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Maggie Benton wins the title of Miss Arkansas 2017

 

LITTLE ROCK - Miss Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton won the title of Miss Arkansas 2017 Saturday night at the 80th Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant.  The pageant took place at the Robinson Center in Little Rock in front of a sold out crowd of nearly 2500.

Benton won a $30,000 scholarship provided by Ted and Shannon Boy Skokos, Citgo and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation and more than $75,000 in awards, wardrobe, transportation, and gifts.  She will represent Arkansas at the 2018 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and will make appearances across the Natural State promoting the Children’s Miracle Network, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, her personal platform of “Giving is a Gift” and speaking in support of the goals of the Miss Arkansas and Miss America system.

Benton was crowned by the outgoing Miss Arkansas, Savannah Skidmore, of Calico Rock and Miss America, Savvy Shields, of Fayetteville.

Over $172,000 in scholarships were awarded throughout the week to various contestants.

Benton is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.  She is the 22 year old daughter of Murray and Nancy Benton of Jonesboro.  For her talent she performed a vocal to “The Music of the Night.” 

Nearly $122,000 in scholarships were awarded throughout the week to various contestants.

The other Top Five Finalists were:  
1st runner-up (receiving a $10,000 scholarship sponsored by Charles and Susie Morgan):  University of Arkansas Darynne Dahlem


2nd runner-up (receiving a $9,000 scholarship sponsored by the Dr. Rhys Branman): Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart


3rd runner up (receiving a $7,500 scholarship sponsored by Former Miss Arkansas Association): Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses


4th runner-up: (receiving at $5,000 scholarship sponsored by Don and Robin Houseworth): White River Claudia Raffo


The five semi-finalists were (each receiving a $3,000 scholarship sponsored by Jones and Son Fine Jewelry) – finishing 6-10 and listed in random order:
*Miss Apple Blossom Reagan Wheelis
*Miss Arkansas State University Destiny Quinn
*Miss Gateway to the Ozarks Jacey Winn
*Miss Metro Kenzie Williams
*Miss Spirit of Arkansas Jessica Miller

Also announced were those finishing 11-15 in random order (each receiving a $1,500 scholarship sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Fund)
*Miss Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone
* Miss South Central Arkansas Mady Rottinghaus
*Miss Heart of the Ozarks Ashton Yarbrough
*Miss Arkansas River Bethany Kasper
*Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers Kathryn Barfield

Additional awards announced during Saturday’s pageant:

*Bill Tarkington Overall Evening Gown - $2500 scholarship given by Sharon and Johnny Bale – White River Claudia Raffo
*Katie Bailey Overall Swimsuit - $2500 scholarship given by Dr. Michael Cooper – White River Claudia Raffo
*Sarah Slocum Overall Interview - $2500 scholarship given by Renee and Don Ed Fronabarger – Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton
*Buddy Coleman Memorial Overall Talent - $2500 scholarship given by Buddy Coleman Family – Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone

*Dreamer Scholarship - $250 scholarship presented by Simone and Chris Sellstrom – Henderson State University Olivia Moore

*Julie Blackwood Smart Swimsuit Award - $250 scholarship presented by Julie Blackwood Steele (given to the contestants who does well in swimsuit and interview) – Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton

* Shannon Albright Congeniality Award - $650 scholarship presented by June & Leland Felix, Rena Albright Verucchi & Ryan Albright – Ouachita Baptist University Tiffany Lee

*Savvy Shields Overall Alpha Evening Gown Award - $1000 scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee – Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart

* Savannah Skidmore Overall Alpha Swimsuit Award - $1000 scholarship given by Kim and Jerry Skidmore – Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart

*Overall Alpha Interview Award - $1000 scholarship given by Vicki Rima – Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart

*Frances Wilson Overall Alpha Talent Award - $1000 scholarship given by CJ Wilson – Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone

*Ashlen Batson Espirit de Corp Award – (given to a contestant based on integrity and a strong sense of style) - $500 scholarship given by Bill Tarkington and Mike Spivey – Gateway to the Ozarks Jacey Winn

*Non-Finalist Vocal Award - $250 scholarship given by Brad and Zach Stout – Johnson County Emma Pitts

* Fine Lines Training Non-Finalist Swimsuit Award –  $500 scholarship given by Ann Marie & Kenny Gibbs – Batesville Christian Weatherly

*Studio by Lauren Non-Finalist Dance Award  -  $500 scholarship given by  Lauren & Jacob Wood – Ouachita Baptist University Tiffany Lee

