July 14, 2010 Edition

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Crum vying for Miss Arkansas title

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Hollyann Crum of Walnut Ridge, the reigning Miss White River, is competing for the title of Miss Arkansas in Hot Springs this week. She placed third runner-up in last year's competition where she won the overall Lifestyle and Fitness Award and has garnered $16,000 in scholarships from the Miss Arkansas Pageant System.

Crum is the former Miss South Arkansas, Miss Northeast Arkansas and Miss Lights of the Delta. In the 2007 Miss Arkansas pageant, she received the prestigious Newcomer Award and was the Lifestyle and Fitness preliminary winner at the 2007 and 2008 competitions.

Her critical issue is Empowering Women Through Girl Scouting, and she will sing "There Will Come A Day" in the talent division. Chloe Foley, 12-year-old daughter of Shane and Megan Foley, will accompany Crum as her Diamond State Princess.

A reception and send-off in her honor as Miss White River was held at the Batesville Chamber of Commerce on June 24.

The 44 contestants vying for the crown had their formal arrival on Sunday. Crum's preliminary competition began Tuesday with her private interview with the judges. Tonight she will compete in lifestyle and fitness, Thursday night is her talent competition and Friday night she will compete in evening gown.

The finals are Saturday night when the top 10 will be announced, and the finalists will then compete again in all phases of competition. A new Miss Arkansas will be crowned at the end of the evening.

The winner of Miss Arkansas 2010 will compete for the title of Miss America in January 2011, which will be televised on ABC this year.

Currently a graduate student at Arkansas State University pursuing her masters degree in communication studies, Crum graduated from Williams Baptist College with a bachelor of arts in English and a minor in communication arts. Her future plans are to be a broadcast journalist.

She has been competing in pageants since she was 11 years old, including the Miss Arkansas Pageant system. Competing has taught her that it's OK if you don't win, that you still gain experience in poise, presentation and composition.

"Pageants, whether I win or lose, have taught me how to work with other people, and how to cope with losing," Crum said. "They have also helped me overcome my incredible shyness."

Preparing to compete in the Miss Arkansas pageant is no easy feat.

To prepare for the fitness competition this year, she says she has focused on eating healthy and working out at least five days a week.

"Mr. Powers is always at the Powerhouse with a smile on his face and a kind word of encouragement," she said. She has practiced the song she will sing in the talent division every day, and is grateful to State Rep. J.R. Rogers and All Star Music for the sound equipment they loaned her to practice with.

"Although the private interview with the judges is one of my favorite phases of competition, it is the hardest to prepare for," Crum said. "I watch the news several times daily and check out headlines from online sources to stay up-to-date."

She said that she enjoys competing because she enjoys being involved with people of every age group from so many different walks of life.

"Through the Miss America Organization, I have met so many people and have had doors open to opportunities that I would have otherwise never experienced," said Crum. "Knowing that I could touch the life of just one person absolutely blesses my life! Also, I have a competitive nature-so the friendly competition is nice."

Following last year's Miss Arkansas Pageant, Crum has modeled at the International Fashion Market for designer Tony Bowls in Atlanta and Chicago, been a print, commercial and runway model for various other designers, appeared in a national magazine and attended the Miss America Pageant in January, a benefit of winning Miss White River.

She said the judges for Miss Arkansas are looking for a girl who can handle the job of Miss Arkansas-being a representative for the state, volunteering at events, speaking at schools and civic organizations, etc.

"They look for someone who will be a good role model, an advocate of the Children's Miracle Network and the Miss America Organization, someone who people can look up to," Crum explained.

She said the pageant is about so much more than just what you look like and winning a crown.

"It's about poise, presence, intellect, scholarship and style. It is first and foremost a job and secondly an honor," Crum added. "It presents the winner with new opportunities to serve throughout the state. For me, winning would be about what I could do for other people."

Crum is a 2006 graduate of Walnut Ridge High School and is the daughter of John and Karen Crum and the granddaugher of Virginia Crum, all of Walnut Ridge, and the late Helen Rash.

Each night of preliminary competition, as well as the crowning can be seen streamed live at www.uatvonline.net courtesy of the University of Arkansas journalism department.

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