Miss A Columnist

Dena Miller is the Dallas Editor for Miss A. She has been described by Style Network as a "Queen Bee". Formerly a glam rock scene Diva, Dena is now a Socialite on the Dallas philanthropy scene, specializing in Polo events that benefit women's and children's causes.

While never forgetting her small town roots from a Midwestern farming community in rural Missouri, she’s fit right in the “Big D” since coming here in 1984. After 11 years of promoting the music scene, hobnobbing with the most popular bands from coast to coast, she switched gears after meeting her husband at the first Polo match she ever attended. Always one for excitement, Polo became her new rock n roll.
With her marriage and new found passion for polo, came Philanthropy. Miller founded the Ladies Polo Auxiliary of Texas in 2005 with the goal of promoting the Sport of Kings in north Texas via charity events for causes that are close to her heart. To date the LPA has raised over $500,000 for causes such as domestic violence, children with serious medical needs, therapeutic horsemanship, the Polo Training Foundation, children’s advocacy and food drives for north Texas food Bank. When not working on her own events she is attending Charity luncheons and balls as well as volunteering at golf tournaments and Special Olympics events. She is a member of the USPA Equine Welfare committee and on Board of Dress For Succes Dallas.

Writing has been a lifetime passion of Dena’s. Besides working on a book that proceeds will benefit domestic violence organizations, and writing for two national polo magazines, is a frequent contributor to Dallas area publications, winning Best Contributor Award from Dallas Morning News Neighborsgo, she is co-authoring a book on the phenomenon of cyber bullying by adult women, referred to as Cyber Harrassment.

Recap: Miss Texas Women Of Achievement Honors Dr. Shirley Cothran Barret, Miss America 1975

Gigi Miller, Little Miss Highland park, Miss Texas Ivana Hall and Allie Reaves, Junior Miss division. Photo by Dena Miller

Gigi Miller, Little Miss Highland Park, Miss Texas Ivana Hall and Allie Reaves, Junior Miss division. Photo by Dena Miller

The Miss Texas organization is much more than a beauty pageant, it is a Scholarship Pageant. Founded in 1936 by a group of civic minded citizens concerned about higher education for women in a time when most women didn’t attend college, the Miss Texas pageants purpose is to provide personal and professional opportunities for young Texas women and promoting their voice in culture, politics and community. For many young women, Miss Texas provides much needed assistance with college funds while giving them a voice to lend to important causes in their communities. Every year the reigning Miss Texas sets aside school and job to represent the Miss Texas organization by putting in countless hours of travel and community service during her reign. When her year is over and she crowns the next Miss Texas she will have earned scholarships to help advance her education and her future that may not have been possible without this opportunity. Last year alone, the Miss America state level pageants nationwide gave 46 million dollars in scholarships to young women participating in the scholarship pageant program across the country.

Dr. Shirley Cothran Barret,and Bellinda Myrick-Barnett. Photo credit Miss Texas Organization.

Dr. Shirley Cothran Barret,and Bellinda Myrick-Barnett. Photo credit Belinda Barnett.

On Saturday, April 5 the Miss Texas Organization held their annual Women of Achievement Luncheon during the weekend of the 2nd annual Little Miss Texas Stars Pageant at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson. Little Miss Texas Stars was designed as a fundraiser to support the Miss Texas Pageant Scholarship Fund as well as to prepare younger girls for future Miss Texas Outstanding Teen and Miss Texas pageant opportunities. It was an exciting weekend for Miss Texas pageant girls and alumni with the annual Spring meeting being held, the Tiny, Mini, Miss and Junior divisions pageant and the annual luncheon that had a very special announcement to be made. The banquet was sold out with extra chairs being pulled into tables set for ten, to make them a dozen.  The invocation was given by  Bellinda Myrick-Barnett, Miss Texas 1970 – Miss West Texas 1969 -Miss America USO Show 1971 to the War in South Vietnam. A Ceasar salad followed by a main course of filet of beef atop  garlic mashed potatoes and baby carrots  with a slice of cheesecake for dessert was served and the Speaker and honoree, Dr.Shirley Cothran-Barret, Miss America 1975 – Miss Texas 1974 – Miss Hurst Euless Bedford 1974 – Miss America USO Show 1972  was introduced.  Dr. Cothran-Barret had the attention of all the local title holders and their mothers in the room, as Shirley is the last Miss Texas to have one Miss America and everyone surely wanted to know how she did it. Shirley had many fascinating stories to share and probably spoke for longer than had been planned but no one minded, as she kept them laughing! Shirley grew up meagerly in Denton Texas, the daughter of a mother who had been orphaned at a very young age. Being quiet and shy, yet smart in school, she found that by volunteering to be the librarian she could avoid P.E.  Years later she would run across a man that she went to high school with whom proclaimed to her, “When they announced your name as the winner I couldn’t believe it!”.  What an inspiration Dr. Cothran-Barret is to all those young women in that room.  If a poor, shy librarian can win not only Miss Texas, but Miss America, every single one of those girls have a chance. The Miss Texas/America program completely funded all the letters behind this very articulate and educated woman’s name, she said. In her honor, it was announced to her surprise that the Women of Achievement Luncheon shall be re-named and forever known as The DR. SHIRLEY COTHRAN BARRET WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS LUNCHEON.

Shirley Cochran, Miss America 1975. Photo courtesy of Miss Texas pageant.

Shirley Cochran, Miss America 1975. Photo courtesy of Miss Texas pageant.

Jackie Mata, Miss Burleson's Outstanding Teen 2014 -  Maurah Ruiz, Miss Austin 2014 - Jacqueline Marie Davis - Miss San Marcos 2014 -  Monique Evans - Miss Park Cities 2014  . Photo provided by Miss Texas Organization.

Jackie Mata, Miss Burleson’s Outstanding Teen 2014 – Maurah Ruiz, Miss Austin 2014 –
Jacqueline Marie Davis – Miss San Marcos 2014 – Monique Evans – Miss Park Cities 2014 . Photo  by Belinda Myrick-Barnett

 

Katie Rivera, Miss Bexar County 2014 - Jacy Etter, Miss Brownfield 2014 -   Niki Noblett, Miss Bryan/College Station 2014 -  Sarah McKimmey, Miss Burleson 2014 -   Callie Thompson, Miss Cy-Fair Houston 2014  -  Jennifer Peter, Miss Cypress 2014 -  Kathryn Dunn, Miss Dallas County 2014 - Briana Leigh Alexander, Miss Denton County 2014  Photo provided by Miss Texas Organization.

Katie Rivera, Miss Bexar County 2014 – Jacy Etter, Miss Brownfield 2014 –
Niki Noblett, Miss Bryan/College Station 2014 – Sarah McKimmey, Miss Burleson 2014 –
Callie Thompson, Miss Cy-Fair Houston 2014 – Jennifer Peter, Miss Cypress 2014 –
Kathryn Dunn, Miss Dallas County 2014 – Briana Leigh Alexander, Miss Denton County 2014
Photo byBelinda Myrick-Barnett.

Miss Texas Stars contestants anxiously awaiting the finale! Photo by Dena Miller

Miss Texas Stars contestants anxiously awaiting the finale! Photo by Dena Miller

Little Miss and Junior Miss contestants are inspired my Miss Texas Outstanding Teen Sheridan Donavent from Houston. Photo by Dena Miller

Little Miss and Junior Miss contestants are inspired my Miss Texas Outstanding Teen Sheridan Donavent from Houston. Photo by Dena Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

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