Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Karrington True Visits Section 36!

Section 36 had another visitor! 
Karrington True is passionate about supporting first responders, a future sports executive, and the current Miss Wayne County Area. I was flattered that she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more. 

So, let's see what happens when Karrington True visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Wayne County Area crown?

Many people may not know, but the first title I ever held in the Miss America Organization was Miss Wayne County Area so it feels amazing to go back to Miss Kentucky again with the title that holds such a special place in my heart - it has become a full circle moment.

So many of the towns in Kentucky are small, like my hometown, so it is important to me to support local businesses when I travel the state - this is also where you find the best food! The Black Stallion Grill in Monticello, Kentucky is one of my favorite restaurants in the Commonwealth and happens to be in Wayne County so every time I am passing through that area I stop and eat…After a long pageant day, I headed straight there!

I’ve eaten at the Black Stallion a lot, but this time might have been the most heart-warming. After enjoying my ‘usual’ I noticed a little girl out of the corner of my eye and waved to her. She was shy and bashful, but her mom brought her over to ‘meet the princess’. She crawled in my lap and we had a fun conversation about what she wanted to be when she grew up, her favorite Disney princess, and chicken nuggets. You never know who’s tiny eyes are watching!

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Wayne County?

My ‘why’ always starts with the Commonwealth’s first responders. As the daughter of a career firefighter, it is important to me to shed light on the issues our first responders face, create a community of first responder kids like myself, and to bring awareness to the work Supporting Heroes provides in honoring the service and sacrifice of those who give the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

I recently launched a school tour to teach Kentucky’s kids about fire safety! I’m bringing my friends Miss Mingo, Curious George, and Clifford the Big Red Dog along to share the importance of fire safety and what to do in emergencies… with a little literacy squeezed in there!

My goal is to speak to over 100 kids before I compete at the state pageant in June/July. I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with Kentucky State Fire to give each kiddo a fire helmet of their own and other fun goodies! But one of the best parts is getting to bring my dad along so kids can meet a real fire-fighter, try on turn-out gear, and most importantly see a firefighter in full gear. It can be very scary for kids in emergencies to see firefighters with masks on, loud respirators and more - so I want to show these kiddos there is nothing to be scared of!

What part of the upcoming Miss Kentucky competition are you most nervous about?

Rob Metzger
I’m in the process of adding rhinestones to my talent gown and you have to glue them one-by-one… so I’m a little nervous they’ll fall off! I guess if they fall off it’ll be a sweet way to leave a little sparkle wherever I go.

I’ve already put 1,500+ stones on the gown and I only have one layer done so I’ll be stoning from now until the day I do my talent (haha)! It’s been really fun to add a special touch to a gown… I’m going to be so proud of the work I put into it once it’s finished. Any guesses on how many stones it’ll take!?

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Supporting Heroes”?

Supporting Heroes is dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice made by first responders who gave their lives in the line of duty, and our promise is to care for the loved ones they leave behind. My relationship with Supporting Heroes has spanned 15 years and we have accomplished so much. We have expanded the ways we serve our survivors to include increasing immediate financial aid to $5,000, providing honors and funeral planning services, assisting with federal benefit applications, providing transportation to national memorial services, supporting families during criminal proceedings, as well as expanding our coverage areas to include Kentucky, Indiana, and Missouri. All of this would not be possible without commitment from volunteers and community members in joint dedication to our heroes.

Personally, I have used this initiative advocating for supporting Heroes to bring light to many of the issues our first responders face today. From a lack of resources and adequate training programs to increased cancer risk and more. I have partnered with many local departments and Kentucky State Fire to assist in training exercises as a victim, spread awareness about the dangers of cancer exposure from the fire carcinogens left behind on gear, and start conversations surrounding our first responder’s mental health. I have also used this initiative to talk to everyday Kentuckians and teach about live-saving practices such as fire-saving practices such as smoke detector maintenance, CPR, emergency planning and more. 

