Monday, February 22, 2016

Cara McCollum, Forrest City native and Miss America contestant, dies after car wreck

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 10:29 AM

click to enlarge otc_cara_121203.jpg
Cara McCollum, a Forrest City native who won the Miss New Jersey pageant and competed for Miss America during a break from attending Princeton, died early this morning, a week after her car spun off a New Jersey highway and crashed into trees. She was 24.

She was an anchor for SNJ Today, a news show in the southern New Jersey area.

Her platform, during her Miss America run, was youth literacy. It was a cause she had worked on since high school, when she was one of our Academic All-Stars. From her profile in 2010:

Cara says her achievement started with a love of reading. She wrote in her All-Star application essay that books have taken her around the world, from Sierra Leone with child soldiers to California with Dust Bowl Okies. More concretely, the learning they inspired took her to the Duke Talent Identification Program, where she studied dystopian literature, and to the Interlochen Summer Academy, where she worked on creative writing.

Reading isn't a selfish pursuit. Cara started a monthly story time at the Boys and Girls Club. She donated more than 1,000 books to a children's library. She started a countywide Birthday Book program for poor children aged 5-10, an outgrowth of the Christmas-time Toys for Tots campaign. Parents who registered for toys also were provided a book. She later expanded the birthday book program to a local elementary school, with a gift book for every child. Cara's work made her a finalist in the annual Daniel Cayce Award competition for youth volunteerism.

Her family posted this video of her on the Facebook page Prayers for Cara


Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6


Comments are closed.

More by Lindsey Millar

  • The Court Cuts Out Weed Edition

    The state Supreme Court invalidating a medical marijuana initiated act, the sentencing of Ted Suhl, Bart Hester’s tax plan, a terrible case of child abuse and a police killing in Little Rock — all covered on this week's podcast.
    • Oct 28, 2016
  • The Boeckmann Goes to Jail Edition

    The presidential race, the indictment of former district judge Joseph Boeckmann on federal charges, what Governor Hutchinson’s proposal to cut funds for War Memorial Stadium represents and more.
    • Oct 21, 2016
  • Arkansas Times Recommends: Indian Grocers, nerdcore documentaries, "Pepe the Frog" explainers, Anne Carson and more

    Arkansas Times Recommends is a series in which Times staff members (or whoever happens to be around at the time) highlight things we've been enjoying this week.
    • Oct 21, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • Hutchinson administration resists accountability in child rape case

    After a nightmarish revelation about serial rapes by a state-approved foster parent, the Hutchinson administration, from the governor on down, resist talking about how it happened.
  • Little Rock police kill man downtown

    Little Rock police responding to a disturbance call near Eighth and Sherman Streets about 12:40 a.m. killed a man with a long gun, Police Chief Kenton Buckner said in an early morning meeting with reporters.
  • From the mind of Sol LeWitt: Crystal Bridges 'Loopy Doopy': A correction

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is installing Sol Lewitt's 70-foot eye-crosser "Wall Drawing 880: Loopy Doopy," waves of complementary orange and green, on the outside of the Twentieth Century Gallery bridge. You can glimpse painters working on it from Eleven, the museum's restaurant, museum spokeswoman Beth Bobbitt said
  • Ted Suhl loses another bid for new trial; faces stiff sentencing recommendation

    Ted Suhl, the former operator of residential and out-patient mental health services, has lost a second bid to get a new trial on his conviction for paying bribes to influence state Human Services Department policies. Set for sentencing Thursday, Suhl faces a government request for a sentence up to almost 20 years. He argues for no more than 33 months.
  • Football and foster kids

    It took a football stadium to lay bare Republican budget hypocrisy in Arkansas.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation