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208847 10151637700787573 984522735 nNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie welcomed back the world’s most famous scholarship competition for young women to its New Jersey birthplace, Atlantic City. Gov. Christie announced that the date for the beloved pageant is Sunday, September 15. The official announcement was made with the Miss America Organization, along with Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Atlantic City Alliance, and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority.

The Miss America pageant’s return to her home in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will be a thirteen-day event following Labor Day weekend and will include three nights of preliminary competitions taking place September 10, 11, and 12 at Boardwalk Hall. This historic return to Atlantic City will be a monumental event, complete with the much-anticipated Miss America "Show Us Your Shoes Parade" to be held on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk, Saturday, September 14. 

Sam Haskell, III, chairman of the board for the Miss America Organization, stated: “We are so excited to announce the date, and sincerely thank Gov. Chris Christie and the state of New Jersey and Atlantic City for their help in bringing Miss America home. We look forward to creating an incredible new era for our organization as we return to Atlantic City on September 15th, live on ABC! We are now looking forward to creating the most exciting television event ever for Miss America’s return home with the support of our network partner ABC. We know it will be a spectacular television event.”

“This September, we will be proud to showcase Atlantic City and Miss America together on network television. Miss America has evolved into a national pastime, and our organization enables over twelve thousand young women to participate in our scholarship program, each and every year. We know that the country will embrace our return to our birthplace and experience a new and very relevant Miss America,” stated Miss America’s President and CEO Art McMaster.

Tickets for the Miss America 2014 Competition will be on sale soon. Watch for the on-sale date in May, by visiting the Miss America Organization’s website. 

Board action by the CRDA and the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority finalized the multiyear agreement that brings Miss America back to Atlantic City. The CRDA, ACCVA, and the Atlantic City Alliance all played key roles in forging the agreement that will attract even more tourists from around the world to America’s premier gaming and vacation destination.

The Miss America Competition is the latest of several world-class events to come to New Jersey. New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium will host the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVII, February 2, 2014. MetLife Stadium will also host WrestleMania XXIX on Sunday, April 7, 2013, and will include WrestleMania Week activities, such as WrestleMania Axxess, the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and Monday Night Raw. The 2012 season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent television show was held at and broadcast live from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. New Jersey will host Formula 1 racing in Weehawken in June 2014, and the 2014 Special Olympics USA National Games will be held in Mercer County.

The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in scholarship assistance.

Source: Miss America Organization

Mallory Habitat NYCMiss America 2013 Mallory Hagan teamed up with Habitat for Humanity New York City (Habitat-NYC) Friday, March 15, to participate in a day of service as part of her 2013 Homecoming Celebration. She was joined by fellow pageant contestants Skyler Kamaka (Miss Hawaii), Mariah Cary (Miss Iowa), Alicia Clifton (Miss Oklahoma), Ali Rogers (Miss South Carolina), Rosemary Willis (Miss Virginia), Shannon Oliver (Miss New York), and Alexis Madden (Miss Wyoming), as well as Rachel Wyatt (Miss America Outstanding Teen 2013).

Together, they helped paint and brighten the Corsi Senior Center in East Harlem, and made a positive impact on the lives of New Yorkers. Their volunteer work was part of a “Brush with Kindness” project, one of Habitat-NYC’s many community revitalization initiatives. 

“The Miss America Organization’s commitment to giving back to the community is well-known, and Habitat-NYC is honored to have Miss America and her fellow contestants volunteer with us,” said Neil Hetherington, CEO of Habitat for Humanity – New York City. “Their hard work today will bring a brighter future for the hundreds of people who use the Corsi Senior Center. By building today, Miss America and each of the state representatives are leading by example and inspiring thousands of others to give back to their communities.” 

Rachel Habitat NYC“I am so proud today to be a part of the Habitat for Humanity – New York City event on behalf of the Miss New York Scholarship Organization and The Miss America Organization to celebrate our day of service. It’s so rewarding to see the revitalization of the Corsi Senior Center, which is such a wonderful environment for New Yorkers who use the center. The Miss America Organization has a long history of volunteering and community service. And I am so happy to be continuing this great tradition,” stated Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan. 

Habitat for Humanity New York City is the largest builder of Habitat homes in the Northeast, and thousands of volunteers build with Habitat-NYC each year. Each homebuyer contributes at least two hundred volunteer hours as part of his or her partnership. 

About Habitat for Humanity – New York City 
Habitat for Humanity – New York City transforms lives and our city by building quality homes for families in need and by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of affordable housing. With the help of thousands of volunteers every year, Habitat-NYC has built more than two hundred sixty affordable homes in the five boroughs of New York City. To volunteer, donate, or learn more, visit or call 212-991-4000. Contact Carly Blatt at 212-991-4000, ext. 344, or at

Source: Valerie Clemens

458Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2013 Rachel Wyatt visited New York City over the weekend, for Miss America's Homecoming Celebration. On Friday she visited GMA Live, an online segment of Good Morning America hosted by ABC's Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer, and Sam Champion. Rachel was seen by viewers during an interview with the reigning Miss America, Mallory Hagan. Click here to view Friday's segment featuring Rachel.

