HOT SPRINGS — Miss Northeast Arkansas Bethany Bell won the Preliminary Artistic Expression in Talent award and Miss Ouachita Rivers Ashton Campbell won the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit Preliminary Award on Wednesday, the opening night of the 77th Annual Miss Arkansas Pageant at Summit Arena in Hot Springs.
For winning Talent, Bell received a $1,400 scholarship and Campbell received a $1,000 scholarship for winning Swimsuit. Both scholarships were provided by Amanda Farmer.
Bell is a 20-year-old graduate of the University of Central Arkansas. For her winning talent selection she performed a piano solo entitled "Winter/Let It Go." She is from Blytheville and is the daughter of William and Judith Bell.
Campbell is a 20-year-old student at the University of Arkansas. She is the daughter of Roger and Tonia Campbell of Hindsville.
Emcee and KATV’s Good Morning Arkansas co-host Chris Kane, along with Miss Arkansas 2013 Amy Crain of Hot Springs, was on hand Wednesday night to present these awards.
Joining Kane to assist with the emcee duties was Miss Arkansas 2012 Sloane Roberts. Roberts resides in Fayetteville. Roberts, a native of Rison, captured the title of Miss Arkansas as Miss Heart of the Ozarks. She was voted by her peers as Miss Congeniality at the 2013 Miss America Pageant.
For the 7th year Alpha Awards were presented for each phase of competition. These are presented to first-time Miss Arkansas contestants that garnered the most points in their respective groups each night.
Alpha Award winners were:
Miss Lakes of the Northwest Hannah Gibson (Artistic Expression in Talent). She is the 20-year-old daughter of Thomas Kathelene Gibson of Bentonville and a student at the University of Arkansas.
Miss Ouachita River Ashton Campbell (Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit)
Alpha Talent and Swimsuit Winners will each receive a $100 scholarship from the Miss Arkansas Executive Director’s Association.
Miss Sweetheart of Arkansas Emma Jumper (Group A Interview). She is the 20-year-old daughter of Tommy and Pamela Jumper of Paragould. She is a student at Mississippi State University.
Alpha Interview Winners will each receive a $100 scholarship from Chris and Toni Bahn.
Miss Ouachita River Ashton Campbell (Arrival)
Alpha Arrival Winner will receive a $100 scholarship from Bill Tarkington.
For the third year a special community service award was given: the Service Before Self award. It will be awarded each night with a scholarship in the amount of $250. It honors a Hot Springs Civic Organization that has been instrumental in the pageant’s success. The organization honored was the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. Wednesday night’s winner was chosen from the Group B Contestants and was Miss Texarkana Amber Stone. She is the 21-year-old daughter of Troy and Cynthia Stone of Nashville. Her personal platform is Changing Lives, One Smile at a Time. She is a student at the University of Arkansas.
Also recognized Wednesday night were the top fundraisers for the Children’s Miracle Network. The 46 contestants raised over $46,000 for CMN this year and the top 5 contestants raised almost half of that amount. The overall top fundraiser was awarded the Miracle Maker award. This year’s Miracle Maker is Miss Diamond Lakes Lauren Howell. She is the 24-year-old daughter of Dr. John and Debra Howell of Conway and is a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas.
Also recognized were:
2nd: Miss University of Arkansas Riley Snell from Jonesboro
3rd: Miss Ouachita River Ashton Campbell from Hindsville
4th: Miss Northwest Arkansas Mikaila Wilson from Bentonville
5th: Miss Greater Camden Sarah Clayton from Camden
This year’s Miss Arkansas Pageant is themed "All In" and celebrates the 77th of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant. This year’s show features 46 contestants from around the state. They are competing for almost $85,000 in college and university scholarship funds.
The newly crowned Miss Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen 2014 Ashton Yarbrough was on hand and was introduced on stage as one of her first official appearances since being crowned June 14.
Competition continues with preliminaries on Thursday and Friday night at 7 p.m. Final competition is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday and includes the naming of the Top 10 semi-finalists. Reigning Miss Arkansas and Miss America’s Top 15 Semi-Finalist Amy Crain, will be on hand to crown the new Miss Arkansas.
On-stage competition continues Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Summit Arena. For ticket information, visit www.ticketmaster.com or the Summit Arena box office.
For those who can’t attend the 2014 Miss Arkansas pageant in Hot Springs they can watch each night of preliminary competition, as well as the crowning on www.missarkansas.org. Preliminary competition is $5 and the Final Night is $7. This will be the fourth time that the Miss Arkansas pageant has been streamed live.