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McKENZIE — Gracelyn Eaves, 20, a rising senior at Bethel University, returns to compete in the Miss Tennessee Volunteer Pageant this summer. The pre-professional Biology major last served as Miss Bethel University in the 2022 statewide pageant, where she was voted Miss Congeniality. This year, she serves as Miss Tipton County Volunteer, a title that earned her passage to return to the statewide pageant.
The brown-eyed, brown-haired beauty comes from a large blended family. Her mom and stepdad are Tasha and Shawn Boone. Her father who raised her is Jeff Eaves and her biological father is of Hawaiian and Korean ancestry. She has six siblings - two older and six younger.
Gracelyn, a 2021 Houston County High School graduate, feels more confident going into her second year of competition than last year, when she won Miss Congeniality among the 36 contestants residing in Tennessee or attending college in the state.
Last year, Gracelyn had a platform of “Giving Grace.”
“I’m broadening my platform to promote character education and social accountability!
“As Miss Tipton County, I speak on being the one! I encourage others to be who they are while also leading, promoting, and encouraging others through listening and leading others!”
Each contestant must have a platform and take part in volunteer service.
The 2023 contest is July 26-29 at the Carl Perkins Center in Jackson. Gracelyn will compete in Fitness and Wellness on Wednesday evening, Evening Gown on Thursday, and Talent on Friday. She will play “Great Balls of Fire” on the piano as her talent. Saturday is the finals for the top ten contestants. A queen and four runners-up will represent the court. Also honored that evening are the People’s Choice, Miss Congeniality, and the non-finalist Interview Award.
As for the contest week, Gracelyn said, “I look forward to seeing the girls and my friends.” She said she is excited to meet the new contestants and share the learning experience and the stress of competing during the week-long activities. She is also happy to learn more about Jackson, Tennessee and the West Tennessee community.
Gracelyn has been a long-time competitor in pageants and in sports.
She was crowned Miss Houston County in 2018, Miss Houston County Fairest of the Fair in 2018, advancing her to Tennessee Fairest of the Fair, earning fourth maid among more than 50 contestants. That was the catalyst to compete in big pageants. She competed in the Miss Tennessee Teen USA in Clarksville and won Miss Bethel Volunteer in 2022 and Miss Tipton County in 2023.
In academics, she was the salutatorian of her high school graduating class. She is pursuing a degree in Pre-Professional Biology at Bethel in pursuit of a goal of becoming a medical doctor.
“I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was five,” said Gracelyn. At age 12, she added the distinction of a medical specialist, a heart surgeon.
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