LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Miss Arkansas Board of Directors announced Friday (May 8) that it would be postponing the 2020 State Pageant.
“The health and safety of our candidates, their families and our volunteers is our top priority in making the decision to postpone our state competition,” said Jessie Bennett, Executive Director of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Organization.
“With the Miss America Organization making the announcement today that there would not be a national competition in 2020, and that they would be moving to the Fall of 2021, and with the state our nation is currently in, we felt like the right thing to do for all involved was to postpone our 2020 competition as well,” Bennett said.
Local Executive Directors and the Miss and Outstanding Teen Candidates were told about the decision Friday on a conference call. The candidates will have the opportunity to retain their local title and compete June 13-19, 2021 for Miss Arkansas/Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen respectively.
Darynne Dahlem, Miss Arkansas 2019, and Sarah Cate Lay, Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2019, will continue their service to the state until our new state titleholders are crowned.
Darynne won over $100,000 in scholarships throughout her time competing in the Miss America Organization and will use those funds to begin Medical School at UAMS this Fall.
Sarah Cate will be a Senior at Mount Saint Mary Academy.
They will both continue serving as Ambassadors for Arkansas.
It was also announced that the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation will award each of the 2020 Miss Candidates a $1,000 scholarship and each of the 2020 Outstanding Teens will receive a $500 scholarship.
“Arkansas is blessed with generous scholarship donors who gave with the intention of helping our young women continue their education. Rather than let these funds sit idle we wanted to go ahead and award scholarships to the young women so they can be put to immediate use,” said Susie Morgan, President of the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation.
The Miss America Organization has long been the largest provider of scholarships for women in the world. The Miss Arkansas Board and Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation Board say they are committed to providing the best possible scholarship opportunities and experiences for the women who participate.
The Miss Arkansas Board is also looking at some other opportunities for not only the existing class of titleholders but for potential candidates as well. Those will be announced in the coming months.