Two Garner women compete in Miss America pageant

Posted January 5, 2009 5:01 p.m. EST

— Two women from Garner are among the contestants in the 2009 Miss America Pageant.

Amanda Watson is Miss North Carolina. Kendria Perry, who was Miss North Carolina in 2007, will represent Pennsylvania, where she attends graduate school.

Both have held the title of Miss Garner, Perry in 2007 and Watson in 2008. Pageant officials think this is the first time that two competitors have come from the same local pageant.

Watson is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying music. Her talent is opera singing. Her platform is ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She serves as a national spokesperson for the ALS Association, after losing her grandfather to the disease.

Perry studied piano at the N.C. School of the Arts and is pursuing master's degree at Carnegie Mellon University. Her platform issue is “Art Works!,” an arts-in-education initiative focused on 21st Century workplace readiness.

“This is certainly a special time for the Town of Garner,” said Mayor Ronnie Williams.

The pageant airs live from Las Vegas on Jan. 24 on TLC.