Feb. 8 is the application deadline for the Miss UAFS Scholarship Pageant and the Princess Program, with two February fundraisers leading up to the March 2 pageant.
Contestants in the annual pageant at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith are competing in a preliminary to the Miss Arkansas Pageant, slated for July in Hot Springs. The Miss Arkansas winner advances to the Miss America Pageant. The Princess Program, which is not a competition, allows participants to appear on stage during the Miss UAFS Pageant.
All Miss UAFS contestants will greet diners Feb. 11 at Joe’s Grill and Cantina, 3400 S. 74th Street, for the Joe’s Night Scholarship Fundraiser. During Joe’s Night, contestants visit with the public and do interviews with media, with owner Rick Card writing a check for pageant scholarships at the end of evening. The Joe’s Night event is slated for 6 to 8 p.m.
Contestants and princesses take part in a Feb. 23 fashion show, sponsored each year by Phi Beta Lambda. This year’s PBL Fashion Show is slated for 7 p.m. at UAFS at Second Street, 101 N. 2nd St., and will feature contestants modeling the latest casual fashions, professional business attire and evening formal wear available from local retailers.
Sherry Card of Fort Smith, director of campus and community events, said participating in pageants provides young women an opportunity to earn cash and scholarship dollars. The Miss UAFS Pageant gave out $8,150 in cash awards and $10,000 in scholarship awards last year.
“But it is also a great way to make new friends, gain experience and boost self-confidence,” said Card. “Being a contestant in this pageant is a life experience.”
Card also said the Miss UAFS Pageant is a top one.
“Out of the 46 local preliminary pageants in the state, we are the fifth largest,” she said. “And since they started presenting awards for best local pageant in 2008, we have won the honor four years out of five.”
Girls ages 5-10 can participate in the Princess Program, according to Caitlin Taylor of Fort Smith, a ticketing specialist in the Campus and Community Events Office.
“The program is a wonderful opportunity to make new friends, receive great gifts and experience the glamour of pageant life in a non-competitive way,” said Taylor. “In addition to attending a tea party, walking in a fashion show and appearing in the Miss UAFS Pageant, participants will get to meet Miss UAFS, Miss Arkansas and Miss Oklahoma this year.”
Cost of the princess program is $100 per child. Girls receive a tiara, tickets to the Princess tea party, a T-shirt, goodie bag, two tickets for the Miss UAFS Pageant and a group photo with Miss UAFS and Miss Arkansas.
Contract requirements for entry in the Miss UAFS Pageant indicate participants must be no older than 24 as of Dec. 31, 2013, must be enrolled in UAFS on a full-time basis, have completed at least 12 credit hours, be a citizen of the U.S., have always been a female, are not currently or have ever been married, are not now or have ever been pregnant, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and have a minimum grade-point average of 2.0.
Miss UAFS application forms are available at www.missarkansas.org. For more information, contact Card at UAFS, by telephone at 479-788-7301 or by email at email@example.com. Registration forms for the Princess Program are available by contacting Taylor by telephone at 479-788-7667 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for the 7 p.m. Miss UAFS Pageant on March 2 are $10, available online at www.ticketsage.com/uafs or at the Box Office, located in Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center.