During her trip to NYC, Rachel also visited the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, and attended the Broadway show, Breakfast at Tiffany's. In addition to sightseeing, Rachel met with more than fifty children at the "Miss America & Me" youth leadership breakfast and spoke at the welcome reception for Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan's Homecoming celebration.

To keep up with Rachel's travels, please visit her blog at

Source and photos: MAOTeen

Working to Promote Arts Education

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 09:37

Donna Axum WhitworthIn 2014, Donna Axum Whitworth will celebrate her fiftieth anniversary of being crowned Miss America 1964. But she never strayed far away from the crown. In fact, she is more involved than ever, especially as of 2004, when she was voted onto the Miss America Organization board of directors—the first former titleholder to hold the post.

As first vice chairman of the board and a member of the state license committee and judges committee, Donna is responsible for overseeing just about every aspect of the comings and goings of local, state, and national competitions. Most recently, at the 2013 Miss America pageant, Donna coordinated the judges panel that chose Mallory Hagan as the current titleholder. On the state licensing committee, Donna works to ensure that every pageant, no matter how small, is in line with the rules and regulations set forth by the organization. Above all, Donna ensures that the educational component of MAO is carried through from coast to coast. “The educational component is really what drives us,” she said. “The future of our country is dependent upon the excellence we can create in these women.”

When she is not dedicating her time to work with MAO, Donna is working to enhance art appreciation. She serves on six boards related to performing arts and arts education, including the Texas Women for the Arts, an organization Donna established and founded. The organization provides grants for various art institutions, to further their endeavors. The concept is simple, Donna said: With each $1,000 membership fee, members are given one vote, and during an annual meeting, they are presented with grant proposals completed by various arts organizations located across the country. From these proposals, members vote, and grants are bestowed. “We’ve been in existence for five years, and we are nearing the $800,000 mark in grants awarded to the arts.”  

Donna also helps to coordinate annual ladies’ trips throughout the United States, to visit museums, orchestras, symphonies, and performances. Most recently during a trip to El Paso, Donna’s group watched a children’s performance that brought tears to her eyes. “It’s the most fascinating thing I’ve seen,” she said. The performance was a combination of song and dance, and included four hundred students displaying “all positive things kids need to learn.” After the show, Donna asked organizers how the students were able to work together and transition through the performance so flawlessly. The secret, they said, was using sign language to cue the students. “It was a beautiful example of the impact the arts have on not only the education of the individual,” Donna, “but self-confidence kids have in themselves from belonging to that group.”

Art is extremely important to Donna, who could hardly fathom a world without it. “Can you imagine any national ceremony without musical instrumentation?” asks Donna, who has been singing her entire life. (She began in the church choir and performed her talent on the Miss America stage.) “Every aspect of our lives is impacted by and represented through music and the arts. It’s the expression of our human existence. It’s how history was recorded on the cave walls.” 

Stay up to date with more Miss America Organization celebrities in every issue of fourpoints magazine!

Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer

Choosing the Perfect Talent Costume

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 10:29

MarylandAll eyes are on you. The lights are shining and the music starts. Your well-practiced routine begins. The talent competition is a vital part of any pageant; it displays the dedication and technique of individual contestants. But it also exemplifies style: What you wear to display your talent could make or break the performance. Take the advice of costume designer Theresa Adams, and choose something that will make you proud—and comfortable—in the spotlight. 

The first step in choosing a talent costume is to consider your music. Is it a slow beat or a quick tempo? Will the song remind judges and audience members of anything? “You want to interpret the music without being too literal or too obvious,” Adams said. For example, if your talent is dancing an Irish jig, you don’t necessarily have to deck yourself out in an all-green, shamrock-covered outfit. If the music is Latin-inspired, don’t limit yourself to red and black fabrics. “Interpret your music more loosely, to show more creativity.” 

Another tip to keep in mind is to choose a costume that fits your body type. If you have a small waist and fuller hips, Adams suggests avoiding anything that will synch the waist and flare at the hips, such as a full skirt or a short hot pant. Instead, “accentuate your positives. What are your most popular elements? If you have elegant hands, hold your hands in a way that makes them stand out throughout your talent. Point your fingers, or wear rhinestones or anything that draws attention to the hands.”

Above all, Adams notes it is important to feel comfortable and confident in your costume. How you look will affect your performance. “If she knows she looks amazing, it’s going to boost her confidence,” Adams said of contestants. 

