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Monday, December 20, 2010

Wardrobes, Parades, and Pageants

Finals are finally over and hopefully I'll have more time to stay in touch. That is, of course, until next semester begins. My final semester in college, complete with 21 hours! I'm so excited to be graduating in May with two degrees: B.A. in Philosophy and B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies. It has been an amazing 3 1/2 years at ASU and I can't wait to see what life holds for me next. I promise to keep you updated. ;)

So it has been a very busy December. In addition to finals, I have had the privilege of attending Miss Arkansas, Alyse Eady's, Wardrobe Preview, riding in 3 Christmas Parades and entertaining at the newly brought back Miss Crowley's Ridge pageant. Whew! Alyse was beautiful and it was such a joy to get to see so many of the 2010 contestants again. I've said it before, but I am always so amazed at the friendships that have developed since the pageant last July. These are truly amazing girls and they are even better friends! I would post a photo with Alyse, but everything is classified at the highest priority until after Miss America! It was nice, though, that all of the Top 5 were in attendance to support our Miss Arkansas. Here is one of me and Miss Arkansas 2009, Sarah Slocum.

Me with Sarah Slocum, Miss Arkansas 2009

On December 14, I rode in the Wilson, AR Christmas Parade, and I had a blast! I had never visited the town of Wilson, and I'm so glad, now, that I have. There is such a beautiful square right in the center of town. And this weekend, on December 18, I enjoyed entertaining at the Miss Crowley's Ridge and Miss Crowley's Ridge Outstanding Teen Pageant. Unfortunately, after all these fun parades, I've come down with a bit of laryngitis so singing was out! Not to worry, that won't keep me from playing my flute. So, I played my state competition piece, "Can Can," and I got to assist in crowning. Bethany Bell was crowned the new Miss, and Emma Jumper crowned in teen. I've watched Bethany from her first competition in Miss NEA to being named a preliminary winner, and she is just marvelous. Each time she learns something new and makes her stage competition the better for it. Not to mention, she is a fantastic piano player! Look out Miss Arkansas, you have TWO instrumentalists this year! I leave you with a photo.

Me with Bethany Bell, Miss Crowley's Ridge 2011

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Books and Thank Yous

So the morning after the Blytheville Christmas Parade. The NEA and Lights queens had an opportunity to read Christmas stories to children at "That Bookstore in Blytheville." We had a blast! That was the first time I had been in the bookstore and it was amazing! I have definitely found a new favorite place for my visits to Blytheville. Also, during our morning, we presented a thank you to the Blytheville Courier News for their dedicated coverage of the Northeast Arkansas Pageant Association. We are truly appreciative of their coverage because it helps the community to know, not only about what we queens are up to during our year reign, but it also shows the importance of supporting such a quality organization that is the Miss Arkansas Pageant. So thank you for your support!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Whew! Finals are almost over! I can't believe that after this week, I will only have one more semester before I graduate. Time really does go by so quickly. Forgive me for not staying in touch a little better, but this past week's finals have really taken it out of me. So I'm going to backtrack a couple of posts and update you on what I've been up to recently. ;)

Well for starters, the Miss Greater Jonesboro family and I kicked off the holiday season right by riding in the Jonesboro Christmas Parade on December 3rd. The weather was a little cold, but not unbearable. I left with one favorite (I guess you could call it) quote of the evening.  A sweet little girl in the audience got really excited when we rode by and called out to me "That's the Queen of Jonesboro!" Yes, I definitely loved that one! It is great to feel like a queen every now and again, and the people of Jonesboro who attended and of course the Jonesboro Jaycees who put on the event, certainly made me feel wonderful for the night. Here are a few pictures.
The family. Sean and Ellen Pollock with me and MGJ's Outstanding Teen Sarah Hamilton.

Ellen Pollock and the man who loaned and drove the car, Keith Pace. Thanks Keith!

