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Carli Pendleton named Miss NOC Tonkawa

Cutline: Carli Pendleton (middle) of Tonkawa was named Miss NOC Tonkawa on Oct. 29. Chandler Brown of Ponca City (left) was the 1st runner up while Karah McCleary of Blackwell was 2nd runner up. (photo by John Pickard/Northern Oklahoma College).

Carli Pendleton of Tonkawa was named Miss Northern Oklahoma College Tonkawa 2020 at the dual Miss NOC Tonkawa-Miss NOC Enid Scholarship Competition at NOC Tonkawa Oct. 29.

Upon hearing the winning announcement, the 18-year-old freshman first thought the right number had not been called. “I had to process the information,” she said. “Being named Miss NOC Tonkawa gives me the empowerment to have more confidence and a new way to be a role model for young girls.”

Crowned by Miss NOC Tonkawa 2019 Karli Lovelace of Stillwater, Miss Pendleton received a $1000 scholarship expense award, Miss America crown and pin, sash and a bouquet of long-stemmed red roses. She will advance to the Miss Oklahoma Scholarship Competition in Tulsa next June, according to Shannon Varner, executive director of the Miss NOC Competition.

First runner-up Chandler Brown of Ponca City received a $600 scholarship expense award and second runner-up Karah McCleary, Blackwell, received a $400 scholarship expense award.

Others vying for the title were Brittney Edwards, Stillwater; Collyn Combs, Bartlesville; Aerin Rhea, Medford; Savannah Dolezal, Perry; and Mariah Moberly, Oklahoma City. Each received a $250 tuition waiver participation award. Candidates were judged in on-stage question, artistic expression, and presence and poise in evening wear during which they presented their social impact statements. Earlier in the day they were individually interviewed by the judges.

A music theatre major, the new Miss NOC Tonkawa plans to pursue a career as a professional performer or as a teacher of theatre. In the artistic expression portion of the competition she sang “The World Above” from the Broadway musical The Little Mermaid.

During her reign, she will promote her social impact initiative, “Keeping the Arts in Our School Systems,” chosen because “without the arts I wouldn’t be the person I am. Art is one of the biggest forms of expression we have in our daily lives, but due to low funding and budget cuts, many people are losing the opportunity to learn about and participate in the arts.”

She plans to raise funds to support arts programs and to use social media to promote awareness of the importance of arts in schools. “Most small schools earn money through fundraising of donations by locals [to keep their arts programs alive.] The funding in smaller schools needs to increase for the arts so that even the smaller schools have the funds to let kids express themselves through the arts. Aid me in helping to fund the arts in our schools,” she urges.

Miss Pendleton “totally” encourages young women to participate in the Miss NOC Competition because “you meet new people and grow more in confidence in yourself. Standing on stage with amazing women gives you a sense of empowerment.”

She is the daughter of Nancy and Darren Pendleton and the granddaughter of Marilyn Pendleton, Tonkawa, and of the late Lynda Ronck, Blackwell. Her sister, Kira, is a sophomore at Tonkawa High School.

Dr. Edward Dixon, NOC Fine Arts Division chair, served as master of ceremonies for the evening. Special entertainment was by Miss Lovelace, singing the hymn “Softly and Tenderly,” Miss NOC Enid 2019 Alexis Large, performing Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” and Dr. Dixon, singing “For Good” from the Broadway musical Wicked.

 Before making their farewell walks, the Miss NOC 2019 royalty introduced their Oklahoma Stars, young girls whom they selected to mentor. Miss Lovelace presented budding paleontologist Scarlette Cassens, daughter of Cara and Rick Cassens of Ponca City, and Miss Large presented Kaysen Arnold, daughter of Kelli and Kolby Arnold, Cherokee. NOC President Dr. Cheryl Evans presented official portraits to Miss Lovelace and Miss Large.

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