Phillipy one of 63 chosen from 20 states for Liberty Bowl Homecoming Queen event
Farragut High School’s 2017 Homecoming Queen Camille Phillipy got to wear her crown a little longer. During the Christmas break she represented FHS at AutoZone Liberty Bowl America’s Homecoming Queen event in Memphis.
Camille, an FHS cheerleader and daughter of Blake and Jill Phillipy, was one of 63 young women from 20 states selected for the honor, according to organizers.
Queens were chosen through America’s Homecoming Queen Registry, where selections also were based on academic standings and community service.
The girls were treated to three days of whirlwind activities, which included a visit to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital [the organization’s partner charity], riding in the Liberty Bowl Parade, being presented as part of the patriotic pre-game program, and helping entertain the crowd along with halftime headliners, The Isley Brothers.
“It was a really big honor, and it was great that all these girls were recognized for their community service,” Phillipy said after she returned from Memphis.
“It was [also] great to represent a team I love so much,” she continued. “It was an honor to have been able to represent my school, my family and our state.”
Phillipy said she “was surprised and excited” to be invited to the America’s Homecoming Queen event, and was notified midway through fall semester.
“They do the contacting — I did not apply,” she explained. “But, they called me down to the office and there was an envelope waiting for me, telling me I had been selected.”
Phillipy was given a list of dress and appearance requirements to prepare for her visit, which began Thursday, Dec. 28, and concluded with the bowl game, Iowa State versus Memphis, Saturday, Dec. 30.
“We had to buy a white gown and long formal white gloves,” she said.
However, “It was freezing cold,” Camille said. “Pre-game, we didn’t even wear our coats. But we did have handwarmers and lots of warm layers.”
Later in the program, the girls opted for practicality.
“We all had on white jackets [at that point], but despite the cold, we had fun,” she said.
Phillipy said she met girls from other states, including two others from Tennessee: Holly McCarter of Sevier County and Savannah Elrod of Anderson County.
The fact the festivities took place in Memphis was a thrill to Phillipy: her brother, Carter, attends the University of Memphis, and they have many family members living there. “Also, my brother was not able to attend [FHS} Homecoming [when she was crowned], so it was great he was able to be there for this.”
As someone who had never entered a pageant of any kind, Phillipy said her FHS Homecoming crowning was a surprise.
“I was so honored,” she said. “I had never [even] been on the homecoming court before.
“They were all great girls [joining her on the Homecoming Court] — it could have been any one of us.”
Phillipy has been a cheerleader all four years in high school, and also has worked with FHS’s Sparkle Squad, comprised of cheerleaders with special needs.
She enjoys cheering but does not plan to pursue it at the college level, and would prefer to work with the Universal Cheer Association, which operates cheerleading camps.
A member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society, Phillipy also is active with the youth group at Concord United Methodist Church.
Professionally, she plans to be a CRNA and already has been accepted into the nursing program at the University of Tennessee.
In the meantime, Phillipy also will be helping raise money for St. Jude’s as part of her continued charitable work with America’s Homecoming Queens.
She also could be selected to attend the group’s annual convention this summer, where a national winner will chosen as Queen of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl 2018.