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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Community gearing up for pageant

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mike Held, vinyl graphic department manager at Canedy Sign Co. in Sikeston, works on Oran's welcome signs.
ORAN -- Amber Seyer isn't the only person enjoying her reign as Miss Missouri USA. Residents throughout her hometown of Oran -- and even Southeast Missouri -- are gearing up to watch Seyer compete in the Miss USA Pageant next week.

But it's Tatum May who might be more excited than anybody about the upcoming pageant, which will fall on her birthday. Seyer has been Tatum's role model for the past three or four years, Tatum said.

To celebrate both occasions, the third grader at Oran Elementary plans to invite her friends over and have a pageant party on the big day.

"We're gonna have a lot of people over and play and then turn on the TV and watch the pageant," said Tatum, daughter of Lisa and Jay May of Oran.

Tatum said she's one of Seyer's biggest fans.

"She's really nice and really pretty and really supportive and stuff like that," Tatum said about why she likes Seyer.

Tatum's school mates are also be rooting for Seyer.

"They like her just as much as I do and everybody's like 'oh my gosh. We have a model in our town.' For such a little town, we have such a big person," Tatum said.

Seyer left earlier this month for Los Angeles, where the Miss USA Pageant will take place. Even though Seyer is gone, community members continue to show support for the 20-year-old Miss USA hopeful.

A welcome sign proclaiming Oran as the hometown of Seyer is in the works by city officials. The 4-foot by 8-foot signs will feature a picture of Seyer and the phrase, "Welcome to Oran, home of Miss Missouri 2007 Amber Seyer," at the south and north entrances to Oran on Highway 77, Melissa Pobst of the city clerk's office said.

Lori's Little Rascals Daycare in Oran is hosting an event in honor of Seyer at 4 p.m. Thursday at Triangle Park in Oran. Owner Lori Dirnberger said she plans to ask city officials to attend the event.

"We're going to decorate the park with signs and banner," Dirnberger said. "When Amber is down, she always tries to come by and read a story to the kids so the kids are working on a story about her."

Dirnberger said before leaving for the pageant, Seyer visited with and autographed photos for the children. The children who attend the daycare range in age from 2 to 12 and will wear T-shirts that say, "Member of the Amber Seyer Fan Club."

"She's a beautiful person inside and out. We support her whatever happens -- we're still proud," Dirnberger said about Seyer.

Tatum's mother said Seyer would be a great role model for girls if she wins. She said she thinks Seyer's small-town roots and morals are already enough to surpass today's role models like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears.

"Girls need more positive role models in the media to look up to," Lisa May said. "As far as Amber, she would be a positive role model for the kids, especially right now."

Sherry Seyer said the support her daughter has received is wonderful. "We're touched," Mrs. Seyer said. "It's amazing. We just want thank everyone who's supported her and asked about her and for their kind words."

Despite recent reports, Seyer's mother said there will not be a big TV screen viewing at the Oran Jaycee Hall due to rental discrepancies. However, other residents are planning viewing parties at their homes to watch on the big night.

Prior to Seyer leaving for Los Angeles, the Seyers held an open house where residents from Oran, Sikeston, Delta, Dexter and other towns dropped by to wish Seyer well.

"I was overwhelmed with joy and happiness and excited other people were excited for me," Seyer said in an interview before leaving for Los Angeles earlier this month. "Just to see other people get excited about someone's else's success is amazing."

Seyer, the daughter of Tom and Sherry Seyer of Oran, said she owes so much to Southeast Missouri for their support.

"I cannot thank them enough -- and I don't know how," Seyer said. "I don't think they know how much I mean it."

The Miss USA Pageant will air at 8 p.m. March 23 on NBC. In addition to the pageant, Seyer will be featured on an episode of the NBC game show "Identity," which will air prior to the pageant at 7 p.m.