Last Thursday began a terrible time for Tara Conner's family. Word came out of New York that Conner was drinking, partying, and engaging in questionable behavior.
“A nightmare,” says Tara Conner’s Aunt Mitzi. “Of course we were hoping none of it was true, but still she knows she's got family here,”
Mitzi Conner says neither she nor Tara's parents knew what Donald Trump was going to say Tuesday Morning.
“No we didn't know. We were just hoping,” Mitzi said.
Tears and sighs of relief followed. Many watched the live announcement from Robertson’s Shell Mart in Russell Springs. And some were heard clapping when it was said Conner would keep her crown.
“I think it's wonderful. I mean she's really a sweet girl. Everyone makes mistakes. She's still our girl,” says friend Jinece Goodman.
Miss USA, Tara's platform was breast cancer. Now, people in Russell Springs say what has happened to her in the last couple of months could give her another platform in helping young people with the temptations of underage drinking.
Conner's faults are those other young people say they could very easily fall into.
“She probably did what any other teen would do, what I would do. Go out, experiment life, see what everything is about,” says Sarah Powell, who used to “hang out” with Conner during their childhood years.
“We're sure she is going to turn this around and make it an even bigger thing than before. She will be a better Miss USA, than she would have been to begin with,” says Carrie Janes of Chantilly Formal Wear, Conner’s outfitter since her early pageant years.
“This could possibly teach other girls in the future a good lesson,” says Tara’s aunt, whose 15- year-old daughter may be thinking about following in her cousin’s footsteps.