For more fashion advice, subscribe to fourpoints magazine

Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer

MLB2013Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan welcomed “MLB Fan Cave: World Baseball Classic Edition” winners to New York this week. Mallory joined some of baseball’s most notable personalities to begin the 2013 season: Bill Ripken, MLB network analyst and 2009 World Baseball Classic Team USA coach; Dan Plesac, MLB network analyst; and Tim Brosnan, executive vice president, business, Major League Baseball.

Winning fans represented the sixteen countries and territories participating in the World Baseball Classic. The premier international baseball tournament features Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Spain, United States, and Venezuela.  

As part of the eighteen-day “MLB Fan Cave: World Baseball Classic Edition,” the winners will cheer on their nation while watching every game of the Classic live, at all hour. Fans of the final four teams will travel to San Francisco, California, for the World Baseball Classic Championship Round.

Mallory’s love for baseball will receive additional exposure when she performs God Bless America for the Atlanta Braves MLB home opener on Monday, April 1.

Source and photo: Miss America Organization

5 Minutes With … Former Miss Americas

Wednesday, 27 February 2013 10:28

IMG 0065Thirteen former Miss America titleholders attended the 2013 MAO pageant in January. The women were on hand for preliminary and final night competitions, and offered outgoing titleholder Laura Kaeppeler and all Miss America contestants to come their time-tested advice for success in life after the crown. 

How has the Miss America Organization evolved in the past fifty years, since you were crowned?

Jacquelyn Mayer (1963): This is a fantastic program, and it was wonderful when we were Miss America, but even more so because contestants today are more determined, lovely, and have a passion for their platform. This is probably one of the most important things we have noticed contestants are doing, and it is the most important thing that happened during the fifty years I’ve been around. 

What is the best part about being a former Miss America?

Heather French Henry (2000): I think the most wonderful thing about being a former Miss America is being part of a sisterhood. We’ve been in each other’s weddings; we’ve been there for the birth of each other’s children. It’s a sorority unlike any other. To be able to text or call any one of these amazing women—I pinch myself all the time when I get a chance to talk to each one. They’ve all been my role models and best friends. It’s greater than any gift I could have received. 

What are your thoughts on the evolution of the Miss America Organization, and where do you see it in ninety-two years? 

Kirsten Haglund (2008): Competition breeds excellence. I think all the different pageant competitions all make us better; we have better talents and a better quality of girls who are energetic to compete. We’re seeing more girls who are smart, talented, and driven for success. I think we're only on the way up. We can be beautiful, smart, and talented. We don’t need The X Factor or a Victoria Secret fashion show. You just need Miss America. We’re the first reality show.

What was your most memorable experience from your year of service?

Laura Kaeppeler (2012): For me, they came everyday. It’s hard to look back and say there is one highlight. Highlights happened every day. For me, the most memorable moments were the times working with my platform. Usually, it was when there weren’t cameras around or anyone to document the experience except me. What was most memorable was working with support groups for children with incarcerated parents, when they would come up to me and say, “I’m just like you.” That was what was most memorable and most meaningful. Those are the times that carried me through every day, and what makes me so determined to further that platform in the future. 

In a single word, describe Miss America:

Laura Kaeppeler (2012): Empowering 

Maria Beale Fletcher (1962): Talent

Lee Meriwether (1955): Integrity

Ericka Dunlap (2004): Fascinating 

Written by: Erika Fifelski

Miss America Returns to Atlantic City

Thursday, 14 February 2013 15:07

GOV2 smallerToday, New Jersey's acting governor and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, along with the Miss America Organization's Chairman of the Board Sam Haskell III and President and CEO Art McMaster, joined Atlantic City officials from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, the Atlantic City Alliance, and the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority for the announcement that the Miss America Organization, the world’s largest provider of scholarships to women, will bring the pageant back home where it first began in 1921, on the beaches of Atlantic City. Simultaneously, the Miss Organization announced a new three-year deal with ABC, its network partner.

In 1921, no one could have imagined that a contest in Atlantic City, created to extend the summer season for tourists, would become one of America's most beloved and recognized traditions for more than ninety years. The Miss America Organization has evolved into the world's largest scholarship program, offering more than $45 million each year to young women across the country to help them realize their educational dreams.

Welcoming the organization back home, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno said, "For decades, the Miss America Organization has awarded scholarships to thousands of young women to help further their goals of higher education and achieve their dreams. New Jersey is proud to once again host the Miss America Pageant here in Atlantic City. We are confident that Atlantic City's famous boardwalk and variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues will showcase the city's vibrancy and attraction to the participants, and many visitors that will attend the Miss America Pageant every year."

