A new Miss Arkansas has been crowned for 2018

A new Miss Arkansas has been crowned for 2018

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - A new Miss Arkansas has been crowned for 2018.

Forty-four contestants vied to be the next Miss Arkansas.

In the end, Claudia Raffo won to become 2018 Miss Arkansas.

Region 8 was represented very well in the Top 10, with Miss River Delta Ellie Stafford, Miss Greater Little Rock Jessica Miller (current A-State student), and Miss Historic Batesville Claudia Raffo making the Top 10.

Raffo received a $30,000 scholarship provided by Ted and Shannon Boy Skokos, Citgo and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation as well as $75,000 in wardrobe, transportation, gifts and other awards, pageant officials said Sunday.

Other awards received by Raffo Saturday were:

  • Katie Bailey Overall Swimsuit - a $2,500 scholarship given by Dr. Michael Cooper. Raffo finished in a tie with Miss Northwest Arkansas Darynne Dahlem.
  • Sarah Slocum Overall Interview - a $2,500 scholarship given by Renee and Don Ed Fronabarger. Raffo and Dahlem also finished in a tie in that category.
  • The Live Webcast Audience Favorite Award, in the amount of $500 and provided by JC Productions.
  • The Service Above Self Award, in the amount of $3,000 and provided by Rotary Club #99.

The P1 student at the UAMS School of Pharmacy and 2017 graduate of Arkansas State University has as her personal platform the topic of "New Life Saves Life: Umbilical Cord Donation."

She also plans to promote the Children's Miracle Network as well as Arkansas Children's Hospital during her yearlong reign.

Earlier in the week, the pageant held several preliminary events.

Miss Historic Batesville, Claudia Raffo won the Fitness in Swimsuit Preliminary Award, for Tuesday night's round of the pageant. Raffo also received a $1,000 Service Above Self Scholarship earlier in the week at the Rotary Club #99 Lunch, as well as a Legacy Award and the Asher Ray Mentor Award.

The Legacy Award is a $500 scholarship and is provided by the Miss Arkansas Hall of Fame Recipients, while the Asher Ray Mentor Award is a $1,000 scholarship and is provided by Miss Arkansas 2017 Maggie Benton and her family.

Ellie Stafford also won the Alpha Interview Award for the Sigma Group, winning a scholarship in the amount of $500 and provided by Hollyann and Josh Neal,  also, the Marty Walker Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 and provided by Chris Walker and Family, the Asher Ray CMN Miracle Award, with a $1,000 scholarship, presented by the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation, and the Social Media Promotions Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 and provided by the Miss Arkansas Pageant.

The top 10 competed live on stage in four categories: talent, evening gown, swimsuit and the question and answer session.

Raffo, who is the daughter of Tom and Paula Raffo of Jonesboro, will represent Arkansas in the 2019 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, NJ.

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