Thomas "Thom" J. McGarvey Jr., for three decades the executive director of the Miss Hawaii Pageant, died January 8 at the Craigside Assisted Living Facility in Nuuanu. He was 70.
Today, Miss America Organization’s Chairman and CEO, Sam Haskell, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri and newly elected Mayor of Atlantic City, Don Guardian announced the date of the world’s most famous scholarship competition for young women in its New Jersey birthplace, Atlantic City. Haskell announced the date for the beloved competition will be Sunday, September 14, 2014, live on ABC at 9 PM EST. The official announcement was made with Casino Reinvestment Development Authority’s (CRDA) Executive Director, John Palmieri, the Atlantic City Alliance's (ACA) President, Liza Cartmell, and Miss America Organization’s President, Sharon Pearce.
By achieving 501c3 status, you can change the way your pageant operates and makes money. Here is a step-by-step guide to applying for 501c3 status, with input with Miss New Hampshire Executive Director Brenda Keith.
Personal branding is the first step to creating a seamless and consistent foundation upon which to share one’s story and mission with judges. “Branding, for an individual, is the way you want to be identified and how you would like to be perceived,” said Allison Kreiger Walsh of McKenna Walsh Coaching and Professional Management, Miss Florida 2006. “It is what makes you stand out from the rest and celebrates the uniqueness within each of us.”
Once you figure out the common thread you’d like to weave throughout your competition, Allison recommends going public. Create a website or blog on which you could share your story, your beliefs, and your platform. Also, make it known to media sources that you are available for interviews. “It will immediately add credibility to your brand,” Allison said. “If people see you as the expert, they will look to you as an important source of information, whether it be for your personal brand or in business.”
Narrow Your Areas of Interest
In their effort to be well-rounded, many young women today have a hard time narrowing down their areas of interest. While it is important to be relatable on many levels as a Miss America contestant, Allison warns against hindering personal development by having too many irons in the fire: “I always say you don't want to be a Jack of all trades and a master at none.” Instead, dig deep to find who you really are, and refine that to achieve consistency. “Your brand can make all the sense in the world to you,” she said, “but if you are not projecting it properly, it will get lost.”
Live Your Brand
Jennifer McKenna, Allison’s partner at McKenna Walsh Coaching and Miss Virginia 2002, says it is because she incorporates her brand into every aspects of life, from pageantry to family to business, that she is more recognizable. It could also help an individual stay focused on who and what she truly is. “It allows you to develop a strong sense of self so that you can clearly and articulately describe not only who you are, but also portray that same message through your actions and affiliations,” Jennifer said.
Focusing on your brand will not limit your potential, but help to advance your opportunities, Allison said. “When I really focused my branding efforts in a certain area, so many doors opened. I had managed to create a strong brand for myself that was recognizable in the arena that I wanted to be involved in.”
Read more about branding and McKenna Walsh Coaching in the December/January 2012-13 issue of fourpoints!
Written by: Erika Rose is fourpoints magazine's staff writer.
The stakes are high in Washington, D.C., as are the expectations for professionalism at a level standing as resolute as the pillars of the Capitol. There’s no time to ease into a year of service for titleholders representing the nation's capital, and if the Miss District of Columbia Scholarship Organization Executive Director Teri Galvez has anything to do with it, her young women will be ready.
If you have ever had the privilege of judging a Miss America preliminary pageant, you know that it is a wonderful opportunity and a huge responsibility. When you are asked to join a panel of judges, you are being asked to choose a titleholder who will represent a community for an entire year and go on to the next level of competition. It's not an easy job, or one that should be taken lightly. Be an able, competent judge by using this guide.
Know the Scoring System
The Miss America Organization has its own unique scoring system, like all pageant systems. Before the day your pageant begins, familiarize yourself with the scoring rubric so you give thoughtful scores to each contestant.
For preliminary competitions, each contestant is judged in all phases of competition (interview, talent, onstage question, swimsuit, and evening wear) and given a score ranging from one to ten. There is no hard and fast rule on what kind of performance deserves a certain score–that is up to your discretion. It is a subjective scoring system, but McNeil Chestnut, a volunteer in North Carolina who often teaches judging seminars, suggests that you start with a five. Before a contestant steps on the stage or in the interview room, is is at a five–average. From there, her score can go up or down. Very low scores (one to three) or very high scores (eight to ten) should be reserved for extreme performances. A good way to avoid comparative scoring is to act as if each contestant is the only contestant in the pageant.
Know What You Are Looking For
Each titleholder within the Miss America system has the same basic job–represent her community during her year of service, work on her platform, and compete at the next level. However, each local or state title has unique responsibilities and requirements. During your judging prep at the pageant, ask pointed questions to the judges chairperson or executive director on exactly what kind of contestant they are searching out. For example, some titleholders do intensive school tours during their year. You will need to find a contestant who is willing and able to travel constantly, can speak to large, diverse groups, and thinks quickly on her feet. You are always searching for the next Miss State or Miss America, but the reality is this: only one contestant goes on to hold that title.
Know the End Game
When you judge a pageant and see your titleholder crowned, it can feel like an ending. In actuality, it's all just beginning for the newly crowned titleholder and the pageant that will support her. In the moment that crown is placed on her head, her entire life has changed. It is imperative that you take your job of judging very seriously. You are giving a pageant system a titleholder that will help further their message and forever be a part of their history. You are making a difference.
To learn more tips for judging preliminary pageants, subscribe to fourpoints!
Sold out–two words that everyone in the show, from the producer to the performer, loves to see. Imagine looking out from behind the curtain during your pageant and seeing a sea of smiling, excited faces. It's a wonderful dream, but reality often doesn't match up. Bill Haggerty, co-executive director/executive producer for the New Hampshire Scholarship Program, and Michelle Metzger, executive director of the Miss Texas program, know the value of filling seats.
