CALICO ROCK Savannah Skidmore is on cloud nine.
“The whole state is on cloud nine,” Skidmore said with a laugh. “Especially me.”
On Monday, Skidmore, who is from Calico Rock, became the new Miss Arkansas 2016. As first runner-up in this year’s Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant in July, she assumed the duties of Miss Arkansas because Savvy Shields, Miss Arkansas 2016, was crowned Miss America 2017 during the conclusion of that pageant Sept. 11 in Atlantic City.
“I never put a whole lot of thought into the possibility of ever stepping up to being Miss Arkansas until Savvy won the preliminary [talent] competition on Wednesday [Sept. 7],” Skidmore said from the Fayetteville home of Toni Bahn, director of media and publicity for the Miss Arkansas Pageant. Skidmore resides in Fayetteville, where she just began her senior year as a broadcast journalism major at the University of Arkansas. “I came over here to Toni’s house to watch the Miss America Pageant and we saw Savvy [also a student at UA] win the title, along with everyone else in the state,” Skidmore said. “Actually I saw it on Twitter before they announced it on TV; Twitter was a little faster.”
Skidmore, 21, said she would withdraw from school “for the next two semesters and take on all the responsibilities of Miss Arkansas.
“Savvy already had a few things booked, so I will do those, and then I will get started on my own job as Miss Arkansas,” Skidmore said. “I will promote my own platform, Speak Up Now: Suicide Prevention and Awareness, as I travel across the state.
“I fully intend to be the best Miss Arkansas I can possible be regardless of how I got the title,” she said.
Skidmore is a daughter of Jerry and Kim Skidmore of Calico Rock. She is a granddaughter of Duane and Sue Price and Robert and Marion Skidmore, all of Calico Rock.
She competed as Miss University of Arkansas at the Miss Arkansas 2016 pageant, where she also won a preliminary award for lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit.
Skidmore said her parents drove to Fayetteville from their home in Calico Rock to watch the Miss America Pageant with her.
“They made that three-hour trip to be with me,” she said. “My mom really wanted to be with me.
“My family and my hometown are my biggest supporters,” Skidmore said. “They are so thrilled with all of this.”
Skidmore said she would soon move to Conway where the Miss Arkansas Pageant has an apartment for winners of the state title.
“That’s when it will get really real,” Skidmore said. “I’ll be taking on a big responsibility.”
As the new Miss Arkansas 2016, Skidmore will receive a $25,000 scholarship provided by CITGO, the Skokos Foundation and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation and more than $75,000 in awards, wardrobe, transportation and gifts.
During the year, she will serve as Arkansas’ spokesperson for the Children’s Miracle Network and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in addition to promoting her own platform. She will also promote the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant while speaking about the goals of the Miss Arkansas and Miss America systems.
More information about Skidmore’s official crowning will be released in the coming weeks.
Those interested in booking Skidmore as a guest speaker may visit the website www.missarkansas.org, contact the pageant’s business manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (501) 321-3506.