LITTLE ROCK — Miss Natural State Kelsey Stone of Russellville was named fourth runner-up in the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant on June 16. Stone is the 21-year-old daughter of Kim and Dee Stone of Russellville and is a senior at Arkansas Tech University.
Kelsey Stone received a $5,000 scholarship sponsored by Don and Robin Houseworth. For her talent, Stone performed a piano/vocal piece to “Rise Up.” Her platform is #FindYourGift: Realizing Your Potential.
Additionally, Stone received the Shannon Albright Congeniality Award in the amount of $500, provided by June and Leland Felix; the Overall Instrumentalist Award in the amount of $500, provided by Kerry Jucas; the Combs Caught Ya in the Act of Kindness Award in the amount of a $500 scholarship, provided by Brittany and Clay Combs; the Overall Arrival Award in the amount of a $750 scholarship, provided by Aaron Perkins of Face Your Day Salon; and a Bringing Beauty to Life Award in the amount of a $1,000 scholarship, provided by Paris Presents.
Local contestants winning additional awards in the pageant include the following:
• Miss Apple Blossom Kelley Brown of Greenwood, a senior nursing major at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, received the Dreamer Award in the amount of $750, provided by Simone and Chris Sellstrom; a Loren McDaniel Confidently You Scholarship in the amount of $500, provided by Melissa and Kevin McDaniel; the Michael Hargrove Nursing Scholarship in the amount of $500, provided by Holly Hargrove; and the Alpha Interview Award for the Mu Group in the amount of a $500 scholarship, provided by Paula Montgomery Swindle.
Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of Bryan and Debbie Brown, presented a tap dance to “Runaway Baby” for her talent in the pageant, and her platform is Helping Hands for Heroes.
• Miss Ozark Highlands Kristen Sharp of Van Buren, a freshman nursing major at UCA, received the Miss America State Scholar Award in the amount of $1,000, provided by the Miss America Foundation.
Sharp, the 18-year-old daughter of Warren and Tawana Sharp, presented a jazz dance to “River Deep Mountain High” for her talent, and her platform is The Compassion Campaign: Comforting Children in Foster Care.
• Miss Central Arkansas Ebony Mitchell of Harrison, a senior business marketing major at UCA, received the Grace Award in the amount of $4,000, given in memory of Madelyn Grace Johnston by Brad Lacey and Dr. Melanie Smith.
Mitchell, the 21-year-old daughter of Hulene Ongola of Alpena, presented a vocal rendition of “At Last” for her talent, and her platform is SAFE Connections.
• Miss Gateway to the Ozarks Alyson Paige Tyler of Bentonville, a 2016 graduate of UCA with a degree in accounting, received the Lynn and Daryl Hanig Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $500, provided by Sharon and Johnny Bale.
Tyler, the 24-year-old daughter of Andy and Diana Woller and Michael Tyler of Lamar, Colorado, presented a vocal rendition of “Fight Song” for her talent, and her platform is MIND Your Health: Mental Health Awareness.
• Miss Southeast Arkansas Cameron Willis of Sheridan, a senior biology pre-medicine major at the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College at UCA, received a Service Above Self Scholarship in the amount of $1,000, provided by Rotary Club No. 99.
Willis, the 21-year-old daughter of Randy Willis and Diana Willis of Bryant, presented a vocal rendition of “Never Enough” for her talent, and her platform is Table Talk: Breaking the Silence of Eating Disorders.
Miss Historic Batesville Claudia Raffo, 22, of Jonesboro won the title of Miss Arkansas 2018 at the 81st Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant at the Robinson Center in Little Rock.
Raffo 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 2019 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and will make appearances across The Natural State to promote the Children’s Miracle Network, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and her personal platform of New Life Saves Life: Umbilical Cord Donation, and to speak in support of the goals of the Miss Arkansas and Miss America system.
More than $195,000 in scholarships were awarded throughout the week to various contestants.