VILONIA — A new slate of royalty has begun its 2010 reign over Vilonia.
The Vilonia Royalty Pageant, held Saturday, resulted in 17 contestants walking away with crowns, including the new Miss Vilonia Hannah Gore. Competing against eight other contestants, Gore said she was surprised at the win due to the stiff competition.
"I guess I just did all the right things at the right time," she said. "I said a prayer. I must have also said the right things and walked the right way."
She said she will now use her royalty status to represent the city as well as visit hospitals and the elderly.
"There’s a lot of elderly who are alone and they don’t need to be alone," Gore said. "A lot of people overlook that."
Gore is a junior at Vilonia High School, and her parents are Michael and Glenda Gore. She plans to pursue a career as a fashion designer.
In the Miss Vilonia division, Diana Gregory was named as first runner-up, Ana Victoria Brauer received second runner-up, and third runner-up was Krystal Teer. Kali Renee’ Bonnema was awarded with the most photogenic status. The event, sponsored by the Vilonia Area Chamber of Commerce and held at the Vilonia Primary School began with 124 contestants competing in 17 divisions. The younger contestants, from birth to 8 years old, began the competition. Some were dressed in pageant finery, while others wore church attire. It appeared most of the judging was based on stage appearance.
Some of the younger ones were carried on for their debuts, and others strutted on stage alone. Most laughed, a few cried, some waved and others danced a bit. Some threw kisses and bowed. The audience clapped, cheered and even chuckled a few times when a shoe was lost or a wardrobe malfunction occurred. When one youngster stuck out his tongue in an attempt to blow a kiss there was laughter. The audience also laughed when some favorite foods and career choices were announced. One older contestant’s favorite food is deer meat, another wants to be a secret spy for the government when she grows up and a younger contestant wants to be tooth fairy.
The afternoon allowed ages 8 through 18 to go onstage. The competition heated up a bit for the older contestants in these categories. Both the Teen Miss and Miss Vilonia divisions held an interview portion. There were breaks throughout the event with entertainment. Singers included Hannah Gordon, Miss UCA Kerry Hawkins, Morgan Hensley and Tiffany Moreno. Some of last year’s pageant winners were also on hand to help with the crowning.
Emcee Brian Ratliff remarked on several occasions that he was glad he was announcing rather than judging, saying it would be some "tough calls." He introduced the judges who included Tim Morris and Jane Morris of Conway, and Rhonda Rowlett of Greenbrier. All, he said, have been involved in pageants for several years.
Regardless whether they were crowned or not, all entrants walked away with a trophy.
Other division winners include: Teen Miss Vilonia Whitney Loran Wade, whose favorite food is steak. She plans to go into the medical field when she graduates college. Her parents are Allen and Gayla Wade.
Junior Miss Vilonia Rachel Hinson enjoys basketball, volleyball and going to church. She wants to be a professor of English when she grows up. Her parents are Keith and Penny Hinson.
Miss Pre-Teen Vilonia Kira Jinkins wants to be a dance teacher when she grows up. Her parents are Heather and Michael Jinkins.
Mini Miss Vilonia Megan Paige Atkins enjoys cheerleading for Vilonia youth football. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Her parents are Brian and Terina Atkins.
Junior Mini Miss Vilonia Alyson Robertson enjoys drawing. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Her parents are Danya and Brooke Robertson.
Little Miss Vilonia Rhea Walls likes soccer. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Her parents are Eddie and Tabbie Walls.
Petite Miss Vilonia Abbie Beene likes playing with her dogs and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Her parents are Chad and Amanda Beene.
Tiny Miss Vilonia Zoie Rain Gunter has three favorite colors: pink, purple and red. She is the daughter of Mark and Tara Gunter.
Toddler Miss Vilonia Mya Brady loves green beans. She wants to be a princess when she grows up. Her parents are Shane and Tiffany Brady.
Itty Bitty Miss Vilonia Amelia Garrett, 8 months, enjoys jumping. Her parents are Elijah and Alison Garrett.
Little Mister Vilonia Mason Gage Atkins wants to be an artist when he grows up. His parents are Brian and Terina Atkins.
Petite Mister Vilonia Clayton Raeburn wants to be a police officer or firefighter when he grows up. His parents are Matt and Shannon Raeburn.
Tiny Mister Vilonia Dalton Lynne Ellis enjoys riding his bike with his big brother, Coleton. His parents are Morgan and Cole Ellis.
Toddler Mister Vilonia Braxton Gene Ellis enjoys riding horses. His parents are Morgan and Amy Ellis.
Itty Bitty Mister Vilonia John Benjamin Waggoner wants to be on the pit crew for his big sister Gretchen’s race car team when he grows up. His parents are Ben and Valerie Waggoner.