Leader Blues

Monday, March 05, 2007

TOP STORY >>Send-off in style

IN SHORT: Friends, co-workers and supporters gather to wish Miss Arkansas USA good luck.

By CHRISTY HENDRICKS
Leader staff writer

“When I was in the military, I won’t tell you what branch, we never had lieutenants who look like that,” said Gov. Mike Beebe Thursday evening at the Miss Arkansas USA send-off at Little Rock Air Force Base for Lt. Kelly George. “I know she will represent us, the Air Force and Arkansas with class and dignity.”

The emcee for the evening, Aaron Nolan, weekend sports anchor with KARK 4 News, introduced the governor, who was pleased Lt. Kelly George was representing Arkansas.

Beebe made a brief stop to kick off the charity fund-raising event to “wish the lieutenant success.”
“Whether you come in 50th or first, you are our lady,” Beebe said. The invitation-only event was held at the Consolidated Club at Little Rock Air Force Base.

A silent auction included such as items autographed Jermain Taylor boxing gloves, an autographed Rod Smith football, gift baskets, gift certificates, autographed hats and movies.

All proceeds from the event went to the Little Rock Air Force Base Good Samaritan Fund.

After cutting her Miss Arkansas USA cake, 2nd Lt. George was presented with a key to the city of Sherwood by Mayor Dan Stedman. Stedman proclaimed the week of March 18-24 Kelly George, Miss Arkansas USA week.

A fashion show featured Suzanne Overstreet, Stephanie Cornell, Sierra Easteep and Demi Taylor, who modeled outfits from Venue of Little Rock.

Lt. George modeled her wardrobe for the Miss USA pageant, including her evening gown.

Designed by Sherri Hill for Jovani, the gown was custom- made for George and consists of crystal beads and velvet.

Silent auction winners were announced after the fashion show. Col. Scott Lockard, 314th Mission Support Group commander, took home a pair of autographed Jermain Taylor boxing gloves, raising $300 for the Good Samaritan Fund.
Capt. Andy Venne, the commander’s executive, took home no less than seven items.

“She’s a doll,” Col. Lockard said.

The total amount raised was approximately $1,700 for the Good Samaritan Fund.

Miss Arkansas USA closed the night’s events by thanking “all you guys for coming out.”

“I’m just amazed by everyone here,” she said. “I wanted this to also be a celebration of women,” George said of the evening. “There are such strong women here.”

George addressed the young girls in attendance, “If you wanna grow up and wear a crown or combat boots, now’s the time to start.

“Both are equally important, one more so than the other,” she said.

George then had the young girls stand up and repeat after her, “I can be anything I want to be not someday, but today.”