The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

June 9, 2014

Miss Enid crowned Miss Oklahoma

By Jessica Miller, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

ENID, Okla. — It has been a “long journey” for the newly crowned Miss Oklahoma.

Alex Eppler, who has been serving as Miss Enid since November 2013, marked her fifth Miss Oklahoma pageant last week.

“When you experience defeat, it really pushes you to prioritize, and set new goals and push yourself to new limits,” she said.

Over the years, Eppler has been crowned Miss Oklahoma State Fair, Miss Moore Norman, Miss Edmond, Miss Tulsa and Miss Enid.

Eppler’s hometown is Edmond.

She explained that some of the local pageants have boundaries that contain other areas of the state. She said Edmond was close enough to qualify her for the Miss Enid pageant.

The Miss Oklahoma pageant is larger than the Miss Enid pageant, which Eppler recalls had about 12 contestants.

“It’s just a completely different mindset. It’s a little bit more competitive and it’s a full week of competition. It’s a full seven days, as opposed to one day,” she explained. “Usually for a local competition, you have your interview in the morning and then you do your competition on stage in the evening and then you’re finished by the end of the day.”

Since being crowned Miss Enid, Eppler has spoken at the Enid Denny Price Family YMCA’s father/ daughter breakfast and to the Kiwanis Club in Enid. She also has taught some science classes at Leonardo’s Children’s Museum.

Winners of the local pageants go on to compete in the Miss Oklahoma pageant, she said.

There were 47 women who qualified and competed over the past week at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

The pageant operates on a Miss America system.

Eppler said there are five phases of competition: interview, evening wear, swimsuit, talent and on-stage question.

She was crowned on Saturday evening.

“I was shaking. I honestly couldn’t believe that it was me and I was so excited that it was. But I’ve never just felt so much love and so much joy at one time. It was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling, it’s hard to describe,” Eppler said.

Following the crowning, she met the seven judges.

“They were very (complimentary) of me throughout the entire night. I don’t know if it’s just something that set me apart. I guess they just saw things in me that made me the best Miss Oklahoma that they could have chosen,” Eppler said. “I hate to say that it was me being better than somebody else, maybe just being more prepared for the job at this time.”

According to Eppler, she has grown through the experience.

“This organization empowers women, and it gives you many skills that you otherwise probably wouldn’t have the chance to obtain, or it might take you a long time to do so,” she said. “The biggest thing is healthy competition, I think — learning how to encourage each other and still compete against other people. And when you compete against other people, it really pushes you to grow yourself. It challenges you in ways that you never thought you’d be challenged.”

The Miss America pageant is scheduled for September.

“Between now and September, I will both prepare for the national competition as well as do appearances, interviews, school assemblies, speak to various groups and organizations across the state and that will be my entire year of service,” she said. “It’s a full-time job. I live in Tulsa and I travel across the sate and serve the people of Oklahoma.”

Eppler will continue her Dare 2 Care: Random Acts of Kindness platform in her role as Miss Oklahoma.

Through her platform, she partnered with the National Random of Acts of Kindness Foundation and implemented Random Acts of Kindness through various activities at the University of Oklahoma and in all of the Edmond middle schools.

“In the month of February, typically — which is the National Random Acts of Kindness month — they’ll do kindness events, whether it’s taping quarters to a parking meter, or writing encouraging sidewalk chalk, or putting encouraging notes on the mirrors in the bathroom or buying someone Starbucks behind you, there’s a variety of activities that we plan as part of the curriculum that we give to the schools,” she said.

Eppler graduated from the University of Oklahoma two years ago and had since served as a high school science teacher.

She will be giving up teaching for the time being.

“Since Miss Oklahoma (is) a full time job, 100 percent of my time is committed to being Miss Oklahoma,” she said.