And the job begins! Week 1

Can you believe it?! As I was announced the 2011 Miss Arkansas, I wondered if the moment of my dreams was actually real! Since the crowning moment, I have been overwhelmed with support and encouragement! Thank you to the other contestants who made the pageant week so memorable. It is the great honor to represent Ouachita Baptist University and I appreciate the support given from the entire campus! My hometown, Stuttgart, has been extremely excited to claim me as their Miss Arkansas!

Crowning moment with Miss Arkansas 2010, Alyse Eady.

Congratulations to the top 10!

I couldn’t have walked away with the crown if it weren’t for my incredible support team! Thank you to my mom, dad, and sister for the hours of practice, mock interviews, appointments across the state, and pep talks. Mark and Brooke, thanks for the love and support! Thank you to Mrs. LoraNelle for the year-round assistance with wardrobe. I appreciate your being a traveling companion and hostess of my send off party. Thank you to Mr. Carl for the great photos and friendship. Thank you to Justin, Kirt, and Amy for serving as enthusiastic, caring directors. Thank you to Mrs. Micki for being the best dance teacher and mentor I could ask for. Thank you to Laine and Shelley at the Royal We for a magnificent wardrobe. Tammy Belcher whipped me into shape and got me ready for the swimsuit competition. Jane Slocum was an excellent interview and pageant coach, along with help from Sarah Slocum Collins, Ashlen Batson Thomason, and Amber Bennett Bynum! Thank you to Bethany Whitfield for being the best roommate and making this a great week!

My proud family! Photo from You've Got The Look Photography.
Ashley, me, Mark, and Brooke. Photo by YGTL.

Mom and me! Photo by YGTL.

Attendance at the Miss Arkansas Pageant was remarkable! On Saturday night alone, around 3,000 individuals gathered into the Summit Arena to watch the final night of competition. Another 750 watched online through the live stream that was broadcast by the University of Arkansas. Almost $75,000 was handed out in scholarship and I was blessed to receive almost $26,000 in scholarship! Collectively, the 46 contestants vying for the title raised over $20,000 for Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit organization that partners with Miss America.

On Sunday, I gave my first press conference and received the keys to my car, sponsored by Allen Tillery Chevrolet of Hot Springs. Robin Houseworth, my chaperone, and I traveled to Little Rock for a week of media appearances and meetings with sponsors. Mrs. Robin volunteers as the media week chaperone every year and I would have been lost without her knowledge and direction! I enjoyed appearing on 7 television shows and 5 radio shows. I had a lot of fun on the radio shows, since they are a bit more relaxed and the interviews were longer. “What was going through your mind as you were crowned Miss Arkansas?” was the question everyone wanted me to answer!

After the press conference, signing my first autograph!

Radio interviews!

Channel 11!

Channel 7!

Allen Tillery, sponsor of the Miss Arkansas car!

I have realized that the best part about this job will be the people that I work with throughout my reign. The Miss Arkansas board members are incredible! They desire to serve and give their time and effort to make this a great year. No other state has the sponsor support compared to Miss Arkansas! I have enjoyed meeting with sponsors all over the state and still have many to meet!

On Thursday night, I had my first official appearance as Miss Arkansas. While attending the Arkansas Press Association banquet, I met newspaper editors from all over the state. One lady asked if I had brought my puppets with me. Haha! I just laughed and explained that was Miss Arkansas 2010, Alyse Eady. Undoubtedly, Alyse has left a huge legacy in Arkansas, and I only hope to compliment her efforts.

I have a lot to look forward to as Miss Arkansas! We will release my official crown photos and Miss America photos this week. I also have a photo shoot with Ouachita on Monday. Soon, I will begin working on paperwork, wardrobe, and talent for Miss America. On Sunday, August 7, the Stuttgart community is throwing me a homecoming party. It will be at the new Stuttgart Grand Prairie Center, and I hope to see all of you there! More details will come later.


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