*Mary Jane Mullins Non-Finalist Interview Award  -  $500  scholarship given by Dr. Patti Mullins – Heart of the Ozarks Ashton Yarbrough

*Miss America State Scholar Award -  $1,000 scholarship given by the Miss America Foundation – Henderson State University Olivia Moore

*Miss America Community Service Award - $1,000 scholarship given by the Miss America Foundation – Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses

*RockStar Performance Award -(given to a contestant with a performance that is moving, memorable, entertaining or passionate but does not necessarily have to be the highest scoring performance) $1,000 scholarship given by RockStar Passes – Johnson County Emma Pitts

*Overall Instrumentalist Award -  $500 scholarship given by Kerry Jucas – Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone

*Sloane Roberts Overall Dance Award -  $500 scholarship given by Michelle & John Mark Roberts – Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses

*Melonie McGarrah Overall Vocalist Award -  $2,000 scholarship given by Brian Moore & Family – University of Arkansas Darynne Dahlem

*Grace Award  -  $4,000 scholarship given in memory of Madelyn Grace Johnston by Brad Lacey & Dr. Melanie Smith – White River Claudia Raffo

*People’s Choice - $1000 scholarship given by the Oaklawn Jockey Club – Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton

The pageant is co-sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant, Inc., the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation, the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Little Rock. 

    This was the 80th Anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant.  Several former Miss Arkansas were on hand tonight to help crown the new Miss Arkansas.  They were: 

Miss Arkansas 1963 and Miss America 1964 Donna Axum Whitworth
Miss Arkansas 1967 Sharon Evans Bale
Miss Arkansas 1980 Lencola Sullivan Verseveldt
Miss Arkansas 1981 Micki Petrus Konechny
Miss Arkansas 1983 Regina Hopper
Miss Arkansas 1989 Marci Lewellan Burnett
Miss Arkansas 1990 Karissa Rushing
Miss Arkansas 1992 Shannon Boy Skokos
Miss Arkansas 1994 Beth Anne Rankin
Miss Arkansas 1995 Paula Montgomery Swindle
Miss Arkansas 1996 Melonie McGarrah Moore
Miss Arkansas 1998 Erin Wheatley Parker
Miss Arkansas 1999 Brandy Rhodes
Miss Arkansas 2000 Sara Harris Menifee
Miss Arkansas 2001 and current Executive Director Jessie Ward Bennett
Miss Arkansas 2002 Lauren Davidson Greenhaw
Miss Arkansas 2004 Lacy Fleming Glover
Miss Arkansas 2006 Amber Bennett Bynum
Miss Arkansas 2007 Katie Bailey Harris
Miss Arkansas 2008 Ashlen Batson Thomason
Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum Collins
Miss Arkansas 2011 Kristen Glover Belew
Miss Arkansas 2012 Sloane Roberts Hocker
Miss Arkansas 2013 Amy Crain Gober
Miss Arkansas 2014 Ashton Campbell Gill
Miss Arkansas 2015 Loren McDaniel
Miss Arkansas 2016 and Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields
Miss Arkansas 2016 Savannah Skidmore

Other awards given out earlier in the week –

Preliminary Swimsuit Winners – 
Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses
White River Claudia Raffo
Batesville Christian Weatherly and Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton (tie)

Preliminary Talent Winners – 
Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone
Johnson County Emma Pitts and Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton (tie)
Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses

Alpha Swimsuit Winners – 
Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart
Lights of the Delta India Kuykendall and River Delta Hannah Oliver (tie)
Batesville Christian Weatherly

Alpha Talent Winners – 
Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone
Johnson County Emma Pitts
Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart and OBU Tiffany Lee

·       Alpha Arrival Award -  $250 scholarship given by Bill Tarkington & Mike Spivey – Miss Southeast Arkansas Rachel Langley

·       Savvy Shields Alpha Interview Award (from Alpha Group) -  $250 scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee – Miss Central Arkansas Hannah Burrow.

·       Healthy Lifestyles Platform Award - $500 scholarship given by Sharon Turrentine – Miss Texarkana / Twin Rivers Kathryn Barfield. 

·       Loren McDaniel “Confidently You” Scholarship (2 given) -  $500 scholarship given by Melissa & Kevin McDaniel (given to two alpha contestants based on platform) –

o   Miss Spirit of Arkansas Jessica Miller.

o   Miss Arkansas River Bethany Kasper. 

