Monday, February 26, 2018

Spencer Crowned Miss UAFS 2018

Elizabeth Spencer is crowned Miss UAFS 2018 
by (left) Miss UAFS 2017 Logan Moore and Miss Arkansas Maggie Benton. 

Top 5: (Left to right) Miss UAFS 2017 Logan Moore, Allison Thompson, Niki Waters, Elizabeth Spencer, Miss Arkansas 2017 Maggie Benton, Mary Beth Andrews, and Tori Seaman.

In a competitive pageant that awarded more than $18,000 in scholarships to winners among its 13 contestants, it was Elizabeth Spencer of Fort Smith, formerly of Sallisaw, who took the crown of Miss UAFS 2018 at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith’s scholarship pageant on Saturday evening.

Spencer, 20, is a nursing major and the daughter of Dwight and Cherie Spencer of Sallisaw. She sang “Smile,” for her talent and is promoting the platform “Safe and Sound: Healthy Habits for Life.” She will represent UAFS at the Miss Arkansas Pageant this summer in Little Rock.

Spencer said, “I was overwhelmed and humbled. I am honored.”

In addition to winning the pageant, Spencer was also the recipient of the Logan and Zane Moore $500 nursing scholarship given during the awards ceremony at the event’s finale.

Spencer concluded, “Being Miss UAFS is as much a job as it is an opportunity. I appreciate the opportunity to be a representative for the university."

She will now prepare for the Miss Arkansas Pageant to be held June 9 through 16 in Little Rock. That pageant is part of the Miss American System, Spencer said.

Other winners included:

-First runner-up: Niki Waters, 20, of Booneville, daughter of Steve and Kim Waters of Booneville. Waters also won the Vocal Artistic Expression Award.

-Second runner-up: Mary Beth Andrews, 19, of West Fork, daughter of Stan and Kristi Andrews. Andrews also won the Academic Excellence, Non-Vocal Artistic Expression, Lifestyle and Fitness, and Spirit of Miss UAFS awards.

-Third runner-up: Allison Thompson, 21, of Fort Smith, daughter of Regina and David Thompson of Fort Smith. Thompson also won the Interview Award.

-Fourth runner-up: Tori Seaman, 20, of West Fork, daughter of Brett and DeAnne Seaman of West Fork. Seaman also won the Audience Appeal Bucket Award and the Arkansas Blood Institute Matching Scholarship Award given to the contestant who had the most blood donated in her name.

Additionally, the winner of the Audience Appeal Award was Alesha Thach, 18, of Fort Smith, daughter of Nguyet Than and Tan Thach of Fort Smith. Tori Easton, 20, of Fort Smith, daughter of Doug and Robyn Croop of Fort Smith, won the Miss Congeniality Award.

Judges determined the winner and runners-up based on five areas of criteria: talent, interview, lifestyle and fitness, eveningwear, and the contestant’s response to their on-stage question. The event was held at the ArcBest Performing Arts Center at the Fort Smith Convention Center.

The pageant awarded more than $18,150 in cash and scholarships - in addition to prizes valued at more than $8,000 – during this year’s pageant. For winning Miss UAFS, Spencer received a two-year scholarship to UAFS valuing $7,000, a cash scholarship valuing $2,500 and a necklace from The Jewelry Store worth an estimated $2,500.

Other special guests included Daren Bobb and Erika Thomas, both of KFSM-TV, who served as masters of ceremonies.

Entertainment was provided by the UAFS Jazz Band and Jazz Catz under the direction of Don Bailey; special entertainer Tommy Dobbs; and Miss UAFS singers Landon King, Brian Gary, Sarah Bridges, Winston Turner, Ashley Hill and Aspen Knight. Miss Arkansas Maggie Benton also performed during the pageant.

The pageant chair is Stacey Jones of Fort Smith, associate vice chancellor of campus and community events at UAFS. Jones is also producer for the Miss Arkansas Pageant.

Miss UAFS is a preliminary to the Miss Arkansas Pageant. The winner of Miss Arkansas will then go on to compete in the Miss America Pageant. Contestants will compete in five events: evening gown, interview, physical fitness and swimsuit, talent, and on-stage question and answer. Scholarships will be awarded to Miss UAFS, runners-up, and various category winners, such as congeniality, GPA and interview.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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