Duncan to compete at state DYW competition

 Clark County’s Distinguished Young Woman Lacee Duncan leaves today for the state program.

The daughter of Brackstan and Tonya Duncan, Lacee competed against 10 other Clark County girls for the local title in June, where she also won preliminary self-expression and talent awards.

Along with 34 other DYW from around the state, the George Rogers Clark High School senior will spend the week preparing for the program and will vie for the state title this weekend at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

Thursday night, Lacee celebrated the upcoming week with a farewell party where she also conducted a mock interview.

Today she and the other participants will visit the Ronald McDonald House and donate teddy bears and children’s books. Participants will also visit the Kentucky Children’s Hospital and donate a toy to Jarrett’s Joy Cart. Started by Jarrett Mynear in 1999, the program is celebrating its 16th year handing out toys to children during their hospital stay.

Along with Union County’s DYW, Lacee will spend the week in the home of Jennifer and John Brown of Lexington.

Lacee will perform her talent, a clogging routine, Friday night, Jan. 13; and will compete in self-expression and fitness Saturday morning, Jan. 14. Finals will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, when 12 young women will be selected to compete for the 2018 Kentucky Distinguished Young Woman.

One representative will advance to the national program in Mobile, Alabama, where they give away $150,000 in cash tuition scholarships.

Lacee said she has mixed emotions about the upcoming week.

“I’m nervous and excited,” she said. “I’m excited for the experience and excited to meet so many other girls who are similar to me and stand for the same thing as me.”

She said she is most excited about the talent portion of the competition.

A new addition to the program will include “little sisters” the DYW will mentor through the program. Lacee’s own little sister, 9-year-old Tiara Duncan, will participate in the program with her.

“I’m excited that she’ll be there with me,” Lacee said. “It makes it a little less stressful because I won’t feel like I need to impress her. We get along really well and we’re a lot alike.”

“The little sisters will come out on state during the self-expression and it will be all about encourage them to be their best self,” Local Distinguished Young Woman Committee Chairman Donna Fuller said.

Fuller said Clark County has been very fortunate to have some outstanding young ladies represent them at the state competition, and this year is no exception.

“Lacee has been a joy to work with and I can’t wait to see her compete at state,” Fuller said. “Her work schedule wears me out with National Clogging competition as well as preparing for DYW. Her energy and enthusiasm though are contagious and we are ready to party with her.”

Lacee said it’s an honor to represent Clark County at the program.

“I got to know a lot of people in the local program and got closer with past winners,” she said. “Clark County is an awesome place to call home. It is full of great people and I am excited to represent my friends and family this week.”

Tickets for the state program are now on sale at the Singletary Center for the Arts, 405 Rose St. in Lexington, or online at singletary.box-officetickets.com.