May 18, 2021

…And they lived happily ever after?

It looks like some good things are rising from the ashes of the recently incinerated 2021 Yoknapatawpha County Literature Festival Beauty Pageant.

Despite being canceled on the eve of the final event following the brutal murder of finalist Barbara Dubois, the pageant may not be permanently destined for the junk heap after all.

Pageant officials have expressed hope that next year's pageant will be conducted in honor of the young woman who lost her life on May 1.

Two suspects have been arrested: Erma Webb for attempted murder and Allie Lamar for the murder of Barbara Dubois.

The children of the women in custody are working to ease the heartbreak of those who knew Barbara Dubois and anyone who struggles with life challenges.

Barbara's old flame carries on her legacy

The Afterschool Alliance works to ensure all children have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs
Bill Lamar, acting head of Lamar Cosmetics, has established the Barbara Dubois Foundation in honor of his high school sweetheart.

The first recipient of a Foundation grant will be Ms. Dubois' favorite cause, the Afterschool Alliance. The Alliance provides communities with after-school activities for at-risk children and was the subject of Ms. Dubois' pageant platform.

Tuttle Confections, former sponsor of Barbara Dubois, has pledged an initial contribution of $20,000 with substantial yearly contributions to follow.

"Barbara was a fine young woman. It is tragic her life was ended. We are committed to helping continue the work she felt so strongly about." — Sam Tuttle president of the company.

Barbara's fellow finalist honors their friendship

Rachel wants to help the many people struggling with eating disorders like Barbara helped her
Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting by o5com
is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Rachel Webb, another finalist in the 2021 pageant, has pledged to tour the country, speaking at high schools and colleges about her ongoing battle with bulimia.

She recently revealed her illness publicly, saying she will spend the next year devoting herself to this task in honor of her friend Barbara.

"Had it not been for Barbara's urging, I would never have sought help. She made me realize I had a disease, to confront it, and to seek treatment. She saved my life!

"Now I want to repay her and her memory by telling of my battle and bringing the dangers of bulimia to the attention of young people across the country."

Bill Lamar reaches out to his lost love's biggest fan

Bill Lamar is taking Barbara's beloved 7-year-old friend under his wing
Another beneficiary of Barbara's legacy will be her seven-year-old friend, Billie Jo Jones. Bill Lamar is establishing a trust in the child's name to be used to further whatever training or education Billie Jo desires.

Mr. Lamar spoke warmly about both young women.
"Barbara loved this little girl and thought of her as family. Billie Jo lost her father last year, and now she's lost her dear 'Auntie Barbara.'

"I hope I can be a part of her life and make up for some of that loss. In return, she will help heal the hole that has been in my heart since I left my love seven years ago.

"I did not know then that I was leaving Barbara to face a crisis and heartbreak of her own. Had I known, I never would have gone. I have seven years of wasted time and heartbreak to make up for."

Too good to be true?

If it sounds like a fairy tale with a "they all lived happily ever after" ending — it isn't. It's real life, where there are never any guarantees.

But then again… truth is stranger than fiction.

We'll just have to wait and see.

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