Jessie Bennett, Executive Director of the Miss Arkansas Pageant Organization, opened the meeting at the Pleasant Valley Country Club with a quick greeting and introduction of the board and foundation members. The board members are responsible for the direction of the pageant. The Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation raises scholarship money for the contestants and holds the 501(c)3 status.
Then, I spoke to the girls about the job of Miss Arkansas. I mentioned a question that I was asked in my Miss Arkansas interview, “What is the job of Miss Arkansas?” Because of my well thought-out and enthusiastic answer, the judges considered me a front-runner for the crown. Later, I was awarded the overall interview award before winning the Miss Arkansas crown! Similarly, I was asked, “What is the job of Miss America?” in my Miss America interview. I honestly believe that is where I fumbled the ball. I didn’t know much about the job of Miss America, and the judges overlooked me.
The job of Miss Arkansas is not exactly an easy one. She must live up to many expectations, while constantly making good first impressions and receiving judgment. However, it is the most rewarding job with a huge opportunity to serve the state. If honored to be named Miss Arkansas, she should strive to always remain humble and gracious! That advice will help her through the hard times and the long days!
I also announced my latest project to pass on advice and encouragement from former Miss Arkansas titleholders! Click here to see a video compilation of 18 interviews and lots of good advice for the next Miss Arkansas!!
My mom spoke next and shared advice for the mother of the next Miss Arkansas. She explained how to prepare for the first few weeks of being Miss Arkansas and emphasized the importance of networking. She also said, “As with anything in life, the more you put into the year as Miss Arkansas, the more you will get out of it!”
Jessie announced several changes for the upcoming pageant. First, the Miss Arkansas Organization was granted extra scholarship money for the 75th anniversary of the pageant. Along with support from an anonymous donor, we are excited to announce that each contestant will receive a minimum $250 in scholarship money! Wow!!
One of the new sponsorships that I am personally excited about is Sissy’s Log Cabin! They have partnered with the Royal We and Clark’s Bridal to give Miss Arkansas a fine coronation ring. It is a beautiful aquamarine stone with a crown setting of diamond chips. I can’t wait to receive this gift at the end of my year! Thank you to all these sponsors!!!
Overall, I consider the contestant meeting to be a huge success! I am excited to hand over the job position to the next Miss Arkansas because I believe the Miss Arkansas Organization is headed in the right direction! The board and foundation have worked hard to improve the organization, and their efforts are paying off! Jessie Ward Bennett, Executive Director for two years now, is a phenomenal boss! Also, we have the most organized and competent office manager, Mrs. Vicki Rima. The next Miss Arkansas is stepping into the organization at its finest!
Monday, the contestants returned to Pleasant Valley Country Club for the Miss Arkansas Foundation Golf Tournament. We had 22 teams and raised close to $20,000 in scholarship funds! The contestants helped the teams check in, directed them to lunch, and helped them get ready for the tournament. It was a well-organized, enjoyable event!
I hope you can join us for the 75th anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Pageant at the Summit Arena in Hot Springs! Preliminary competition will be held on Wednesday-Friday, July 11-13. The next Miss Arkansas will be crowned on Saturday, July 14. You are not going to want to miss this one!