·       Social Media Promotions Scholarship - $1000 scholarship given by the Miss Arkansas Pageant – Miss Southwest Arkansas Suzie Gresham. 

·       Savvy Shields Alpha Interview Award (from Sigma Group) -$250 scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee – Miss Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart. 

·       Combs Caught Ya Act of Kindness Award (Voted on by the contestants – based on an act of kindness) - $250 scholarship given by Brittany and Clay Combs – Miss Batesville Christian Weatherly. 

·       Jessie Bennett Leadership Award (Chosen for leadership on her college campus and within in her community) - $500 scholarship given by Bill Tarkington and Mike Spivey – Miss University of Arkansas Darynne Dahlem. 

·       Renee Fronabarger Overall Arrival Award - $500 scholarship given by Stacey Utley – Miss Southeast Arkansas Rachel Langley. 

·       Overcomer Award (given to a contestant raised by a single parent) - $750 scholarship given by Rendezvous Formal Wear – Miss Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart. 

·       Kattie Hansen Spirit of the Pageant Award (given to a contestant with the passion and spirit that represents Miss Arkansas) - $1000 scholarship given by Kattie Hansen – Miss Diamond Lakes Jade Collins. 

·       Marty Walker Memorial Scholarship (given to a contestant based on paperwork, professionalism and responsibility) - $1000 scholarship given by Chris Walker and Family – Miss Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart.

·       Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Maker (top fundraiser for CMN) - $1000 scholarship given by the Miss America Foundation – Miss University of Arkansas Darynne Dahlem.

·       CMN Miracle Maker Finalists (2nd – 5th highest fundraisers for CMN) - $500 scholarship each given by the Miss America Foundation –

o   2nd Place – Miss Greater Little Rock Brooke Cornelius. 

o   3rd Place – Miss Apple Blossom Reagan Wheelis. 

o   4th Place – Miss Northwest Arkansas Raygan Sylvester.

o   5th Place – Miss Grand Prairie Taylor Jaggers. 

·       Savvy Shields Alpha Interview Award (from Mu Group) -$250 scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee – Miss Heart of the Ozarks Ashton Yarbrough.

·       Delta Dental Smile Award - $1000 scholarship given by Delta Dental – Miss Ouachita Baptist University Tiffany Lee.

·       Bringing Beauty to Life Award (judged by an independent marketing agency and given to a contestant who the most effectively markets the EcoTools brand on social media) - $1000 scholarship given by Paris Presents – Miss Henderson State University Olivia Moore.  

·       Sharon Evans Bale “We Are More” Award (given to a contestant who demonstrates that they are more than a pretty face, and who represents strong character and a passion for serving others) - $1000 scholarship given by Bill Tarkington and Bill Spivey – Miss Greater Little Rock Brooke Cornelius. 

 



For more information visit www.missarkansas.org or to schedule an appearance with the new Miss Arkansas please email info@missarkansas.org.

***If you need more information regarding this release, or wish to schedule an interview with the newly crowned Miss Arkansas, please contact Toni Bahn t missarkansaspress@gmail.com at your earliest convenience.*** Arkansas Scholarship Pageant





June 15, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday Night Preliminary Winners Announced at Miss Arkansas / Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2017
Toni Bahn – Director of Media and Publicity
missarkansaspress@gmail.com

LITTLE ROCK - Miss Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses won the Preliminary Artistic Expression in Talent Award and Miss Batesville Christian Weatherly and Miss Greater Jonesboro Maggie Benton won the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit Preliminary Award on Wednesday, the opening night of the 80th Annual Miss Arkansas Pageant at the Robinson Center in Little Rock.

For winning Talent, Moses received a $2,000 scholarship. Weatherly and Benton received a $1,500 scholarship for winning Swimsuit.  Both of these scholarships were donated by Mary and Rick Edwards with Triple S Alarm.

Weatherly is from Cabot and attends Arkansas State University.

Benton is from Jonesboro and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.

Moses is from Cabot and attends Arkansas State University.

Emcees for this year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant are KATV’s Chris Kane and Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum Collins.  Katie Bailey Harris, Miss Arkansas 2007, is serving as our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant.  Miss Arkansas 2016 Savannah Skidmore of Calico Rock and Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2016 Emily Brewer of Little Rock were on hand to present the awards.


The 34 Outstanding Teen Contestants are competing for nearly $24,000 in scholarship and the chance to represent Arkansas at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando this August.  Tonight Miss Greater Jonesboro’s Outstanding Teen Mary Beth Byrd won the Talent Preliminary.  She will receive a $100 scholarship given by Garrett Greer.  Miss White River’s Outstanding Teen Collette Campbell  won tonight’s Evening Gown Preliminary.  She will receive a $100 scholarship given by Rusty and Lori Hart.

