"Building friendships to help communities” is the mission of the Vignette Club, a group of 38 women from south Shelby County. The Vignette Club was organized in 1949 by the Culture Club of Columbiana and federated in 1950. It is a member of the Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs and General Federation of Women’s Clubs whose missions are “Changing Lives and Changing Communities”, and “Unity in Diversity”. The Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs was organized in 1895 and admitted to the General Federation in 1907. The AFWC has been a supporter of the Miss Alabama Pageant since 1953. Each year the Miss Alabama contestants kick off their week with a luncheon at the AFWC headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama.
One of the most important ways that the Vignette Club fulfills its mission statement is to produce the Miss Shelby County Pageant. The Miss Shelby County Pageant is affiliated with the Miss Alabama and Miss America Pageants which have awarded over 45 million dollars in scholarships since its inception. Young women between the ages of 17 and 24 from all areas of Shelby County are eligible to compete for the title of Miss Shelby County, who will then compete in the Miss Alabama Pageant. Each participate must have a platform which displays her interest in improving some facet of life. She must adhere to the Miss America rules as well as possess high morals, talent, leadership, and educational goals. Three of our former Miss Shelby County winners have gone to become Miss Alabama, Amie Beth Dickinson Shaver, Deidre Downs Gunn, and Liz Cochran. Deidre Downs Gunn, who was Miss Shelby County 2000 and Miss Alabama 2004, went on to become Miss America in 2005.
Since 1987, the Vignette Club has been a part of the Miss Shelby Pageant to provide scholarships to deserving young women of Shelby County and to provide funds to support local community needs. The members secure local business sponsorships to sponsor the pageant and solicit scholarship donors to benefit the winners. In the last three years almost $36,000 in scholarship money, tuition, and gifts has been awarded to the Miss Shelby County winners. Miss Shelby County represents the people of Shelby County as an ambassador who attends parades, speaks at civic clubs, and visit local schools to promote civic duty and positive community influence.
The Vignettes also raise funds through advertisements for the Miss Shelby County Program as well as ticket sales to support Shelby County community projects. In the past three years, The Vignette Club has returned thousands of dollars to Shelby County to benefit local schools, the Safe House, the Academy of Fine Arts of Shelby County, the Owens House, The Jeanette Niven House, as well as other non-profit organizations. It has provided scholarships to Shelby County High School students to attend Girl’s State and Alabama Youth Leadership.
Each Vignette works hard not only selling ads, but contributing time and talents to help with the Miss Shelby County Pageant components such as set design, designing programs, and taking care of the contestants during the week of the event. The Vignette Club is proud to sponsor the Miss Shelby County Pageant each year to provide scholarships to deserving Shelby County young women and to support local community’s projects.
For more information about the Vignette Club, please contact our current president, Tresa House.