Organiser and former winner Tricia Mapletoft said: “It was a wonderful night and the event was even bigger and better than last year.
“Grace is very elegant with a wonderful, bubbly and fun personality, and I think because she is a performing arts student she is used to appearing on the stage.”
If you are a local business or you are organising a charity event and would like Grace to attend, contact Tricia Mapletoft on 07989 578175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PICTURED: Newly-crowned Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest Grace Turner (left) with contest organiser and 1989 winner Tricia Mapletoft, outgoing title holder Alice Kurylo and 2011 winner Alicia Caley.