Miss Delaware Brittany Lewis is a determined young woman who wasn’t originally crowned Miss Delaware. In addition, she’s suffered a grave family tragedy, losing her sister in a domestic violence situation. Read on for Lewis’ story …
1. Her Sister Died From Domestic Violence
Brittany Lewis’ platform is Domestic Violence Awareness, which is a very personal subject for her because her sister died in 2010 as a result of domestic violence. Lewis hopes to spread a message to help victims through communication, legislation, and education, according to Press of Atlantic City. She enjoys speaking to women ages 20-24 about ways to recognize domestic violence. Lewis stated:
Unfortunately, my sister’s story is not an isolated one. There are millions of women around the country that live in fear and violence that are still searching for a way out. I will tirelessly serve her memory through community outreach. No family should have to experience the pain of losing a loved one.
She hopes to use her position in the Miss America competition as a microphone to help raise awareness for her cause.
2. Amanda Longacre Was Originally Crowned Miss Delaware
— Andre Lyrix Lamar (@302DoAndre) June 18, 2014
Amanda Longacre won the title of Miss Delaware in June 2014, but was later disqualified because of her age. The Miss America Organization website states that contestants must be 17 to 24 years old, which Longacre was. Contestants cannot turn 24 years old before December 31st, which is “a Miss America rule.” However, because Longacre turns 25 years old in October, her crown was given to Brittany Lewis. The Miss America Organization released this statement:
Following the Miss Delaware Pageant, it was determined that Amanda Longacre exceeded the age requirement in order to be eligible to compete therefore, the Miss Delaware 2014 title is awarded to Brittany Lewis. The Miss Delaware Pageant is proud to congratulate Brittany and wishes Amanda the very best on her future endeavors.
Longacre responded to the incident saying:
I feel like I’m being erased … I’m heartbroken.
3. Lewis’ Sister’s Murder Case Remains Unsolved
Gina Clarke-Lewis was 27 when she was a victim of domestic violence on March 26, 2010. It was a few months before she’d be graduating from Temple University. On her way home from working as a waitress at Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar at Philadelphia International Airport, she picked up some food for herself. Just as she got to her apartment door a gunman shot her. Unfortunately, the case remains unsolved, though family and friends suspect that Gina’s ex-boyfriend was involved. Gina had previously filed restraining orders against him and he is reported to have sent her 100 text messages the day she died, according to Philly.com.
4. Brittany’s Mother Finds Peace in her Daughter’s Pageant Ventures
— Edward Lea (@acpresslea) September 3, 2014
Dealing with the death of her daughter Gina has not been easy for Brenda Lewis, Brittany’s mother. Brenda has said, though, that all the glamour and fun of Brittany’s competitions have been “helpful distractions.” She still lives in Brigantine, New Jersey, with her husband, Willie, and said close to 1,000 family, friends and former neighbors were cheering on Brittany in Atlantic City. As far as Brittany’s participation in the Miss America pageant, Brenda says:
It’s all part of our family’s healing process. Brittany’s not just allowing Gina’s death to pass in vain.
5. Lewis Is a Teacher at an All Boys School
— Edward Lea (@acpresslea) September 12, 2014
Lewis is a mass media and broadcast graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. She has lived in Delaware for a few years and has been teaching at Prestige Academy in Wilmington through the Teach for America program. This is an all boys school … These boys must love their teacher.