It wasn’t until 2 a.m. on June 24 that Arlie Honeycutt realized what had transpired the previous evening. Taking off the crown, she looked at the four points and looked to her mother, Beth, and the two began to cry.
Arlie had been crowned the 75th Miss North Carolina.
“It’s a whirlwind,” Arlie said days later. “It’s off to a riveting start.”
Already, the Garner girl has done countless interviews and made several appearances. The next year will be a fulltime job. The rising junior at East Carolina University will take a year off of school to perform her duties as Miss North Carolina and take part in the Miss America pageant in January 2013.
However, she will return to her studies in vocal performance with more than $15,000 in scholarships.
“It’s a really really good opportunity to further your education,” Arlie, an Enloe High School graduate, said.
Before, a Master’s degree was something Arlie thought would be out of her reach. Now, it’s a real possibility.
‘Once a Garner girl, always a Garner girl’
Arlie knows she wouldn’t be where she is now without the support of her hometown. She grew up in Garner, moving to the town in 1993. And the saying “Once a Garner girl, always a Garner girl,” has never been truer.
“Thanks to everyone for all the support,” Arlie said.
Her father, Scott, said some of the first congratulatory text messages he received were from Garner Mayor Ronnie Williams and town manager Hardin Watkins.
“The people of Garner really pull for you,” Scott said. “Garner is a great place to be. It’s not a slogan. It’s really the truth.”
But as great as Garner has been, Arlie’s family has been her biggest support. Her younger brother and a rising freshman at Enloe, Jackson, exemplified sibling affection and the family’s close bond when he presented Arlie with a bouquet of origami flowers after she won the pageant.
While she held the title of Miss Kinston Lenoir before being crowned Miss North Carolina, it was in Garner that Arlie got her start on stage. She performed with the Towne Players in “Reveille” when she was 13 years old, singing Ella Fitzgerald’s “Stairway to the Stars”.
“The more a child gets to perform, the greater their confidence gets,” Scott said.
The opportunity to work with the Towne Players allowed Arlie face pressure on stage and gave her self-assurance as a performer just like it has helped so many other young people from Garner.
After she performed at “Reveille”, Arlie was encouraged to enter the pageant world.
She was crowned the 2007 Miss Garner’s Outstanding Teen in November 2006. Arlie went on to be named Johnston County’s Outstanding Teen in 2008 and Eastern Carolina’s Outstanding Teen in 2009. Each time, she represented the respective area at the state level.
“It gave her another outlet to perform and another outlet to meet people,” Scott said.
Representing North Carolina
Now, Arlie is ready to further her platform, the “Domino Effect: Inspiring Volunteerism One Person at a Time”. She got a jump start as Miss Kinston Lenoir when she worked with children at a local library in May. She looks forward to building off of that community outreach while making appearances and representing her state.
“There’s just so much to do,” Scott said. “But it’s all fun stuff, so we’re not complaining.”
Looking to the future, Scott isn’t nervous for his daughter. He sees it as the opportunity of a lifetime.
“You’re more likely to have a son play in the Super Bowl than you are to have a daughter in the Miss America Pageant.”
Scott and Beth just want to make sure their daughter represents North Carolina to the best of her ability.
“We’re so proud to be North Carolinians and so proud of where we live.”
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.