Every year, the outgoing Miss Clayton High School chooses an organization in the community to support by completing a service project and raising money to donate.
DeAndrea Hargett, Miss CHS 2013, chose Make-a-Wish of Eastern North Carolina, which is run by a Clayton High School graduate and former Miss Clayton High School, Kristen Mercer Johnson. DeAndrea and pageant director Amy Plant-Perdue planned several ways for them, as well as the 2014 contestants, to work with and raise money for Make-a-Wish.
The summer after she won, DeAndrea organized a team for the Walk for Wishes and raised several hundred dollars herself. Pageant directors and DeAndrea organized a movie night at CHS that was a huge success and collected close to $1,000. Tickets were sold for concessions, and students, teachers and their friends and family watched a movie in the school auditorium while eating Zaxby’s, Chick-fil-A, cotton candy, popcorn and cupcakes.
The 2014 contestants also collected money throughout the week leading up to the pageant in March, and audience members could donate money to their favorite contestant during intermission on pageant night. The contestant who raised the most money and was given the People’s Choice Award was Kristen Duncan.
After all three of these events, the Miss Clayton High School Pageant raised a total of $2,500 for Make-a-Wish Eastern NC. A group from the pageant was invited to attend Make-a-Wish’s first W.I.S.H. luncheon that was held to honor women who work with the organization.
Since then, this year’s winner, Caroline Haller, and Amy Plant-Perdue have continued to work with Make-a-Wish Eastern NC. The two volunteered at and attended the 2014 Wish Ball held in Raleigh in May. They helped by setting up auction items before the event and serving as greeters as attendees entered.
While Caroline has chosen a military group for this year’s organization, the Miss Clayton High School Pageant will continue to support Make-a-Wish Eastern NC each year through events and volunteering.