What is the value of ticket sales to scholarship programs?
Bill Haggerty: Ticket sales for the pageant are substantial for helping to support the program cost and the cost of the show–and for making a profit besides. The first thing you need to do is set a reasonable price for your tickets according to your demographics. The price they charge in another place may not be appropriate in your area.
Michelle Metzger: Ticket pricing has to be attractive for a family of four to attend the event. Also, implementing some revenue sharing arrangement with local charitable organizations can help incentivize them to sell tickets and attend themselves.
BH: I can't emphasize how important the contestants and their families are, especially with the advent of social media. Miss America kicked it off two years ago when they began to use online voting to put contestants into the top fifteen. That has opened more avenues for ticket sales.
What other new ideas are you using to increase ticket sales?
MM: One idea suggested by our host facility was to use local Girl Scout, Boy Scout, and charitable organizations to sell our tickets and allow them to keep a portion of the proceeds for themselves.
BH: One event that has been successful for us we modeled after media days at the Super Bowl. We invite the media to come to a rehearsal of the program. They don't see the entire show, or even finished sets and costumes because of how far it is ahead of the show, but they'll be able to see the opening act, along with another production number, for photos and video.
What are some of the more "traditional" strategies that you use?
BH: We try to get information to every weekly paper in our area. We also work with the local cable TV stations. Again, the local, smaller stations are more willing to work with you.
MM: In the past, we have relied on "pageant family" patrons for our tickets, and from my observation, we have sold a very small percentage to the general public. Also, sponsors were given tickets they may or may not use, and usually these were the best seats in the house. We plan to have sponsor tickets converted into vouchers that can be used to redeem at the box office then have the sponsors in a suite box above the main audience.
As a judge, Valerie Hayes has heard contestants make some really bad gaffes during their interview. The worst interview answer she ever heard was given by a stunningly beautiful and talented contestant who impressed the judges with her winning look as soon as she entered the room. However, when asked what made the Miss America Organization special, she said it was the fact that it was owned by Donald Trump and that the winner got to go on to compete in Miss Universe.
Winning the crown is more than beauty and talent alone. You have to develop your content and demonstrate that you're an intelligent woman who can represent the title, Valerie says. Contrary to popular belief, no one votes for an airhead.
Without question, the biggest mistake contestants make while preparing for their interview is under-developing their personal platform. What makes the Miss America Organization a leader is its commitment to community service. As the local, state, and national titleholder, you will be making appearances promoting and marketing your platform, but many contestants spend more time selecting their competition wardrobe than they do strategically planning and developing their platform. You won't be able to get appearances, discuss your marketing plan in the interview room, or compete at the state or national level if you don't correctly develop your platform for your local competition.
You need to sit down at the beginning of your pageant season and really plan out and fully develop your platform. Make sure you have a platform that is unique to you and helps you stand out as a contestant. Don't follow trends when selecting and developing your platform. After all, Miss America is about community leadership, not community, "followship." Really think through how you can make a difference through your platform and what type of appearances people will actually book you for. "Education and awareness" on your topic just isn't enough. Everyone is doing that, so why would you want to do that, too?
Source: Valerie Hayes
Spray tanning and its many facets is a wonderful way to give your skin a healthy glow while avoiding the harmful UV radiation in tanning beds. Kelly Richardson, president of Be Bronze, thinks so too, in fact, she sat down with fourpoints to give us (and you!) the scoop on spray tanning know-how.
How you look onstage is the end result of months of training and preparation for your pageant. Unfortunately, the harsh lights of the stage "wash out" everyone's skin tone, and highlight flaws, scars, and imperfections. Getting a spray tan as part of your pageant prep will not only even out your skin tone, but will also make your skin look tan and healthy when you are in the spotlight. An added bonus: getting a spray tan make you look as if you lost ten pounds, and most professional spray tanning products have caffeine, which temporarily constricts the skin, making it appear firmer.
If you are doing a local pageant, definitely get your spray tan a day or two before the pageant. Make sure you wax/shave beforehand and that you get your tan AFTER your manicure, pedicure, massage, or any other spa treatment that might possibly exfoliate the skin. State pageants are usually a week in length and usually the spray tan you get pre-pageant is not going to last the entire time. Most of the girls we work with get spray tanned the evening before swimsuit/physical fitness and then again before the final night.
Not even the best spray tanners can spray themselves at home. You will always need help with your back. There are many great at-home tanning systems made by professional companies that are lower in cost than a salon/pro system. Another option is an aerosol mist, which many contestants used this year at Miss America. Whether or not you are getting a professional tan, or getting one done at home, there is a lot you can do to ensure you get an even tan.
The first and most important thing is to make sure your skin is not wet. A lot of us jump in the shower before we get sprayed or apply a self-tanner. Having skin that is still moist can cause a spray tan or self-tanning lotion to run on our skin and will result in streaks.
Make sure you have exfoliated with a "water based" body polish or scrub.
Lastly, make sure that you shave or wax before your spray tan. Doing this afterward actually removed the layer of skin that has been tanned, and can create splotchiness.
To read more tips and tricks to spray tanning, subscribe to fourpoints!
On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, the 53 Miss America 2012 contestants competed in the second night of preliminary competition.
Miss Oklahoma Betty Thompson won a $2,000 scholarship (courtesy of Artistry by Amway) for her rousing Irish dance.
Miss Texas Kendall Morris won a $1,000 scholarship (courtesy of Artistry by Amway) in the Lifestyle & Fitness competition in swimsuit. Kendall wore a swimsuit by Komplique, the new offical swimsuit sponsor of Miss America.