Natalie Marcus of Manila is on her way to the 2011 Miss Arkansas Pageant which will be held in Hot Springs July 10-16. She presently holds the title of Miss Greater Jonesboro.
Natalie took an interest in getting to the Miss America Pageant and competed in five preliminary Miss Arkansas pageants including Miss Lights of the Delta, Miss Crowley's Ridge, Miss ASU, Miss Three Rivers and Miss Greater Jonesboro.
She has received scholarship money throughout the process, along with an interview award and a few talent awards.
Miss Marcus received a 15 hour ANC scholarship in November from the Miss Lights of the Delta Pageant. She was runner-up in Miss Crowley's Ridge Pageant held in Piggott in December. She was again first runner up for Miss ASU in February receiving a $500 scholarship and the talent award.
She again received first runner-up honors at the Miss Three Rivers in February receiving two years full tuition to ASU Newport.
Miss Greater Jonesboro was held at the Valley View Fine Arts building on March 5. She received the talent and interview awards, $100 scholarship from each, and $1,500 for first place.
Her talent is singing and she sang "Think of Me" from the musical Phantom of the Opera.
She said she has had a lot of encouragement from God-loving people in her life.
Natalie did not grow up participating in a lot of pageants. She was in a couple of small pageants in elementary school and competed for Miss Arkansas Teen USA as a junior in high school.
"I didn't really know much about the pageant system until I started getting into the America system," she said. "Miss NEA, Somer Allen, has been a great encourager and a great friend along the way."
Natalie said her future plans include pursuing God's will in all areas of her life.
"I plan to pursue the title of Miss Arkansas and support my platform, the "House that Love Built," she said. "This is the Ronald McDonald House."
Her advice to anyone interested in pageants is to keep a cheerful heart.
"A cheerful heart shows through your smile," she said. "Don't be afraid to ask and prepare to take on the responsibility. Be prepared to set an example and encourage as many as you can along the way."
Natalie said any individual or business who would like to sponsor her in the state pageant or make a donation can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She will be required to sell at least one page in the pageant program at state.
Her directors preparing her include Christina Ryan, former fourth runner up Mrs. America, and Sean Pollock, director of music at First Methodist Church in Jonesboro.
Natalie has raised $400 so far for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and is still working to raise more.
"On April 13 at Fazzolis Restaurant in Jonesboro, 20 percent of all purchases made between 5-8 p.m. will go to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH)," she said. On April 13, 10 percent of all purchases between 5-8 p.m. at Blue Coast Burrito in Jonesboro will go to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. The Miss America organization has partnered with Children's Network Hospitals this year."
Natalie is looking forward to the experience of the Miss Arkansas Pageant and expressed her appreciation to all of her family and friends for their support.
Natalie is the daughter of Dr. Trent and Misty Marcus of Manila. Dr. Marcus is a Lt. Commander in the Navy. She has a younger sister, Charlsey Marcus, a student at Manila.