Spirit of JacksonvilleREAD ONLINE
Hot Springs Woman named Miss ArkansasOriginally Published July 28, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated July 26, 2013 at 11:58 a.m.
HOT SPRINGS — Amy Crain of Hot Springs won the title of Miss Arkansas 2013 on July 20 and hit the road the next day.
Her first official appearance as the new titleholder came the afternoon of July 21 when she met with members of the statewide media for her first interview. Those interviews have continued all week, and will into the unforeseeable future.
“It’s been a whirlwind experience,” she said during a telephone interview from her car as her chaperon drove her to another interview. “I’ve made some appearances, but most of them have been with the media. I feel awesome. This is an awesome opportunity.”
Crain, the 23-year-old daughter of Jimmy and Sally Crain of Hot Springs and Terri Crain of El Dorado, competed as Miss Diamond Lakes during the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant at Summit Arena in Hot Springs. As the winner, she received a $20,000 scholarship provided by Ted and Shannon Boy Skokos and more than $50,000 in awards, wardrobe, transportation and gifts.
She also won the Buddy Coleman Overall Talent Award and a preliminary talent award, and she was a Quality of Life Award finalist.
Crain will represent Arkansas at the 2014 Miss America Pageant and will make appearances across Arkansas promoting the Children’s Miracle Network, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, her personal platform of Bullying: Prevention and Recovery and speaking in support of the goals of the Miss Arkansas and Miss America system.
A native of El Dorado, Crain moved to Hot Springs when she was a senior in high school. She is a graduate of Lake Hamilton High School.
While at Lake Hamilton High School, she was a member of the Student Council
“I wanted to try out for cheerleading and the dance team, but I arrived too late,” she said.
“I started competing in pageants when I was about 14,” she said. “I participated in the Miss Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Pageant system. I never won the pageant, but I was a runner-up.”
Crain said she was the object of bullying when she was a sophomore and junior in high school.
“That’s a really hard time in a teen’s life,” she said. “You’re trying to learn who you are and all the different aspects that make you you.
“I questioned my self-image and my self-esteem, but I came out of it on a positive note and have turned that into my platform. I want to help others who might be experiencing bullying.
“I’ve promoted it as a local titleholder, and I plan to continue talking about bullying as Miss Arkansas.”
Crain said her family has been real encouraging in everything she does.
“They’ve just been wonderful,” she said.
She has an older brother, Austin, 30, and a younger sister, Hampton, 3.
Crain is a 2011 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a degree in communication. For her talent selection at the pageant, she performed a contemporary clogging routine to “Gametime.”
This was the fourth time for Crain to compete in the Miss Arkansas pageant. She said she was able to pay for most of her college with scholarships she won over the past few years.
“I competed as Miss Greater Hot Springs , Miss Northwest Arkansas  and Miss University of Arkansas ,” she said. “I took off last year to start a career.”
She spent the last year as catering director for Sodexo at the University of Arkansas, catering special events for the athletic department.
“I did not cater meals for the athletes,” she said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Crain will now have to take another year off while she serves as Miss Arkansas.
“I’m not sure yet what I want to do after my year as Miss Arkansas,” Crain said. “Now that I’ve received that $20,000 scholarship, I plan to go back to school and get my master’s degree in business administration and open up my own business. I’m not sure yet about a business, but I have a couple of different ideas. I may pick up ideas as I travel Arkansas.”
But for the next several weeks, she will concentrate on being Miss Arkansas and make preparations for the Miss America Pageant.
“I’ve got an amazing prep team,” she said. “It’s a group of volunteers who help me with everything — wardrobe, interview and helping me keep my body in tip-top shape.”
The Miss America pageant returns to Atlantic City, N.J., this year.
“I am so excited about that,” she said. “I will be there for about 10 days, and the winner will be announced on ABC on Sept. 15. That’s my birthday.”