Sam Haskell III, Miss America Organization’s chairman of the board, stated, "We are so very proud to bring Miss America back to her birthplace in Atlantic City. We are grateful to Governor Christie and his staff for helping make this possible. Throughout the decades, Miss America has evolved into an organization that enables over 12,000 young women to enter and participate in our scholarship program each and every year. Today, Miss America remains an iconic symbol, and our roots have always stayed connected to Atlantic City. Our proud heritage is rich in history, having been named by USA Today as one of the Top Ten pieces of Americana remaining in our great country today. We now look to the future as we prepare for our most exciting television event ever for Miss America with the support of our network partner ABC. The return to Atlantic City will allow us to showcase our Miss America events where it all began, almost ninety-three years ago."

The Miss America Organization's President and CEO Art McMaster stated, "We are grateful to the Governor of New Jersey, and the Lt. Governor who, along with the agencies in Atlantic City, came together to create a mutually beneficial partnership to welcome back Miss America. This is a monumental milestone for our organization to return to the Jersey shores, where Miss America began. As we depart Las Vegas, we sincerely thank our friends at Planet Hollywood who have hosted us for the last eight years and the City of Las Vegas, who helped us to achieve our best television ratings last January. We will now build on that success and begin a new era by returning the tradition to Atlantic City."

CRDA, AC Alliance, and ACCVA have jointly assisted in paving the way for the return of Miss America, which will bring tourists from around the country to the East Coast’s premiere gaming and vacation destination.

Details of the 2014 Miss America Competition will be announced shortly, and plans are now under way for the September event, live in the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. Award-winning television producer Anthony Eaton and his company Tall Pony Productions, who have produced the live event in Las Vegas for the past six years, will produce Miss America 2014 in Atlantic City, live on ABC.

Source and photo: Miss America Organization

hubMiss America 2013 Mallory Hagan participated in the My Little Pony Coronation Concert on Saturday, February 9, in Los Angeles, California. The live musical event and interactive screening hosted by Miss America, with a guest appearance by Olympic gold medalist Carmelita Jeter, was created by The Hub Television Network.

Celebrity attendees included Halle Berry and her daughter, Jason Priestley and his two children, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons (Lily from Modern Family), Chloe Noelle (True Blood), and ten representatives from the Miss California Scholarship Organization. Head writer Meghan McCarthy, composer Daniel Ingram, voice actress Tara Strong, and writer M.A. Larson from the My Little Pony series were also in attendance.  

Twenty top-tier media outlets were also in attendance, including The Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, CNN, MSN, Yahoo! News, and a producer from The Conan O'Brien Show, as well as top mom bloggers from Modern Mom, Moms LA, and LA Parent. A magical time was had by all!

The Coronation Concert was in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a nonprofit, academic, pediatric medical center that provides the highest quality healthcare to more than ninety-seven thousand children and families every year.

Click here to see the My Little Pony Coronation teaser, featuring Mallory Hagan.

Source and photo: Miss America Organization

Key Steps to Secure Sponsorships

Monday, 11 February 2013 14:17

From services as seemingly small as providing meals during pageant week to partnerships as elaborate as car dealership sponsors, pageant organizations are working to collaborate—locally and nationally—to keep scholarships plentiful and needs met. But it's not always easy to ask for help, whether in the form of cash or in kind. And knowing where to look for willing contributors could be a mystery in itself. There are a few key steps organizations could take to secure sponsorships and prolong the life of the pageant organization.

Know what is needed.
Open-ended requests often intimidate potential sponsors. Miss Kansas Pageant President of the Board of Directors Lisa Perez Miller suggests making a list of everything needed, from the most simple to the most detailed, so sponsors could see exactly what is being asked of them. And don’t forget to include donations of time.

Do your research.
Sponsors might support causes that align with MAO. Seek out those with similar missions to your pageant organization, and strike a chord in the name of teamwork and partnership for furthering those issues. 

Put in the time.
Make an appointment to meet with potential sponsors. Sit down and get to know each other, Miller says; that way, they’ll better understand the organization and the organization could become familiar with the potential sponsor. “There may not be anything mentioned about the ask in the first conversation, but … you could find out where you can make a connection.”  

It’s all about who you know—especially when it comes to “making the ask.” Miss Michigan Scholarship Program Executive Director Shelley Taylor suggests always keeping one ear to the ground, as you never know when an opportunity to make a connection might come your way. “Whenever we’re traveling and meeting people, often one things leads to another.” 

Believe in the organization.
The way you portray your organization is the impression potential sponsors will have. Taylor, who has been involved in MAO for thirty-five years, has no problem promoting the organization to anyone who will listen. “When you’re sold on a product, so to speak, it’s pretty easy to talk that up.” Tell potential sponsors about the benefits of your organization—and let them know how their contribution, cash or otherwise, will help extend the livelihood of your program. 

Read the full article in fourpoints magazine

Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer