Saturday night in front of a crowd of more than 2,500 people, Abby Lindsey of Van Buren was awarded second runner-up at the Miss Arkansas Pageant.

Lindsey, 19, daughter of Ken and Sherri Lindsey, competed as Miss Ouachita River in the 76th annual pageant.

The 2011 graduate of Van Buren High School was one of 45 contestants who arrived July 14 at Summit Arena in Hot Springs to begin an exciting week of preliminary competition, but the quest for the crown began months ago for Lindsey.

A total of 381 young women competed in preliminary competitions all across the state for one of the coveted preliminary titles that would take them to the state pageant. Abby’s journey began in December of 2012 when she competed for and won the title of Miss Ouachita River.

As second runner-up Lindsey received a $7,000 scholarship sponsored by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation to continue her education. A junior at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Lindsey is majoring in business management with the hopes of one day owning her own wedding planning business.

In addition to being named second runner-up, Lindsey won a sleuth of others awards and scholarships on finals night. Lindsey was awarded the Hudgens Investment in Leadership Award, Overall Interview Award and the coveted Miss Congeniality Award. In total Lindsey walked away with nearly $14,000 in scholarship winnings.

"Overwhelmed, humbled, excited, shocked, and loved doesn’t even begin to describe how I am feeling today," Lindsey said Sunday. "I was hoping and praying just to hear my name called for the top 10, but God had bigger plans that I never even saw coming I am so very thankful and grateful to everyone who has sent their well wishes my way; they are much appreciated and cherished. God is so good and I am thankful for his perfect timing and sovereign power."

The Miss America organization is the largest scholarship provider to women in the world, with Arkansas taking the lead as the largest cash scholarship provider in the nation. The Miss Arkansas Organization awarded almost $80,000 in scholarship and an additional $50,000 in awards and prizes.

Loren McDaniel, also of Van Buren, was named a top 15 finalist, and an alpha talent award winner at this year’s pageant. McDaniel, a junior at the University of Arkansas, received $1,100 in scholarship winnings. McDaniel is the daughter of Kevin and Melissa McDaniel of Van Buren.