Campbell is the daughter of Craig and Vallery Campbell of Harrison.

Byrd is the daughter of Laurie and Kevin Byrd of Blytheville.

Miss Arkansas Alpha Awards were also given out tonight.  These are presented to first-time Miss Arkansas contestants that garnered the most points in their respective groups each night.  The Savvy Shields Alpha Swimsuit Winner and the Savvy Shields Alpha Talent Prelim Winner each receive a $500 Scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee.

Alpha Award winners announced at the conclusion of Thursday night were: 
Miss Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart and Miss Ouachita Baptist University Tiffany Lee (Artistic Expression in Talent)
Miss Batesville Christian Weatherly (Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit) 

WINNER INFO

The Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant also recognizes alpha award winners each night.  Tonight, the Alpha Fitness Award went to Miss Arkansas River’s Outstanding Teen Callie Scherry.  The Alpha Evening Gown Award went to Miss White River’s Outstanding Teen Collette Campbell.  And the Alpha Talent Award went to Miss Northwest Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Isabella Udouj.  For winning an Alpha Award these young ladies will each receive a $100 scholarship given by the Miss Arkansas Executive Directors Association.


Additional Miss Arkansas Scholarship Winners announced were:
(For additional information on these winners please visit
http://www.missarkansas.org/contestants.htm

·        Savvy Shields Alpha Interview Award (from Mu Group) -$250 scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee – Miss Heart of the Ozarks Ashton Yarbrough. Yarbrough is the 20-year old daughter of Kimberly Yarbrough and Brian Yarbrough. She is from Gravette and attends the University of Arkansas.

·        Delta Dental Smile Award - $1000 scholarship given by Delta Dental – Miss Ouachita Baptist University Tiffany Lee. Lee is the 20-year old daughter of Tony and Kelly Lee of Benton.  She attends Ouachita Baptist University.

·        Bringing Beauty to Life Award (judged by an independent marketing agency and given to a contestant who the most effectively markets the EcoTools brand on social media) - $1000 scholarship given by Paris Presents – Miss Henderson State University Olivia Moore.   Moore is the 19-year old daughter of Patricia and Robert Moore of Gurdon.  She attends Henderson State University.

·        Sharon Evans Bale “We Are More” Award (given to a contestant who demonstrates that they are more than a pretty face, and who represents strong character and a passion for serving others) - $1000 scholarship given by Bill Tarkington and Bill Spivey – Miss Greater Little Rock Brooke Cornelius.  Cornelius is the 23-year old daughter of Robyn and Chad Cornelius of Hope.  She is a graduate of Henderson State University and a current 1L student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.

This year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant celebrates the 80th Year of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant.  This year’s show features 44 contestants from around the state. They are competing for over $167,000 in scholarship funds.

Competition continues with the crowning of our Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2017 on Friday, June 16th.  The crowning for Miss Arkansas 2017 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Reigning Miss America Savvy Shields will be on hand to help us crown both of our new winners.

For ticket information please visit www.ticketmaster.com or the Robinson Center box office.

For those who can’t attend the 2017 Miss Arkansas pageant you can watch each night of preliminary competition, as well as the crowning on www.missarkansas.org.  The final night of Miss Arkansas competition on Saturday will also be broadcast live on KATV beginning with a 30-minute special leading up to the pageant at 7:00 p.m.


June 13, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday Night Preliminary Winners Announced at Miss Arkansas / Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen
Toni Bahn – Director of Media and Publicity
missarkansaspress@gmail.com

LITTLE ROCK - Miss Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone won the Preliminary Artistic Expression in Talent Award and Miss Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses won the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit Preliminary Award on Wednesday, the opening night of the 80th Annual Miss Arkansas Pageant at Robinson Center in Little Rock.

For winning Talent, Stone received a $2,000 scholarship donated by Scott Heffington and Dr.Ricky Medlock. Moses received a $1,500 scholarship for winning Swimsuit donated by Brittany and Clay Combs.

Emcees for this year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant are KATV’s Chris Kane and Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum Collins.  Katie Bailey Harris, Miss Arkansas 2007, is serving as our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant.  Miss Arkansas 2016 Savannah Skidmore of Calico Rock and Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2016 Emily Brewer of Little Rock were on hand to present the awards.

Stone is the 20-year old daughter of Kim and Dee Stone of Russellville.  She attends Arkansas Tech University.  For her winning talent selection she performed a vocal and piano solo to “Rise Up.”


The 34 Outstanding Teen Contestants are competing for nearly $24,000 in scholarship and the chance to represent Arkansas at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando this August.  Tonight Miss Southeast Arkansas Outstanding Teen Reaves Robinson won the Talent Preliminary.  She will receive a $100 scholarship given by Garrett Greer.  Miss Arkansas River’s Outstanding Teen Callie Scherrey won tonight’s Evening Gown Preliminary.  She will receive a $100 scholarship given by Rusty and Lori Hart.


Robinson is the daughter of Rob and Leigh Anne Robinson of El Dorado.  For her talent she performed a lyrical dance to “Rise Up.”

 

Scherrey is the daughter of Josh and Mitzi Scherrey of Fort Smith.  Her platform is “Education is Success.”

Miss Arkansas Alpha Awards were also given out tonight.  These are presented to first-time Miss Arkansas contestants that garnered the most points in their respective groups each night.  The Savvy Shields Alpha Swimsuit Winner and the Savvy Shields Alpha Talent Prelim Winner each receive a $500 Scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee.

Alpha Award winners announced at the conclusion of Tuesday night were: 
Miss Arkansas Tech University Kelsey Stone (Artistic Expression in Talent)
Miss Arkansas Delta Ashley Ehrhart (Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit) 


Ehrhart is the 20-year old daughter of Sherry Ehrhart and Thomas Micah.  She is from Jonesboro and attends Arkansas State University. 


The Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant also recognizes alpha award winners each night.  Tonight, the Alpha Fitness Award went to Miss Central Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen.  The Alpha Evening Gown Award went to Miss Arkansas River’s Outstanding Teen Callie Scherrey.  And the Alpha Talent Award went to Reaves Robinson, Miss Southeast Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen.  For winning an Alpha Award these young ladies will each receive a $100 scholarship given by the Miss Arkansas Executive Directors Association.


Gentry is the daughter of Scott and Lisa Gentry of Roland. 

Additional Miss Arkansas Scholarship Winners announced were:
(For additional information on these winners please visit http://www.missarkansas.org/contestants.htm

·        Alpha Arrival Award -  $250 scholarship given by Bill Tarkington & Mike Spivey – Miss Southeast Arkansas Rachel Langley. Langley is the 19-year old daughter of Jeff and Melissa Langley of Crossett.  She attends the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

·        Savvy Shields Alpha Interview Award (from Alpha Group) -  $250 scholarship given by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee – Miss Central Arkansas Hannah Burrow. Burrow is the 24-year old daughter of Chad and Rachelle Burrow of Foreman.  She attends the University of Central Arkansas.

·        Healthy Lifestyles Platform Award - $500 scholarship given by Sharon Turrentine – Miss Texarkana / Twin Rivers Kathryn Barfield.  Barfield is the 22-year old daughter of Robin and Glenn Barfield of Texarkana, Texas.  She attends the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Pharmacy.

·        Loren McDaniel “Confidently You” Scholarship (2 given) -  $500 scholarship given by Melissa & Kevin McDaniel (given to two alpha contestants based on platform) –

o   Miss Spirit of Arkansas Jessica Miller. Miller is the 18-year old daughter of Scott and Dodi Miller of Bryant.  She attends Arkansas State University.   

o   Miss Arkansas River Bethany Kasper.  Kasper is the 18-year old daughter of Melissa and Travis Kasper of Jacksonville.  She attends the University of Arkansas. 

·        Social Media Promotions Scholarship - $1000 scholarship given by the Miss Arkansas Pageant – Miss Southwest Arkansas Suzie Gresham.  Gresham is the 23-year old daughter of Ben and Jamie Gresham of Hope.  She is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University.

Inducted into the Miss Arkansas Hall of Fame tonight were Maegan Inzer Waldrip and Stephanie Throckmorton Duty. 

The Miss Arkansas Local Pageant of the Year this year was the Miss Greater Little Rock / Metro. 


The Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant Volunteer of the Year is the Miss Arkansas Executive Director’s Association.  President Marla Keady accepted the award.


The Miss Arkansas Pageant Volunteer of the Year is CJ Wilson.

The Miss Arkansas Local Executive Director of the Year is Maegan Inzer Waldrip.  She is director for the Greater Jonesboro and Arkansas Delta pageants.


The Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Local Executive Director of the Year are Danielle Fusco and Jessica Ray.  They are the co-directors of the Greater Little Rock and Metro pageants.


This year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant celebrates the 80th Year of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant.  This year’s show features 44 contestants from around the state. They are competing for over $167,000 in scholarship funds.

Competition continues with preliminaries on Wednesday and Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. Final competition for the Outstanding Teens will be Friday, June 16th.  The crowning for Miss Arkansas 2017 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17. Reigning Miss America Savvy Shields will be on hand to help us crown both of our new winners.

For ticket information please visit www.ticketmaster.com or the Robinson Center box office.

For those who can’t attend the 2017 Miss Arkansas pageant you can watch each night of preliminary competition, as well as the crowning on www.missarkansas.org.  The final night of Miss Arkansas competition on Saturday will also be broadcast live on KATV beginning with a 30-minute special leading up to the pageant at 7:00 p.m.


MISS ARKANSAS PHOTO CREDIT - DANNY BARGER PHOTOGRAPHY

MISS ARKANSAS OUTSTANDING TEEN PHOTO CREDIT - ASHLEY GEORGE

 

*PRESS CREDENTIAL REQUEST* - Please request credentials for pageant coverage in writing, on company letterhead, to missarkansaspress@gmail.com.  The cut off for requests will be Friday, June 16th at Noon and requests will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  Be sure to include which nights you would like to attend, the name of the person covering the pageant and whether they are a writer, photographer or videographer.  Seating is limited and preference will be given to those outlets covering the pageant multiple nights.

**PRESS CONFERENCE WITH THE 2017 MISS ARKANSAS** - The newly crowned Miss Arkansas 2017 will be available immediately following the crowning in her first official press conference.  This will take place Saturday night, June 17th in the BLT Room in the Robinson Center.  All media are invited and encouraged to attend. 

***If you need more information regarding this release, or wish to schedule an interview with Savannah or the newly crowned Miss Arkansas, please contact Toni Bahn at 
missarkansaspress@gmail.com for more details.***


June 11, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Miss Arkansas Pageant Week Begins with Official Arrival Ceremony / Names Award Finalists
Toni Bahn – Director of Media and Publicity
missarkansaspress@gmail.com

LITTLE ROCK - Forty-four of the state’s best and brightest young women begin competition this week for the title of Miss Arkansas 2017 and the chance to represent the Natural State at Miss America in Atlantic City this September.  At the end of the week-long competition one of these lucky ladies will have her life forever changed and walk away with a $30,000 scholarship, the largest in the pageant’s 80-year history, plus over $75,000 in prizes.  This year contestants will receive over $167,000 in scholarships thanks to our generous sponsors and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation. Each of our contestants will receive a $400 scholarship just for competing this week

To kick off pageant week the Official Arrival Ceremony was held yesterday at the Arkansas State Capitol and were followed by a chance for family, friends and fans to meet the contestants at the traditional autograph session.  Emcee for the Official Arrival Ceremonies was Miss Arkansas 2015, Loren McDaniel.  She finished in the Top 15 at Miss America 2016.  This Van Buren native is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and won the title of Miss Arkansas as Miss Northwest Arkansas.  She currently lives in New York City and is attending The Stella Adler Professional Conservatory.  She is a 2nd year graduate student pursuing an emphasis in acting.

For the first time in the pageant’s history the Miss Arkansas Pageant is being held jointly with the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant.  The 34 most talented and intelligent teens were a part of the Official Arrival Ceremony Saturday in the capital city.  These teens are competing for nearly $24,000 in scholarships and the chance to represent Arkansas in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Orlando later this summer.

On hand to greet our miss and teen contestants were Miss Arkansas 2016 Savannah Skidmore and Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2016 Emily Brewer.

During the Arrival Ceremonies the Miss Arkansas Marketplace Interview Scholarship Winners were announced.  A separate panel of local professionals who excel in their chosen field interviewed applicants in May at the contestant meeting.  These interviews were designed to be like a job interview and contestants were scored on their experience and potential in their chosen field.  This is the first year these awards were given and were a fantastic opportunity for the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation to further promote their mission of empowering young women to achieve their academic and professional goal.  The 2017 Marketplace Interview Scholarship Winners are as follows:


·       Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers Kathryn Barfield received the $2,500 Medical Field Professions scholarship sponsored by Dr. Allyson Moulton.  Barfield is from Texarkana and attends the University of Arkansas for Medical Science, College of Pharmacy.  She would like to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and become a Pharmacist.

·       Miss White River Claudia Raffo received the $1,500 STEM Professions scholarship sponsored by Dr. Ashlen Thomason & Family.  Raffo is from Jonesboro and attends Arkansas State University.  She plans to obtain a Doctorate of Pharmacy and work in retail pharmacy.

·       Miss Heart of the Ozarks Ashton Yarbrough received the $1,500 Education Professions scholarship in memory of Marty Walker by Chris Walker & Family.  Yarbrough is from Gravette and attends the University of Arkansas.  She would like to obtain a Masters in Educational Leadership and run for public office.

·       Miss Southwest Arkansas Suzie Gresham received the $1,500 Business Professions scholarship sponsored by Stacy & Brad Hudgens.  Gresham is from Hope and attends Ouachita Baptist University. She plans to obtain a Juris Doctorate degree and become Legal Counsel for Pafford Medical Services.

·       Miss Gateway to the Ozarks Jacey Winn received the $1,500 Law Professions scholarship (to be used for Law School) sponsored by Friday, Eldredge & Clark Law Firm.  Winn is from Wynne and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas.  Her career ambition is to go into Entertainment Law.

·       Miss Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses received the 1,000 Journalism & Mass Communications Professions scholarship sponsored by KATV.  Moses is from Cabot and attends Arkansas State University.  She will graduate in the spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communications with a double emphasis in Public Relations and Social Media Management.  She plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Communication.

·       Miss Apple Blossom Reagan Wheelis received the $1,000 Accounting Professions scholarship sponsored by Thomas & Thomas Accounting Firm.  Wheelis is from Melbourne and attends the University of Arkansas.  Her career ambition is -

·       Miss Grand Prairie Taylor Jaggers received the $1,000 Fine Arts Professions scholarship sponsored by Susan & Lou Siegel.  Jaggers is from Rison and attends the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  She plans to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance and would like to open her own dance studio.

 

Also awarded at the Arrival Ceremonies were the Top Five Children’s Miracle Network Fundraisers for both the Miss and the Outstanding Teen contestants.  Children’s Miracle Network is the official national platform for both the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageants.  Since 2007 contestants on a local, state and national level have raised funds for the more than 170 children’s hospital that make up the Children’s Miracle Network.  Arkansas Children’s serves as this state’s CMN hospital and this May our Miss Arkansas contestants had a chance to tour the hospital in Little Rock to see how their dollars are being used to help kids in our area.  The top fundraiser for Miss Arkansas will be named on Wednesday and will receive a $1000 scholarship. The remaining four finalists will receive a $500 scholarship. These awards are courtesy of the Miss America Foundation.  Collectively, the 44 Miss Arkansas contestants raised over $34,000 this year.  The 2017 Miss Arkansas CMN Miracle Maker Top Five Fundraisers are (listed in alphabetical order by title):

·       Miss Apple Blossom Reagan Wheelis.  She attends the University of Arkansas and is from Melbourne.

·       Miss Grand Prairie Taylor Jaggers.  She attends the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is from Rison.

·       Miss Greater Little Rock Brooke Cornelius is a graduate of Henderson State University and a 1L at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William Bowen School of Law.  She is from Hope.

·       Miss Northwest Arkansas Raygan Sylvester.  She attends the University of Arkansas and is from North Little Rock.

·       Miss University of Arkansas Darynne Dahlem.  She attends the University of Arkansas and is from Greenwood.

On Friday the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Miracle Maker will be named.  She will receive a $200 scholarship courtesy of Justin Harper. Collectively the 2017 Outstanding Teen contestants raised almost $17,000.  The 2017 Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen CMN Miracle Maker Top Five Fundraisers are (listed in alphabetical order by title):

·       Miss Apple Blossom’s Outstanding Teen Anna Claire Hay. She is from Springdale.

·       Miss Diamond Lake’s Outstanding Teen Madeline Adams.  She is from Jonesboro.

·       Miss North Central Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Zoe Cimino.  She is from Mountain Home.

·       Miss Northwest Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Isabella Udouj.  She is from Fort Smith.

·       Miss Petit Jean Valley’ Outstanding Teen Claire Lambert.  She is from Conway.

The Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant also named the Top Five Finalists for the Teens in Action Award.  This award recognizes a contestant who has excelled in bettering her community, promoting her platform and taking action to improve the lives of those around her. This winner will be announced on Friday and will receive a $200 scholarship courtesy of Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2016 Emily Brewer.  The finalists are (listed in alphabetical order by title):

·       Miss Greater Little Rock’s Outstanding Teen Katelynn Tyner.  Her platform is “Promote the Vote.” She is from Cabot.

·       Miss Heart of the Ozark’s Outstanding Teen Sara Gardner.  Her platform is “Pledge to Patriotism.”  She is from Russellville.

·       Miss Lake Dardanelle’s Outstanding Teen Aubrey Reed.  Her platform is “STAR:  Empowering America’s Youth.” She is from Russellville.

·       Miss Northeast Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Izzy Baughn.  Her platform is “Eye on the Storm:  Be Prepared and Ready.” She is from Jonesboro.

·       Miss Ouachita River’s Outstanding Teen Camille Cathey.  Her platform is “Proudly Volunteer.”  She is from Wynne.

Lastly, the Miss Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Top Five Finalists for Scholastic Achievement were also named at the Arrival Ceremonies.  This award is judged by a separate panel of judges who are in the education field.  It recognizes the academic achievements of the contestants, as well as their school involvement.  Cumulatively the 2017 Teen contestants have a GPA of 3.8! The winner will be named on Friday and will receive a $250 scholarship given by Ashton Campbell Gill. Gill was Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2011 and Miss Arkansas 2014.  She finished 2nd Runner Up to Miss America in 2015.  The finalists are (listed in alphabetical order by title):

·       Miss Greater Jacksonville’s Outstanding Teen Payton Wortsmith.  She is from Little Rock and attends Pulaski Academy.

·       Miss Heart of the Ozark’s Outstanding Teen Sara Gardner. She is from Fayetteville and attends Fayetteville High School.

·       Miss Natural State’s Outstanding Teen Brooke Bradford.  She is from Shirley and attends Clinton High School.

·       Miss Northeast Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Izzy Baughn.  She is from Jonesboro and attends Jonesboro High School.

·       Miss River Delta’s Outstanding Teen Phoebe Harris. She is from Paragould and attends Green County Tech.

Competition begins Sunday and Monday with a Private Interview with our Judges Panel.

Preliminary competition begins Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. at Robinson Center in Little Rock.  Additional preliminary competition will also be held Wednesday and Thursday nights, beginning at 7 p.m. each night. Winners for Artistic Expression in Talent and Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit will be presented at the end of each night’s preliminary competition.

The culmination of a week’s worth of competition and activities will happen over two days.  On Friday, June 16, the new Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen will be crowned.  And on Saturday, June 17 we will crown Miss Arkansas 2017.  Tickets are still available for the 13th Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant and the 80th Miss Arkansas Pageant and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling Robinson Center directly. 

 

Emcees for this year’s show are KATV�s Chris Kane and Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum Collins.  Kane is a Little Rock native who currently anchors Daybreak for KATV Channel 7 (ABC Affiliate).  He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida who again calls Arkansas home with his wife Chelsea.  This is the 4th year for Chris to emcee the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant. Collins currently works as the Vice President, Government Relations for Roberts Group.  She is a founding ambassador of the Miss America State Titleholders Association.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas Law School.  As Miss Arkansas, Collins finished in the Top 15 at Miss America.  This Sheridan native now makes her home in Rogers with her husband, Ryan and their three-year old son Beckett.

The newly crowned Miss Arkansas 2017 and Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2017 will be available immediately following the crowning in their first official press conference. This will take place Saturday night, June 10th, in the BLT Room in Robinson Center.  All media are invited and encouraged to attend. 


*Appearances - To book Miss Arkansas please visit www.missarkasnas.org/bookmissarkansas .

 You may also email the Business Manager at info@missarkansas.org or call (501) 321-3506.

 

To book Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen please contact Thomas Collins at trcollins1@yahoo.com or (870) 866-0148.

 

 *Media Booking - For media inquiries or interviews please contact Toni Bahn, the Director of Media and Publicity for the Miss Arkansas Pageant via email at missarkansaspress@gmail.com or phone at (479) 409-4389.

 

*Press Credential Request – Please request credentials for pageant coverage in writing, on company letterhead, to missarkansaspress@gmail.com no later than noon on Tuesday, June 13.  Be sure to include which nights (Tuesday – Saturday) you would like to attend, the name of the person covering the pageant and whether they are a writer, photographer or videographer.  Seating in the media area is limited and preference will be given to those outlets covering the pageant multiple nights.

 

*Specific Contestant Information – Photos and basic information on each contestant can be found on missarkansas.org .   If you would like additional information on a specific contestant please let me know.