But the fun didn't end there! The very next night I was in Blytheville appearing as Miss Northeast Arkansas, along with my 2011 pageant family in the Blytheville Christmas Parade. Though there were many highlights of this evening, I had yet another favorite "quote" during the parade when a cute little boy (maybe 8 years old) proceeded to make the phone symbol with his right hand and asked for my number! Adorable!
Following the parade, we headed out to the Festival of Lights and performed a couple of Christmas songs for the crowds that gathered after the parade. We enjoyed some delicious hot chocolate and even got our pictures with Santa! All in all, it was a wonderful start to the season. I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of the night in Blytheville. The fun didn't end there, so watch for my next post about this very busy weekend.

My 2011 sister queens!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Parades and Glitter

While I mentioned this blog would be to update you on my year as Miss Northeast Arkansas 2011, I will continue my reign as Miss Greater Jonesboro 2010 until March 5, 2011. This week is a busy one for me as I will be riding in both the Jonesboro and the Blytheville Christmas parades this Thursday and Friday respectively! Below is the sign that I finished today for the Jonesboro parade. Lots of glitter and glue, and two hours later I had two signs ready and drying! I was so proud of my work that I thought I would show it off...what do you think??

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Miss Lights of the Delta

The 2011 family is now complete! Saturday night in Blytheville two new queens were crowned after a whole day of wonderful competition. Ashley Walthall is my new sister queen, Miss Lights of the Delta. And, Bailey Moses became Miss Lights of the Delta Outstanding teen. I am so excited to be working with these ladies throughout the next year as we each prepare ourselves for our respective state competitions.

One of my favorite aspects of the Miss Arkansas Pageant system is the connection with other young women from all over the state that it provides. After last July, I was able to say that I had made 43 new friends that I could call upon no matter where I was travelling throughout Arkansas. And now, I'm looking so forward to getting to know Ashley, who is from Magnolia, as we prepare for Miss Arkansas. I know that the connections I have made over the last year will last me a lifetime and I am so blessed to call so many talented young women my friends!

When I consider the size of the Miss America Organization I am unable to comprehend the connections that it builds for young women all over our country. Very few organizations can impact the number of individuals that MAO reaches year after year and because of that, I am honored to be a small part of it. I  began this blog intending to detail the Lights pageant, but this is what came out! :) Suffice it to say, we had a wonderful weekend and were privileged to not only have our unmatched Miss Arkansas 2010, Alyse Eady, present, but we were fortunate to meet Miss Missouri 2010, Erika Hebron, as well.

As always, here are a couple of photos for you to enjoy!

From Left: Me, Ashley Walthall, Miss Lights of the Delta 2011, Bailey Moses, Miss Lights of the Delta Outstanding Teen, Courtney Welsh, Miss Northeast Arkansas Outstanding Teen

The beautiful Miss Arkansas 2010, Alyse Eady. I absolutely adore her!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Fun

Last night was the opening ceremony of the Lights of the Delta Festival in Blytheville, AR and as Miss NEA 2011 I had the honor of helping to take donations of canned goods and toys at the entrance once it was open. I so enjoyed spending time with Miss NEA Outstanding Teen Courtney Welsh and Miss Lights of the Delta Outstanding Teen 2010 Ashleigh Rogers. We had a great time and the Festival of Lights has never been more beautiful! Driving through the lights' display is such a wonderful start to this holiday season. I encourage everyone to take some time in Blytheville with your families to view the lights.

If you didn't know, the Miss Lights of the Delta pageant always occurs the weekend the festival opens so come out and see the new Miss and Teen queens crowned on Saturday night! We will also be taking a hayride through the festival display on Friday night and will be getting our pictures with Santa. I just want to say a huge thank you to Marrietta Jerome and Eva Lee Graves for being such wonderful directors and for teaching me what it means to be a Miss America preliminary title holder. Also to all of the volunteers to assist in the putting together of this weeks event, thank you for your hard work year after year! Here are a few photos we snapped of the opening...

The lighting of the "Old Glory" display during the National Anthem.

Courtney Welsh, Miss Northeast Arkansas Outstanding Teen, Ashleigh Rogers, Miss Lights of the Delta Outstanding Teen, and Me!

