Friday, January 11, 2013

Liberty grad attracting notice in modeling

Have you heard?

Chantel Rae Holland was first runner-up in the 2013 Miss Virginia USA pageant.

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Chantel Rae Holland was first runner-up in the 2013 Miss Virginia USA pageant.

JoAnne Poindexter

JoAnne Poindexter


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Franklin County High School graduate Chantel Rae Holland has long had a passion for modeling.

But not until November did Holland, 22, ever stroll a public runway. Then, she was named first runner-up in the Miss Virginia USA 2013 pageant held in Bristol.

Holland, a 2011 graduate of Liberty University, started preparing for the pageant - exercise and a little dieting - in August, after a customer on her job at BB&T Bank recruited her.

The customer, who has become her pageant coach, just asked if she'd ever modeled or appeared in pageants. Holland said she was interested.

Although she's never "done any serious modeling," Holland, daughter of Dwight and Joyce Holland of Boones Mill, said "modeling is my passion."

The now-Roanoke resident was excited about being selected next to the top winner in a pageant that involved 30 women who were judged on interviews and in gowns and swimsuits during two days of competition.

"I'm sure I will continue to work with my pageant coach for upcoming contests," said Holland, adding that the pageants "help get you noticed and open doors."

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