LITTLE ROCK — Ouachita Baptist University junior Gracie Stover was named third runner-up in the 2018 Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant on June 16. She competed as Miss White River.
Stover, the 20-year-old daughter of Mike and Laura Stover of Little Rock, received a $6,000 scholarship sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation. She also won the Miss America Community Service Award of $1,000, provided by the Miss America Foundation; a Loren McDaniel “Confidently You” scholarship for $500, provided by Melissa and Kevin McDaniel; the Sharon Evans Bale “We Are More” Award, based on community service and platform, in the amount of a $1,250 scholarship and provided by Bill Tarkington and Mike Spivey; an Asher Ray Children’s Miracle Network Miracle Maker Award in the amount of a $500 scholarship, provided by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation; and a Service Above Self Scholarship from Rotary Club No. 99 in the amount of $1,000.
During the pageant, Stover, who is a mass communications/pre-pharmacy major at OBU in Arkadelphia, presented a tap dance to “Michael Jackson: The Greatest Showman” for her talent. Her platform is Survive: Don’t Text and Drive.
Local contestants among the five semifinalists, finishing 6-10 and listed in random order, with each receiving a $3,000 scholarship sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation, include Miss Arkansas Valley Mady Rottinghaus of Hot Springs, Miss Southwest Arkansas Julie Williams of Arkadelphia and Miss Greater Little Rock Jessica Miller of Bryant.
Additionally, Rottinghaus received the $1,000 Diversity Award provided by Michelle Rudolph Parham. Rottinghaus, the 19-year-old daughter of Michael and Amber Rottinghaus, presented a piano selection, “Raging Storm,” for her talent, and her platform is Appreciating Cultural Diversity.
Williams, the 20-year-old daughter of the Rev. Charlie and Amy Williams, also received the Overall Alpha Interview Award in the amount of $1,000, provided by Vicki Rima; the Ashlen Batson Espirit De Corps Award in the amount of $650, provided by Bill Tarkington and Mike Spivey; the Alpha Arrival Award, a $500 scholarship provided by Kristin Chase; and the Alpha Interview Award for the Alpha Group, a $500 scholarship provided by Cindy Thyer.
Williams is a senior political science and mass communications major at OBU. Her talent was a piano presentation of “My Tribute.” Her platform is Bridging the Gap Between the Free and the Fighter.
Miller, the 19-year-old daughter of Scott and Dodi Miller, presented a tap dance to “Pump It” for her talent, and her platform is SAVE: Suicide Awareness Voices of Education. She is a sophomore social work major at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Local contestants finishing 11-15 in random order, with each receiving a $1,500 scholarship sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Pageant, include Miss Greater Hot Springs Tiffany Lee of Benton and Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers Kyla Soden of Cabot.
Additionally, Lee received the Mary Jane Mullins Non-Finalist Interview Award in the amount of $500, provided by Dr. Patti Mullins, and the Healthy Lifestyle Platform Award, a scholarship in the amount of $500 provided by Sharon Turrentine.
Lee, the 21-year-old daughter of Tony Lee and Kelly Lee, presented a tap dance to “A Little Party” for her talent, and her platform is Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy. She is a senior mass communications major at OBU.
Soden, the 20-year-old daughter of Mike and Donya Soden, presented an acro-lyrical routine to “I Was Here” for her talent, and her platform is Empowering Hearts: I Can, I Will. She is a junior pre-medicine/biology major at OBU.
Other local contestants receiving awards in the pageant include the following:
• Miss Ouachita Baptist University Emma Pitts of Clarksville received the Frances Wilson Non-Finalist Overall Talent Award in the amount of $1,000, provided by C.J. Wilson; the Non-Finalist Vocal Award in the amount of $500, provided by Brad and Zach Stout; and the Melonie McGarrah Overall Vocal Award in the amount of $2,000, provided by Brian Moore and family.
Pitts, the 20-year-old daughter of Jeremy Pitts and Misty Rebecca Scroggs Pitts, is a junior music education major at OBU. She presented a vocal rendition of “Gimme Gimme” for her talent, and her platform is Inspiring Creativity Through Arts Education.
• Miss Southeast Arkansas Cameron Willis of Sheridan received a $1,000 Service Above Self Scholarship provided by Rotary Club No. 99. She is the 21-year-old daughter of Randy Willis and Diana Willis and a senior biology pre-medicine major at the Norbert O. Schedler Honors College at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. She 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.