Pageant community remembers Carley McCord’s life

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Carley McCord Ensminger, who died in Saturday’s Lafayette plane crash, is being remembered not only for her sports broadcasting career but for another facet of her life.


Carley competed in the Miss Louisiana Organization pageant for five years. She was the first runner up twice and held five local titles around the state.
Many women in the pageant community say they will always remember the time they competed with Carley… and her beautiful voice.


Lauren Vizza Rich, who competed with Carley in Miss Louisiana, said, “Of all people to be next to in that journey and to celebrate for me something that was so exciting and to have her be that first one to hug me and congratulate me meant a lot.”

Lauren was crowned Miss Louisiana 2012… a moment she will never forget. Holding her hands? First runner up, Carley McCord.

“Talent was her thing and when she sang her song and I say, ‘her song.’ Everyone knows it’s Hallelujah. That is Carley McCord’s song,” Lauren said.

A powerful, yet angelic voice was that of Carley singing Hallelujah. A clip of Carley’s talent performance for Miss Louisiana 2011 has gone viral on social media. That was another year she placed first runner up to Hope Anderson.

Megan Miller remembers Carley in 2010 when she was crowned Miss La Bonne Terre and Carley, Miss Northwestern Lady of the Bracelet.

A pageant friendship bonded so close, Carley and Megan later became roommates.

“Whenever we hear Hallelujah, I think pretty much everybody’s going to remember her for that and think of her when we hear that song,” added Megan.

Carley went on to be crowned Miss Lafayette in 2011, followed by Miss Shreveport, then Miss Greater Baton Rouge in 2013.

Meagan Lee remembers Carley as her sister queen. A continued friendship as they competed together for four years at Miss Louisiana.

“As just a teen contestant, the impact that she had on me, I think made all the difference when I went forward and I became a Miss Louisiana contestant and following in her footsteps because I saw how much it was making her shine,” said Meagan. 

Tori Thompson, another former Miss Louisiana pageant contestant, said, “We all learned a lot from Carley. It’s unfortunate, but I realized how much I was invested in her career and what she does.”

A tie here locally, Carley was the emcee for the past several years for the Miss Lafayette USA Organization pageant.

She had the best of both worlds to do the job… pageants, and broadcasting.
“I think this was kind of a way to be on the other side of things. The other side of pageants and she did mention that,” Erin Edmiston Roussel, co-director of the Miss Lafayette USA Organization and Miss Louisiana USA 2012, said.

“She said I competed for so long. This is kind of just a way to stay in it. Stay connected, but also use her talent in being a host.”


Erin, along with her co-director, Ross Walters, both of the Miss Lafayette USA Organization pageant, have decided to rename the former Congeniality Award to the Carley McCord Award for their pageant held annually in the summer.

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