Rob Metzger
I could say that I did not choose Supporting Heroes, but they chose me… instead the reality is that I was born into a family of first responders and my love for these heroes is greater than any ‘choice’. Families like mine always have the constant worry in their back of their minds that sounds like, “will my loved one come home safe today?” because it is often a question of when tragedy could strike and not if. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that brave men and women will fall in the line of duty and for my family that was September 2007, when Jerry Stucker gave the ultimate sacrifice. Jerry was a beloved hero, friend, and member of my father’s fire department. Through this tragedy I saw Supporting Heroes work firsthand and my involvement with the organization never stopped. Sadly, tragedy is often unrelenting and struck again in January 2021m when firefighter Mark Stewart lost his life. While line of duty deaths may never end, it is my hope and ultimate goal for Supporting Heroes to have the resources available to cover every line of duty death, across all 50 states. Until then, I am committed to positively changing one life at a time, starting here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

As a talented dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?

Thank you for the compliment! I’m pretty clumsy in real life but can somehow put a foot in front of the other without falling when I’m dancing! I have been involved in some form of dance my entire life… from ballet lessons as a little kid, to musical theater performances, to being captain of my pom and hip-hop teams in high-school… Dance has always been a place of refuge for me. One of my dreams was to become an Irish dancer but I always found a reason to stop myself from it. I’m so glad I took that leap of faith and joined the Bluegrass Ceili Academy! I have learned so much about who I am as a dancer, been challenged in ways I never had before, and gained one of the most amazing families!

You graduated with a masters degree in sports leadership from University of Kentucky. Where do you hope those studies will take you?

Rob Metzger
I am so fortunate to be back in the soccer world after a year in public affairs and governmental relations. Soccer really does have a special place in my heart and has been such a big part of my life and professional career. My biggest goal (or Mount Everest as I call it) would be to break the barrier in professional soccer and become the first female general manager of a major soccer club in the United States. It would also be a dream come true to have the opportunity to work for my favorite English Premier Club team, Chelsea FC.

If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

If I could be a Disney Character for a week I would hope the last day of that week would fall on the day I travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky for Miss Kentucky… and I would want to be Mary Poppins.

This might strike you as an odd choice, but I want to be practical here and Mary Poppins has the magical bag that holds anything and everything. I’m a heavy packer and take so much stuff to Miss Kentucky! It would be amazing to have that magical bag and make packing a breeze! I know my dad would appreciate it since he carries a lot of my stuff usually (haha)

At Kentucky you had the opportunity to work as Director of Operations for Women’s Soccer. What was that experience like?

Life-changing. Challenging. Exceptional… the list goes on and on! The time I spent as the Director of Operations for the University of Kentucky Women’s Soccer Program is something I will be forever grateful for. 

I was the first Undergraduate Student to hold a Director of Operations position at the University of Kentucky and within the Southeastern Conference, so I was expected to rise to any and every challenge. When I started, I was 19 years old, had never booked a hotel room before, and half the team was older than me… I was also the only female on staff. 

I’m fortunate to have worked with the best coaching staff who understood my aspirations and created an environment for me to learn as much as possible and get one step closer to reaching those goals. Also, having a front row seat to cheering on amazing student-athletes is just…wow! It’s so eye opening to see the work these kids put in on and off the field.

Working in Athletic Operations during the Covid-19 pandemic is a whole other story. This season was the most challenging, but I know if I can get through that - I can get through any challenge!

The icing on the cake was earning my Master’s Degree completely debt free and with a 4.0 GPA. Lastly, getting to work in one of the best athletic departments in the country, at my alma-mater, and within the state I love so much is incredibly special! 

Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?

There are so many traditions and unique features at baseball games that speak to the sport itself and the teams…but the one thing I would love to do would be to dust off home plate with the little brush! The umpires I have seen do it take it very seriously and are incredibly precise. Anyone can throw out the first pitch, but who gets to dust off home plate besides the umpire!? I would love to do that as Miss Kentucky!

You know that I am a soccer fan at my core, but the memories I have of my great-grandpa and his love for baseball have a special place in my heart. There were countless times when he would accidentally butt-dial me and all I could hear was the baseball game he was at in the background - he loved the sport and sharing that with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


So, "brushing off home plate" is a new one, but I love it! 

As always, I want to thank Karrington for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.

I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Kentucky! It would be fantastic to have the first Section 36 Forever wear that crown.

I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Karrington during her journey as Miss Wayne County Area. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account. It's a great way to keep track of everything she has going on. 

Thanks again Karrington, and good luck!

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