In a competition that awarded nearly $23,000 in scholarships and prizes among its 12 candidates, Allison Thompson claimed the crown of Miss UAFS 2019, during the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith’s scholarship competition March 16.
Thompson, 22, of Fort Smith, is the daughter of Regina Thompson and David Thompson, both also of Fort Smith. A middle childhood education major, her talent was a jazz dance performance, and her platform is “We the People: Increasing Community and Government Involvement.” She will represent UAFS at the Miss Arkansas Contest this summer in Hot Springs.
Thompson also won the artistic expression, non-vocal award.
“I can’t wait to represent the school I love at the state level for Miss Arkansas,” she said.
Other winners included:
First runner-up: Mary Beth Andrews, 20, of West Fork, daughter of Kristi and Stan Andrews, also of West Fork. Andrews also won the academic excellence award.
Second runner-up: Ava Earnhart, 18 of Greenwood, daughter of Liz Earnhart and David Earnhart, both also of Greenwood. Earnhart also won the artistic expression, vocal award
Third runner-up: Tori Easton, 21, of Fort Smith, daughter of Robyn and Doug Croop of Fort Smith and Dewayne Easton of Pocola, Okla.
Fourth runner-up: Lyndsey Bowman, 19, of Fort Smith, daughter of Joanna Barker of Portsmouth, R.I., and Terry Bowman of Ozark. Bowman also won the interview award.
The Audience Appeal Bucket Award was presented to Cecelia Flores.
Additionally, the winner of the Audience Appeal was Briana Reding.
Caroline Mikel won the Miss Congeniality Award.
A first for the Miss UAFS Competition, a Miss UAFS Outstanding Teen was also crowned. Starling Ledbetter of Fayetteville took home the crown. Ledbetter is the daughter of Ryan and Robyn Ledbetter. Her talent was a vocal performance, during which she also played guitar.
Other winners included:
First runner-up: Lillyanna Gigerich
Second runner-up: Jordan Bunting
Judges determined the winner and runners-up of the Miss UAFS competition based on four areas of criteria: talent, private interview, eveningwear/social impact, and the contestant’s response to their on-stage question.
Judges determined the winner and runners-up of the Outstanding Teen competition based on four areas of criteria: talent, private interview, lifestyle and fitness, eveningwear/on-stage question.
The event was held at the ArcBest Performing Arts Center at the Fort Smith Convention Center.
The pageant awarded more than $11,000 in institutional scholarships - in addition to private scholarships, cash awards and prizes.
For winning Miss UAFS, Thompson received a two-year scholarship to UAFS valuing $7,000, a cash scholarship valuing $2,000 and a necklace and earring set from The Jewelry Store worth an estimated $2,500.
Other special guests included Daren Bobb and Erika Thomas, both of KFSM-TV, who served as masters of ceremonies.
Entertainment was provided by the UAFS Jazz Band and Jazz Catz under the direction of Don Bailey, and the Miss UAFS Singers
Ashley Hill, Brian Gary, Audra Weathers and Sarah Bridges. Miss Arkansas Claudia Raffo also performed during the pageant.
The pageant chair is Stacey Jones of Fort Smith, associate vice chancellor of campus and community events at UAFS. Jones is also producer for the Miss Arkansas Pageant.