Author Topic: TAR7: Ron Young, Jr. & Kellie McCorkle - Former POW/Pageant Queen  (Read 3335 times)

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Offline Hooky

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Okay, since we're in the off-season, and spoilers seem slim, I thought I'd create a little diversion for us. Let's discuss the teams from a past season who don't have threads. How about TAR 7?

Former POW / Pageant Queen

Ron & Kelly are a dating Team from Villa Rica, Georgia and Greenville, South Carolina, respectively. Ron is a former Iraq War POW who is currently a student at the University of Georgia and works as a motivational speaker. Kelly was crowned Miss South Carolina in 2002 and works as a Legislative Correspondent. Their primary motivation for participating in the Race is strictly for the adventure.

Ron grew up in Lithia Springs, Georgia. A fan of the movie “Top Gun,” Ron became a pilot after joining the Army and started flying Apache helicopters. When Ron’s helicopter was shot down in Iraq, he was captured, interrogated, held captive and later rescued by the United States Marines. Following his rescue, Ron returned home and was introduced to the reigning Miss South Carolina. The two have been an item ever since. Ron is very competitive and admits he’s a thrill seeker. He currently works as a motivational speaker.

Kelly’s determination has always been a part of her life. After growing up with a learning disability, she graduated cum laude from North Greenville College. After being crowned Miss South Carolina, she went on to compete in the Miss America pageant. Kelly describes herself as well-rounded and persistent.

This couple has been on quite a roller coaster ride over the past few years, and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. They’re ready for a new adventure.

Offline Alenaveda

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Re: TAR7: Ron Young, Jr. & Kellie McCorkle - Former POW/Pageant Queen
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 09:46:57 AM »
Found this while watching Twitter:

Greenville's former Amazing Race contestant has new 'Amazing Pursuit'

Angelia Davis, 10:53 a.m. EDT May 3, 2016

As a contestant on CBS Reality TV show Amazing Race, Greenville native Kelly McCorkle-Parkison zipped through 11 countries. She returned with a desire to revisit all except one - India.

She even told her parents she’d never go back to India.

Now, she says, “never say never.

That destination she hated most while in the Amazing Race is the focus of her new “Amazing Pursuit.”

Since the show, Parkison has been to India 12 times. She and her husband Scott, a pastor, adopted their daughter, Lyla, from India.

She explains why in the book “He Knows Her Name: An Amazing Pursuit to Adopt From India,” released this month by Ambassador International.

McCorkle, who now lives in Tennessee, will be at Barnes & Noble in The Shops at Greenridge to sign copies of her book on May 28.

A graduate of Eastside High School and a mass communications graduate of North Greenville University, McCorkle was crowned Miss South Carolina 2002. She earned Top 15 at Miss America, and placed third on the Amazing Race Season 7, which ran March - May in 2005.

The Amazing Race gave McCorkle-Parkison her first international travels. But instead of winning million dollar grand prize, McCorkle got up-close views of poverty.

The places she and other contestants would race through were “pretty impoverished,” McCorkle-Parkison said. And, the realization that there’s so much poverty and people in need, left her “broken.”

The poorest of the poor in America are wealthy compared to the poor in third world countries,” McCorkle-Parkison said. “God really opened my heart to people of the world who are really suffering and hurting.

Some of those hurting, she said, were people in an orphanage in Africa, where the contestants visited for an Amazing Race task.

That was just really heart wrenching for me. It was life changing,” she said. “I realized here I was racing for a million dollars and these children didn't even have parents and they were in an orphanage. It it really rocked my world.

After the experience was over, I had to a lot of self evaluation to do of what I was taking for granted as an American, and having a family, and a home and all of those things.

India had such an impact, she said, because the culture there so “vastly different” from the American western culture. McCorkle-Parksion went into a “complete culture shock.”

I hated it. I was really scared to touch anything,” she said. “I sat on the edge of my seat in the taxi because I was afraid if I touched anything else, I was going to contract some kind of disease.

There was so much poverty in my face, I think my senses were on overload. Everything was heightened. I totally thought, ‘I'll never go back to India again. That was a good enough experience for me.’

Then, years later, a tsunami hit India. A professor at North Greenville asked McCorkle to join other students on a mission trip to India.

I was sick to my stomach because I knew how much I did not enjoy it when I went. But the Lord kept tugging at my heart and showed me he was calling me to do this,” she said.

The second visit to India was a totally different experience, she said.

I don’t know if it’s because I was doing a mission trip versus trying to win $1 million, but I just fell in love  and really saw value in that country. Many people were were devastated from the horrible tsunami. I saw how resilient they were, how they loved each and came together.

The students and McCorkle-Parkison also worked in orphanages in India. While working in one of the homes, McCorkle-Parkison said she felt the Lord telling her she’d adopt little girl from there one day.

That’s where it all started, she said.

A stay-at-home mother of five, McCorkle-Parkison said when she first became interested in adopting, she began adoption blogs and and found them to be very helpful.

She decided write her own detailing her and her husband’s adoption of their daughter because “I really did not see a lot out there about people who had adopted from India.

The blog led to the book.

Though the book offers transparency and a look at how her family endured the adoption process, there’s an underlying message that would appeal to even those who are not interested in adoption.

That message is that God calls us to do things that are not always easy, she said. It’s about making uncomfortable moves for Jesus.

Sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zone and be obedient. There’s such a blessing when we do,” she said.

In her book, she shares of lot of those uncomfortable moves that God made her take to lead her to where she is. “I really hope it will be inspiring to people in that way,” she said.

McCorkle said her number one goal is to raise her children to be godly kids who impact their community and their world to make it a better place.

Her next big dream, though, is for the nonprofit she founded -LOFT 218 Organization, a ministry to orphans, widows, and sex trafficking victims in India, will raise enough money to build an orphanage and women’s shelter in India.

LOFT is an acronym for Least of These, while 218 is in reference to the Bible verse Nehemiah 2:18, which states, in part, “Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.

The initial fundraising goal is $218,000, she said.

You Can Go!

WHAT: Book signing for “He Knows Her Name: An Amazing Pursuit to Adopt in India,” by Kelly McCorkle-Parkison

DATE: May 28

TIME: 6pm-9pm


Barnes & Noble

The Shops at Greenridge

1125 Woodruff Road

Greenville, SC 29607
Kelly McCorkle-Parkison
"When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains--however improbable--must be the truth." --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

"No person deserves your tears, and who deserves them will not make you cry." - Gabriel García Márquez

Online georgiapeach

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Re: TAR7: Ron Young, Jr. & Kellie McCorkle - Former POW/Pageant Queen
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 01:03:44 PM »
Kelly has a heart of gold. One of her charity events was my first ever TAR event!!
"You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." ~Walt Disney