News-Star: Community

Pageant helps grant wishes

Kristen Mercer Johnson, center, chief executive of Make-a-Wish of Eastern North Carolina, accepts a check from Miss Clayton High School Deandra Hargett, right, and 2014 pageant winner Caroline Haller.
Kristen Mercer Johnson, center, chief executive of Make-a-Wish of Eastern North Carolina, accepts a check from Miss Clayton High School Deandra Hargett, right, and 2014 pageant winner Caroline Haller. JOHNSTON COUNTY SCHOOLS

Every year, the outgoing Miss Clayton High School chooses an organization to support through fund-raising projects.

DeAndrea Hargett, Miss Clayton High 2013, chose Make-A-Wish of Eastern North Carolina, an organization run by Kristen Mercer Johnson, a former Miss Clayton High School.

The summer after she won the title, Hargett put together a team that raised several hundred dollars in the Walk for Wishes. A movie night at Clayton High raised close to $1,000.

Also, the 2014 contestants collected money during the week leading up to the pageant in March, and on pageant night, audience members could donate money in the name of their favorite contestant. Contestant Kristen Duncan raised the most money and received the People’s Choice Award.

With all three of these events, the Miss Clayton High School Pageant raised $2,500 for Make-a-Wish Eastern NC.

A group from the pageant attended Make-a-Wish’s first W.I.S.H. luncheon, held to honor women who work with the organization. Since then, this year’s winner, Caroline Haller, and pageant director Amy Plant-Perdue have continued to work with Make-a-Wish. The two volunteered at the 2014 Wish Ball held in May in Raleigh. They set up auction items before the event and served as greeters as attendees entered.

While Haller has chosen a military group as this year’s beneficiary, the Miss Clayton High School pageant will continue to support Make-a-Wish through events and volunteering.

  Comments