07/24/11 — Paramount to host Miss N.C. Welcome Home event, fundraiser

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Paramount to host Miss N.C. Welcome Home event, fundraiser

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 24, 2011 1:50 AM

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Hailey Best

It's been a hectic first few weeks in her reign as Miss North Carolina, but Goldsboro's own Hailey Best says she's looking forward to returning to her hometown next week.

The Welcome Home, Miss North Carolina event will take place on Sunday, July 31, at 3 p.m. at the Paramount Theater.

"It's a chance for everyone to visit with me if they haven't seen me since I won," she said Thursday, while en route to an appearance in Myrtle Beach, S.C. "It's an opportunity to see the final night and the crowning moment."

The state pageant wasn't televised, so the local audience will be given a glimpse of the competition night leading up to her win. She also hopes to have most of the Top 10 finalists there, as well as other contestants.

It will be followed by a reception, including autographs and photos with Miss Best.

"We'll talk about Miss America, how they can get tickets if they want," she said. "It's basically a meet and greet. It's just going to be a fun little event."

All the proceeds will go to Children's Miracle Network, the national platform for Miss America. Every state titleholder is required to raise money for the cause.

Miss Best said she has already raised $8,000 and has a goal of collecting $17,000.

She also hopes to raise awareness and funds for her own platform, the Live On Foundation, which works with group and foster homes and homeless shelters.

The 20-year-old former Eastern Wayne High School student has extensive area ties -- in addition to family in Goldsboro and Mount Olive, she was an active member of StageStruck, performing often on the Paramount stage -- but next Sunday will mark her first official visit as state queen.

"This may be the one time I'm in Goldsboro for a while so I would love to see everybody -- from StageStruck, church, Eastern Wayne, wherever. I'm just excited to see everybody," she said.

Tickets to the event are $10 each and will not be sold in advance. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

The occasion will also be a chance to recognize some of the many local businesses that have supported Miss Best.

"I have tons of sponsors that have given me things, like Beverly Hills East has provided three dresses for me," she said. "The use of the Paramount Theater is being donated by Jernigan Furniture, and Mickey's is sponsoring the reception."

Since receiving the crown, life has moved at a frenetic pace, but Miss Best said that's all part of her new job.

"It's so much fun," she said. "It's just busy all the time. ... I was given a schedule the night I won.

"I get an (itinerary) a week in advance, two weeks in advance, or two hours in advance. But you know that going in, that's part of the fun."

Within days after winning the title, she was moved into an apartment in Raleigh by the pageant organization.

"I love it, it's really nice," she said. "It's actually the only green community in Raleigh. We have a pool, a gym and a movie theater.

"Tuesday I'll get a car from Toyota from Sanford."

While the months ahead will entail many appearances and opportunities for travel and community service, it is all leading up to competing in the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas in January.

This is the second time a Goldsboro representative has taken the state title.

According to the Miss North Carolina organization, Miss North Carolina 1942, Hilda Ward Taylor, was from Goldsboro.