Molly Speed of Collins was crowned Covington County’s Miss Hospitality. Three contestants competed for the title. Speed will represent Covington County in the state Miss Hospitality pageant held July 20-21, 2018, in Hattiesburg. This year’s contestants included Speed, Dakota Lepard who placed second alternate and Anna Saucier who placed first alternate. Mississippi’s hallmark hospitality is beautifully displayed through the tradition of the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition. Held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the program brings together the state’s best and brightest young ladies in competition for the title of Mississippi Miss Hospitality – a title that comes with a ticket to travel across the State of Mississippi and the responsibility of promoting Mississippi’s economic development and tourism industries. The mission of the Miss Hospitality Competition continues to be the identification of a young woman between the ages of 18 and 24 to serve as a goodwill ambassador for one year, showing hospitality to everyone she meets. The program allows young women to continue the tradition of beauty, grace, and dignity, while celebrating the intelligent and gracious qualities of today’s modern woman. The Miss Hospitality tradition began in 1949 under Governor Fielding Wright and the Mississippi Legislature. Since then, the program has called the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Starkville, and now Hattiesburg its home. Presented by VISITHATTIESBURG™, the City of Hattiesburg, and The University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition offers more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to young women from across the state. Molly Speed, 23, is the daughter of Wilford and Nancy Speed of Collins. She is a graduate of Presbyterian Christian School, University of Mobile and is currently seeking a graduate degree at the University of Southern Mississippi where she is studying psychology. Speed is active in her community where she has organized basketball camps, worked in Vacation Bible School, traveled on mission trips and helped with two natural disaster recovery efforts. She’s also organized community service projects for Lady Eagle basketball. Her hobbies include basketball and intramural sports. Speed plans to graduate from USM and impact the lives of young people through education and athletics. Her goal is to leave every place she comes in contact with better than she found it.