VILONIA — Hundreds of books and more than $3,000 will be donated to the Soaring Wings Ranch to help children who are "victims of unfortunate circumstances" as a result of the Beauties, Beaus and Books Pageant held Saturday in Vilonia.
According to pageant director Terina Atkins, who is also a librarian in the Vilonia School District, $3,500 will be donated to the Soaring Wings Ranch to go along with the books.
"This was a lot of hard work but so worth it," Atkins said. "I love what Soaring Wings Ranch is doing. The staff up there is so caring. I love that all of us here are helping them."
Held at the Vilonia Baptist Fellowship Church, about 85 contestants, girls dressed in every color of the rainbow and boys dressed in suits, from around the state crossed the stage to vie for titles. It was a first pageant for some, Atkins said. While the younger contestants were basically judged on poise and charm, the older students had a harder task. They were asked questions regarding their favorite authors and reading genre.
Miss UCA 2010 Kerry Hawkins emceed the morning event. Atkins announced the contestants during the afternoon set. Atkins’ daughter Megan, who holds a couple of pageant titles including Mini Miss Vilonia 2010, handled most of the crowning throughout.
Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends sat in the audience cheering the contestants on. Judges Laurie Arivett, Cayla Dudeck and Haylee Reeves handed down the scores.
Tracy Taylor of Soaring Wings Ranch spoke a couple of times during the day addressing the crowd. The ranch, she said, consists of two Christian based homes located in Greenbrier, housing for both boys and girls who have been "victims of unfortunate circumstances." She expressed her appreciation many times to Atkins and the audience for their donations which she said the ranch is dependent on.
"We don’t rely on state funding," she added.
The plans, she explained, is to build two additional homes and an education/counseling center allowing more children to be housed at the ranch and additional opportunities for their growth. Currently, she said each house has eight children. Many of the children at the ranch, she said, have come from homes where education is not a priority but instead mere existence.
"Some of them, we will be there forever families," she added.
During the event, Atkins announced totals raised a couple of times. At one point, more than $2,000 had been collected from those voting for "crowd favorites," at $1 per vote. Also, she announced that one toddler, a contestant, had donated 300 books to the ranch.
Pageant winners included:
Baby Miss — Queen Tawnee Thompson; first runner-up Emma Hopgood, second runner-up, Ashlynn Peaks and third runner-up Fayth Howell.
Toddler Miss — Queen Aimsley Schultz; first runner-up Brylee Brewer, second runner-up Jordyn Wesbecher and third runner-up Ansleigh McMahan.
Wee Miss — Queen Mya Brady; first runner-up Hadley Werner, second runner-up Cambelle Watson, third runner-up Sage Rector.
Little Mister — King William Spratt; first runner-up Weston Blanford, second runner-up Carson Day, third runner-up Bryson Powell.
Mini Miss — Queen Payton Day; first runner-up Gretchen Waggoner, second runner-up Angel Osburn, third runner-up Evelyn Lachowsky.
Tiny Miss — Queen Emma Taylor; first runner-up Alyssa Peaks, second runner-up Sydney Pickering, third runner-up MaKayla Holiman.
Mister — King Anthony Hoofman; first runner-up Franky Harrell, second runner-up Luke Ramsey.
Petite Miss — Queen Lydia Ramsey; first runner-up Farrah Hopkins, second runner-up Carly Eary, third runner-up Hannah Weatherly.
Little Miss — Queen Victoria Mooney; first runner-up Alysia Cashion, second runner-up Emily Lassiter, third runner-up Kayla Whillock.
Preteen Miss — Queen Grace Weatherley; first runner-up Katie Jones, second runner-up Alexis Burnham, third runner-up Ashlee Andrews.
Junior Miss — Queen Danaka Davis; first runner-up Alli Shock, second runner-up Kira Jenkins, third runner-up Sarah Childres.
Teen Miss — Queen Haley Pontius, first runner-up Rachel Hinson, second runner-up, Erin Teague, third runner-up Audrey Strackbein.
Miss — Queen Dianna Gregory, first runner-up Devyn Smith.
College Miss — Queen Laura Raper, first runner-up Brittany Ashmore, second runner-up, Leah Hadder. Raper was also given a $100 scholarship.