“They said that Plaza Towers and Briarwood were gone and everybody started freaking out and crying because their little brothers and sisters were there,” Gardiner said.
Her father, Robert Gardiner, was at work in Norman when he heard about the tornado. He didn't know whether his daughter was alive until about 10 p.m., when he finally made it to her school, walking the final five miles through the rubble. When he got there, he found his daughter wrapped in a blanket, helping other parents find their kids.
On June 12, Head, an entourage of former titleholders from Oklahoma and the group of 20 hit the town for the “Queen for a Day” event. The titleholders were: Miss OK Teen USA 2002 Joy Cometti, Miss OK USA 2005 Laci Scott, Miss OK USA 2007 Caittlin Hoffman, Miss OK USA 2003 Star Williams, Mrs. OK 2005 Ryan McLaughlin and Miss OK USA 2001 Cortney Smith.
The first stop: The Makeup Bar, where all the women got new makeup looks. Dolled up, the group then visited Davenport's Salon, where they were given gift baskets full of hair products. Then, the group descended on Gil's Clothing and Denim Bar, where each got to spend $100.
During lunch at On The Border, the excitement continued with the women and girls receiving three months free at Rogue Crossfit in Edmond, gift baskets from TiGi and discounts at a Christian leadership program run by Star Williams, Miss Oklahoma USA 2003.
The group then stopped at Payless Shoe Source, where they got to choose any pair of shoes they wanted, courtesy of a donor.
Then the group headed back to a residence in Edmond where they were presented with big plastic boxes filled with girlie things, including 10 shirts each from Forever 21, autographs from all the titleholders involved and a special autograph from a good friend of Head's: singer Katy Perry.
Gardiner said that was her highlight for the day.
For Mach, the highlight was seeing the community come together and reach out to help others.
And for Head, it was a chance to give back to the state that gave her so much as a rising beauty queen.
“We had a fantastic day,” Head said.