The Junior Auxiliary of Greenwood honored Aubrey Whittington as its 2019 Lady of the Crown at the 62nd annual Charity Cotton Ball.
The Lady of the Crown award is presented to a life member of the Junior Auxiliary of Greenwood for her continued service and dedication to improving the community. The recipient proves the Junior Auxiliary’s mission of “Care Today - Character Tomorrow” by exemplifying the five points of the JA crown: charity, youth, health, leadership and service.
Following her graduation from Texas Christian University, Whittington returned to Greenwood and joined the Junior Auxiliary in 1965. As a member of JA, she was involved in the Toys for Tots and Meals on Wheels programs. She also taught at the Junior Auxiliary of Greenwood kindergarten. Until 1998, Whittington served the children of Leflore and Coahoma counties as a speech-language pathologist.
In 1972, she opened a studio for classical ballet, gymnastics, aerobics and fitness. As her studio grew, Whittington founded Greenwood’s first competitive gymnastics team, Outer Limits, which she still leads today. She continued to enhance her facilities when she added “Blast Off,” which was the first indoor playground for children in the area.
Motivated by her love of the arts, Whittington has directed children’s plays for the Greenwood Arts Festival and choreographed original ballets, including 14 productions of “The Nutcracker.” Along with operating a successful studio, Whittington served as the choreographer for the Pillow Academy dance team for eight years. She was inducted into the Mississippi Arts Commission as well as into the Mississippi Gymnastics Hall of Fame, which also named her Coach of the Year in 2006.
Whittington is an active member of the Episcopal Church of Nativity. She is a charter member of the Leflore County Humane Society and serves as president. She is also a charter member of the Museum of the Mississippi Delta. She served as den mother for Boy Scout troops and as a Girl Scout Troop leader. In 2016, Whittington was the recipient of The Greenwood Commonwealth’s Community Service Award.
Whittington and her family have long been associated with cotton farming in the Delta. In the mid-1970s, she created a line of oversized, stuffed Delta reptiles for children using cotton. They were sold statewide and were on display at National Cotton Council of America exhibits. Her husband of 50 years, Billy Whittington, served as King Cotton for the 2003 Charity Cotton Ball.
The Whittingtons have six children, Lisa Riddell, Shawn Whittington, Phaedre Cole, Kelly Whittington, Will Whittington and Lacy Nash.
Regarding Whittington’s service, the Lady of the Crown honoree said, “Early on in life, I knew God had chosen a path for me to travel. I prayed every day to give me the strength and courage to do His will. He has blessed me with a patient and loving life partner, Billy. We raised six amazing children, who have always been by my side, making my journey possible.”
When announcing the honor at the recent Charity Cotton Ball, the Junior Auxiliary of Greenwood said to the award recipient, “Thank you, Aubrey, for your continued service to our community, and thank you to your family for allowing you to pour your time and energy into so many others. You have truly developed a legacy, and there are many who have learned dedication, perseverance, strength and love for the arts from your efforts.”