Miss N.C. gets new ride

Edmonds plans returns to Sanford in brand-new Camry
Jul. 08, 2013 @ 05:39 PM

There are many perks to being Miss North Carolina, including a free car from Fred Anderson Toyota of Sanford.

Newly crowned Johna Edmonds learned that Monday, becoming the fourth pageant winner in a row to pick up a brand new car from the local Toyota dealership. Manager Joe Wynns said the opportunity arose back in 2010, and he was glad to sign up in exchange for the state beauty queen returning to town several times over the course of her one-year reign.

“It’s just worked out well for us,” he said. It’s worked out well for his dealership, too — he said. The previous Miss North Carolina, Arlie Honeycutt, is in the process of buying the car she had last year. And Edmonds, who smiled as she checked out the cherry red 2013 Camry she’ll be driving around the state for the next year, said she might go down the same route.

“This car’s about to be my best friend,” she said.

The 24-year-old Edmonds will be coming back to Lee County several times to promote pageants as well as her personal platform, which is focused on literacy. Last year, Honeycutt did the same, attending the Lee Regional Fair, performing at the local pageant and reading to students.

“I hope to work with a lot of elementary schools across the state,” Edmonds, who is from Lumberton, said Monday. “I want to promote literacy and a love of reading.”

For some students, reading can be a lot of work, but Edmonds knows about hard work. She’s only a few credits short of finishing her master’s degree in accounting at N.C. State University, where she also attended undergrad — so red was a proper choice for her new car — and she also volunteers with various reading programs in addition to her work with the pageant, where she spreads her pro-literacy message.

This was her third try at the pageant and final chance before aging out, so she said she’s glad to have won and gotten the chance to promote her platform, officially called “Readers to Leaders: Promoting Literacy in America’s Youth.”

It’s not all serious business, though, and she said that when she’s in town next fall for the fair, people can also expect to hear a sampling of the vocal talent that helped her win the North Carolina title in June and could propel her to becoming Miss America — a lifelong dream.

During her next stop in Sanford, Edmonds joked about the possibility of putting on a song-and-dance routine.

“I sing,” she said. “I don’t know about dancing, though. I’ve got two left feet. There was a little girl in here earlier who was a good dancer, though, so I might have to call on her.”