Me and Courtney working the gate collecting toys and canned goods!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Phone-Phrenzy Fun

Back in October, I had the great pleasure of volunnteering with the Lawrence County Circle of Friends for their annual Phone-Phrenzy for Arkansas Children's Hospital. The pledge goal this year was $10,000 and I'm happy to say that in a few short hours, not only did we meet it, we surpassed it!

I have always loved volunteering my time for events like this, but there is something about being asked to come as a representative of northeast Arkansas and the Miss NEA organization that makes it all the more special. I have never been happier than when I am volunteering for the benefit of others and I could not recommend anything more rewarding to anyone.

If you are reading this now and you that impulse to get out and volunteer, too, don't hesitate! There are so many worthwhile causes that need your support and, speaking from experience, you will appreciate the support that is returned to you. Here are some pictures from that night. And if I may...we queens sure can raise some serious funds!!

Making some calls!

Our team "The Queens"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fun Things

On October 9th I had the pleasure of hosting the first Northeast Arkansas Music Fest. My wardrobe for the event was provided by Clark's Bridal in Jonesboro. This is just one of the many exciting events that I have had the joy of participating in since becoming involved in the Miss Arkansas Pageant. I've added some pictures below. Check out the amazing outfits!

Me with Ashleigh Rogers (currently Miss Batesville 2011), Ashleigh was one of the performers at the event

Some of the wonderful ASU Convocation Center staff  and officers of the Jonesboro Police Department who were kind enough to take a photo with me!

More to come soon from my year as Miss NEA 2011. Thanks for reading ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Miss Arkansas 2010

As promised I am going to post some photos and thoughts from Miss Arkansas 2010 back in July. I cannot say enough about my first experience at the state pageant. Not only was it an adventure for me, but the pageant was so well ran with volunteers, board members, production crew, and chaperones all willing to go that extra mile to make the week a success. I cannot say thanks enough to all of these amazing individuals who created a week that I will truly never forget.

Top 5
4th Runner-up, Somer Allen; 2nd Runner-up, Amy Crain; Miss Arkansas 2010, Alyse Eady; 1st Runner-up, Simone Mullinax; 3rd Runner-up, Kristen Glover

I was so excited this summer to receive the following awards and scholarships: 4th Runner-up, Dr. Rhys Branman Newcomer Award, Preliminary Alpha Award in Evening Gown, Preliminary Alpha Award in Talent, Preliminary Alpha Award in Swimsuit.

These awards provided me with much needed scholarship assistance to help me finish my undergraduate years at Arkansas State University. I can now, gratefully, say that I will be debt free coming out of my first four years of college. 

In addition to being humbled by the awards and scholarships that I received, I was further blessed to make 43 new friends from all across the state! Never before have I been surrounded by so many beautiful, talented young women and now to call them my friends is just a further demonstration of the great opportunities provided by the Miss Arkansas and Miss America Organizations. I'll leave you with a few photos.

My wonderful roommate: Kathryn Holcomb, Miss Western Arkansas 2010

Best Friend: Kristen Heuck, Miss Lights of the Delta 2010

Backstage with Simone Mullinax, Miss Lakes of the Northwest 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

First Blog

So, I've never really kept a diary or blog post before, but I feel like this will be the best way for me to inform you of my activities as Miss Northeast Arkansas 2011. I had an amazing year in 2010 as Miss Greater Jonesboro. I was truly blessed to receive the awards and scholarships presented to me at Miss Arkansas 2010. I plan to post photos and information from that amazing week in July very soon. Now that being said, this is a very busy time of year for me, but I hope to update this blog often with events and thoughts that are most important to me throughout this next year.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I guess the last thing I would like to say is that I am so proud to be Miss Northeast Arkansas 2011. I know that this year will bring with it new challenges and (hopefully) many new faces to get to know. Please feel free to contact me anytime at somer.allen@hotmail.com. And for the next blog update...well, wish me luck! ;)