Crowns won, tickets punched

The six winners flank Miss North Carolina 2018 Victoria Huggins onstage after the Miss NC Sweeps Pageant | North State Journal

JOHNSTON COUNTY — The Miss North Carolina pageant contestant list is complete as the state pageant held a “sweeps” pageant on Saturday to crown the final six contestants who will look to trade in their local crown for the Miss North Carolina crown and a chance to become Miss America. The Miss North Carolina pageant will be held in mid-June in Raleigh and Miss America will be crowned in September in Atlantic City.

The six new titles await backstage at the Miss NC Sweeps Pageant | North State Journal

The Miss N.C. organization hosts a final pageant each year to allow contestants who had not yet earned a crown in other local contests or who were not eligible for earlier competitions to earn their spot in the coveted field for Miss N.C. This year, 16 young women competed for the six titles which are named for cities and regions within N.C. not already represented at the state pageant. The pageant was held at Cleveland High School in Johnston County. The winners are listed below.

Miss Raleigh — Isabella Gaines of Wilmington is a graduate of John T. Hoggard High School and a freshman at East Carolina University and pursuing a degree in social work. Gaines’ platform is “The NoMakeupSelfie Network,” an anti-bullying campaign. Gaines was Miss Wilmington 2017 and was a member of the 2017 Azalea Festival Queens Court.

Miss Greensboro — Karen Stallings of Wayne County is a graduate of East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in applied sociology from 2016. Stallings works full time as a ninth-grade English teacher at Charles B. Aycock High School, her alma mater. Stallings’ platform is “The RISE Movement,” which seeks to build student character and confidence. Stallings was Miss Spivey’s Corner 2017.

Miss Greenville — Allison Bunn of Spring Hope is a freshman at East Carolina University. She is studying nursing and aspires to one day become a flight nurse. Bunn’s platform is “Step Up to the Plate: Encouraging Community Involvement,” which encourages people to give back to their communities.

Miss Durham — Savannah Rae Culbreth is a freshman at the UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music with a concentration in vocal performance. Her platform is “The Sticks and Stones Project: Breaking the Stigma Associated with Verbal Abuse.”

Miss Outer Banks — Rachel Thompson is a senior at Duke University where she is pursuing a degree in philosophy with a minor in chemistry. She plans to become a pediatric dentist. Thompson’s service platform is “Body Image,” providing young women with tools and tips to cultivate and sustain their self-confidence in their body image through fitness, nutrition, and mental and emotional wellness.

Miss Winston-Salem — Caroline Haller of Clayton is a junior at East Carolina University studying accounting. Haller’s platform is “Find A Happy Place: Promoting Good Mental Health.” She was Miss Kinston-Lenoir 2017.

Ashley Underhill and Alex White talk backstage before the finale of the Miss NC Sweeps Pageant | North State Journal

Ashley Underhill was the co-host of the pageant as the outgoing Miss Eastern Carolina. Underhill is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and currently works at IQVIA in Durham.