The stage was set Saturday night for the crowning of Miss Arkansas 2014 at Summit Arena in Hot Springs.
Forty-six of the state’s most beautiful, intelligent, and community oriented women gathered on the stage, with the hope of hearing their name called for the top ten finale. Two Van Buren women realized that opportunity.
Loren McDaniel, daughter of Kevin and Melissa McDaniel of Van Buren, was named second runner-up to Miss Arkansas Miss Ouachita River Ashton Campbell of Hindsville.
Abby Lindsey, daughter of Kenny and Sherri Lindsey of Van Buren, was named third runner-up. Lindsey, a senior business major at Ouachita Baptist University, competed as Miss Ouachita Baptist University at the state pageant.
McDaniel, a senior theater major at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, competed as Miss Spirit of Arkansas at the state pageant. She was awarded $8,500 in scholarship winnings during the week of the pageant. A preliminary talent winner Thursday night, McDaniel also received the pageant overall vocal award to the vocalist garnering the highest score in a vocal performance. She performed "Bring Him Home" from Les Miserables as her talent selection.McDaniel’s platform was "Confidently You."
"I was so honored to be awarded with the Dillards Shopping Diva Award and to have been announced as the overall vocalist," McDaniel said. "Winning preliminary talent on Thursday night brought tears to my ears. When my name was announced as second runner up, I could not believe it! I am so overwhelmed with joy and can only sum it up by saying God has a plan, and I am so glad that I trusted his plan for me this week at Miss Arkansas 2014."
Lindsey was awarded more than $6,000 in scholarship winnings the week of the pageant. She performed the vocal "I Am Changing" as her talent selection. Lindsey’s platform was "Social Network Safety."
"God is good," Lindsey said. "What an honor to be named third runner-up to the fabulous new Miss Arkansas. It was a fun week full of laughs and lessons learned, but I am so thankful that I had yet another opportunity to be a part of this amazing system that continues to inspire and impact people all over. I am so thankful for all my friends, family, community, and faithful supporters. Love to all."
Friday night’s winner of the Service Before Self award was Miss Arkansas River Savannah Valentine. She is the 22-year old daughter of Carl and Tamara Valentine of Alma. Her personal platform is Passion with Purpose. Valentine is a student at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
The Miss Arkansas Organization awarded more than $85,000.00 in scholarship awards during the week of Miss Arkansas, making Miss Arkansas the N0. One scholarship providing pageant in the entire Miss America system.
Miss Arkansas walked away with a $20,000.00 scholarship largely in part to the contribution of another River Valley native. Shannon Boy Skokos, an Alma native and Miss Arkansas 1992, contributes $10,000.00 toward the scholarship through the Ted and Shannon Skokos Foundation.