Miss Wilson wins talent preliminary

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Miss Wilson Jerenae Raeford was preliminary talent award winner in Wednesday’s Miss North Carolina competition.

Raeford sang an opera vocal, “Je Veux Vivre,” from “Romeo et Juliette” in the preliminary, leading up to Saturday’s pageant.

On Tuesday night, she was awarded the Elizabeth Christine Stovall Music Scholarship.

“I’m so excited and proud of her,” said Debbie Viverette, a Miss Wilson board member. “Her work is definitely paying off.

“Not only is she a talented young woman, she is humble, kind, genuine and so gracious.”

Raeford, a 23-year-old graduate of East Carolina University who grew up in Fayetteville, is representing Wilson County at the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant this week.

In a previous interview, Raeford said she her strongest pageant attribute is her singing talent.

“I’ve been singing all my life and my entire family on both sides are singers and musicians and that’s what I studied in school, and that’s what I do now, so that’s what I feel most confident and comfortable in,” she said.

Raeford is the daughter of Jeremy Wright and Ladonna McNeill, both of Fayetteville.

Cassie Scott is representing the area as Wilson’s Outstanding Teen 2018. She is a 15-year-old student at Bunn High School.

The Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant preliminaries run through Thursday.

Fifteen contestants will move on to the finals on June 23.

ABC affiliate WTVD Channel 11 will broadcast the pageant.

The 15th finalist will be a people’s choice contestant determined by online vote at http://abc11.com/missnc/.

Raeford will perform an opera vocal during the Miss North Carolina Pageant.