A Catawba woman won the title of Mrs. North Carolina America 2012 this weekend and the right to represent the state in the Mrs. America pageant next spring.
Jessica Harvey — Catawba resident and wife of professional baseball player Kris Harvey of the Florida Marlins — won the statewide pageant in Mooresville on Saturday night.
"Not only do I believe I have the qualifications to be a great representative for the state of North Carolina at the Mrs. America Pageant, but I truly believe I can be the next Mrs. America representing North Carolina proudly," Harvey said after winning the state pageant.
Harvey beat out 11 other competitors in front of a sellout crowd, according to pageant officials. In addition to first place overall, she won the pageant's swimsuit competition.
Kim Bealer, of Terrell, earned a top-five finish as the fourth runner-up. Bealer also won the pageant's "photogenic" competition.
Also in the top five overall were Ginger Herbert, of Cornelius; Shawna Goins, of Raleigh; and Paula May, of Greenville.
Harvey is a business development and marketing manager for a technology firm in Mooresville. She's also a professional model.
"My entire life, I have been driven by this urge to be the best at everything I do," she said.
"Whether it was earning top of the class in high school, outperforming other athletes in college, delivering results at work or the local bowling alley with friends.
"My whole life there have always been goals laid out to achieve or recognition to be earned. Now that I am in adulthood, and in this real world, I have found the standard to which I could measure myself. A system that applauds married women, who are beautiful, devoted to their families, intelligent and highly capable of being a role model for women across the nation," she continued.
Each contestant in the Mrs. North Carolina America pageant received an $800 gift bag. Harvey also received a package worth more than $77,000 — including gifts, services, prizes, a trip to the Mrs. America pageant and a pending trip to the Mrs. World pageant.
Harvey will compete for Mrs. America between April 20 and May 7 of next year.
"Jessica is a role model for all the women of North Carolina with her positive goal-oriented, can-do attitude," said Fred Galle, an executive director for Mrs. North Carolina America. "She is constantly giving back to her community, coaching high school athletes and bringing awareness to Angelman syndrome, a rare disease affecting her sister-in-law."
The 35th annual Mrs. North Carolina America pageant included contestants in their 20s, 30s and 40s, according to pageant officials.
The contest is an official preliminary for the Mrs. America pageant.
The winner of the national pageant earns a trip to the Mrs. World pageant in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 1-16, 2012, and prizes that total about $100,000.