Lorna McNeill, Beta Chapter, was crowned Miss North Carolina on June 17, 2000 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.
“I am absolutely ecstatic,” she said just minutes after winning the crown. “I feel like I’m on cloud nine.”
McNeill, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, qualified for the state pageant by winning the crown of Miss Topsail Island. This was her second time in the Miss North Carolina contest -- the first time was as Miss Fayetteville in 1998.
Wearing a black, long-sleeved gown, she sang the Aretha Franklin hit “Natural Woman” on her way to the title at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium Saturday night.
“My tribe is overwhelmed right now,” she said. She said she believes she is the first Lumbee to win the state pageant, and she could not have done it without a lot of support from people back home in Robeson County.
As Miss North Carolina, McNeill wins scholarships valued at $10,000 and became eligible to compete in the Miss America Pageant which was held in October. (excerpt from the Fayetteville Observer Times)