America has a new queen and she hails from the great state of New York. Mallory Hagan was crowned Miss America 2013, the ninety-second Miss America, Saturday night and begins her year of service now.
MAO Chairman Sam Haskell said this year, more than ever, the organization will focus on education. "We're going to promote education like it's never been promoted before," he said. MAO provides more than $45 million in scholarships for more than 14,000 young women each year. And now, the organization is working to promote science, technology, engineering, and math for students across the country. "Our pledge in 2013 is to become advocates for young women and lead the way in STEM," Haskell said.
Hagan is looking forward to the opportunity to work with students on STEM education as well as her platform—Stop It Now, Child Sexual Abuse. Hagen has worked with local organizations to promote more education for students on sexual abuse and the importance of reporting it and she is looking forward to the opportunity to share it on a national and international level.
As ready as Hagen is to take on the job of Miss America 2013, she said she was surprised to hear her named called. "There was not a moment I thought I could win this. I was first runner up twice at Miss New York and I thought, they're going to get another first runner up out of me," she said. But Hagan felt a sense of calm waiting for the announcement. "I knew either way, the organization would be represented beautifully," she said. Hagan's first official appearance as Miss America will be at the Taste of NFL in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer Photo: MAO
The final night of preliminary competitions highlighted the four pillars of the Miss America Organization–style, success, service, and namely, scholarship. Chairman of the Board Sam Haskell announced that the 2013 MAO titleholder will work to enhance education throughout the country during her year of service. Miss America 2013 will work with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in addition to promoting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum.
It is because of MAO's dedication to furthering the educational aspirations of young women through scholarships that many go on to realize their dreams. Two scholarships were awarded Thursday night. Lifestyle and fitness in swimwear winner Miss Washington Mandy Schendel received a $1,000 scholarship. Miss North Dakota Rosie Sauvageau, with voice smooth and golden gown flowing, performed her arrangement of Bob Dylan's "To Make You Feel My Love." For her singing and piano playing, she was awarded a $2,000 scholarship.
Haskell said in the years to come, he and the MAO board are working to reestablish Miss America as one of the country's top icons. By empowering women across the nation in their educational goals, MAO will do just that.
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer
Wednesday's preliminary competitions recognized well-know favorites like three-time pageant host Chris Harrison, former Miss Americas, long-time volunteers, and Miss America's Outstanding Teen contestants. But the evening's production also welcomed new scholarship recipients and award winners to the stage.
Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers was called on a second time this week for being the MAO 2013 contestant to raise the most money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals during her year of service. Other Miracle Maker awards went to the Miss Alabama organization–recognized for being the state organization that, in 2012, raised the most money for CMN hospitals–and the Miss Connecticut organization–recognized for being the state with the highest average funds raised per contestant in 2012. Each of the Miracle Maker recipients received $5,000 scholarships.
Miss Virginia Executive Director Harlan Gudger was awarded the Academy of Honor Award for his thirty-five years of outstanding volunteer service to the Miss America Organization. Harlan has served in many capacities over the years, from usher to executive director. "Volunteers are the backbone of this company," said Art McMaster, MAO president and CEO. There are thousands of volunteers across the country who work hard to help young women achieve their dreams, Art said.
Miss Illinois, Megan Ervin, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship for the lifestyle and fitness competition. Megan wore a black bikini by Catalina Swimwear. Catalina's line of swimwear will be available exclusively online and at Walmart beginning Saturday, January 12.
Miss Maryland, Joanna Guy, was awarded a $2,000 scholarship for the talent competition. Joanna sang "I dreamed a dream," from the musical Les Miserables while wearing a shimmering, one shoulder gown.
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer
Orthodontists all across America would be proud of their handy work if they were watching the Miss America 2013 preliminary competion Tuesday night. Contestants were all smiles during on-stage question, talent, lifestyle and fitness, and evening gown competitions.
Ali Rogers, Miss South Carolina, was the recipient of the $1,000 Amway scholarship for lifestyle and fitness. Ali wore a white swimsuit by Catalina Swimwear. Catalina was the original swimsuit spondor for MAO. This portion of the competition accounts for 15 percent of contestants' final score.
Alicia Clifton, Miss Oklahoma, received a $2,000 Amway scholsrship for her talent-tap dancing to Michael Buble's "Can't buy me love." Alicia's moves were so jaw-droppingly quick that her feet were merely a blur and her spinning was enough to make the audience dizzy. Talent accounts for 35 percent of contestants' final score.
Other awards given Tuesday night were bronze, silver, and gold Duke of Edinburgh Award medals. Bronze medalists must log six months of community service. Recipients are Miss California, Miss Connecticut, Miss Florida, Miss Georgia, Miss Michigan, Miss Mississippi, Miss New Hampshire, Miss North Carolina, Miss Oklahoma, Miss Pennsylvania, Miss Tennessee, Miss West Virginia, and Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler. Silver medalists must log twelve months of service. Recipients are Miss Alabama, Miss Louisiana, and Miss Ohio. Gold medalists must log eighteen months of service. The recipients are Miss South Carolina and Miss America's Outstanding Teen, Rachel Wyatt.
Returning to the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for the seventh consecutive year, the contestants’ arrival kicked off a week of preliminary competitions—interview, lifestyle and fitness, talent, and evening wear—culminating in the live telecast on ABC, Saturday, January 12, at 9 p.m. (EST) tape delay (PST).
On hand to announce the finalists were Sean McBurney, vice president and assistant general manager of PH Resort & Casino; Vince Alberta, vice president of public affairs of the Las Vegas Convention Authority; Sam Haskell, III, chairman of the board of the Miss America Organization; and Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization.
The seven finalists and their personal platform issues are:
Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan - P.A.W.S for Autism: People and Animals Working Side-by-side
Miss Delaware Alyssa Murray - Mela-No-MORE: Skin Cancer Advocacy & Awareness
Miss Idaho Whitney Wood - Handbags of Hope: “Giving Women Confidence They Can Carry"
Miss Maryland Joanna Guy - Jo’s Jars
Miss Mississippi Marie Wicks - Eyesight To All Regions (eyes.T.A.R.)
Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson - “Feed Hope: Fight Child Hunger”
Miss Washington Mandy Schendel - Do Something: Enriching Youth, Cultivating Leaders
The Quality of Life Awards were introduced in 1988 to recognize contestants who excel in their commitment to community service. To be considered for the Quality of Life Award, contestants must submit an application describing their involvement with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals—the national platform of the Miss America Organization—and their own personal platform issue.
The winner of the Quality of Life Award will receive a $6,000 scholarship, the first runner-up will win a $4,000 scholarship, and the second runner-up will win a $2,000 scholarship. Winners will be announced at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on January 10, during the 10 a.m. (PST) Miss America press conference.
For tickets to attend the Miss America Competition, call Ticketmaster at 1-877-307-8667 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.
On the docket for 2013 fashion, former Miss America (2000) and fashion designer Heather French Henry predicts cocktail dresses will feature more sophisticated ideas of presentation with class coming back into style looking to Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, for a responsible and stylish representation. “We have great influences with Kate Middleton showing you can be stylish and trendy without being trashy. That bodes well for us at Miss America. The look that Kate puts forth is in line to look responsible yet stylish.” Expect lengthy, longer looks with a nod in the direction of traditional and sensible class. “Class never goes out of style,” says Henry who also forecasts details such as fabrics being tailored in an origami way.
The evening gown portion of Miss America competitions is Robin Fleming’s favorite part of competition. While everyone wants to see a glorious gown on Miss America, Fleming, the Gown Guru and Designer with La Casa Hermosa of Wellington in Florida, sees this time as an opportunity for girls to express their own personality.
When it comes to a classic, winning style and appearance Fleming likes to see, “A fitted gown—the silhouette of a woman. It’s really the emblem by which this whole contest is based upon, female power and female energy.”
“The dress should look amazing on her. It should feel like a marriage of gown to girl.” Miss America is really, “the people’s princess here in America,” says Fleming who thinks her overall look should be fresh, young, trendy and elegant.
So, what does Henry expect Miss America to look like on stage when she’s crowned?
“That’s tough because there is no model—none of us look alike. Miss America is crowned in the interview, which no one gets to see. I’m more interested in the fact that Miss America, regardless of what she looks like, has to be able to speak to crowds and take a leadership position and be a role model.”
To read the full article, subscribe to fourpoints and order the December/January 2012-13 issue!
Source: Robin Fleming and Heather French Henry
In the spirit of the Holiday Season and "MAOTeen Gives Back," local titleholders around the country are giving their time and talents to spread holiday cheer.
Krystian Leonard, Miss Southern West Virginia's Outstanding Teen, took a day during her Thanksgiving holiday break to visit the Children's Miracle Network Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. She spent time there with some very brave youngsters and read a children's book she wrote, Shining Scars, giving them a shining light and a smile in their hearts as they heal.
This month, Krystian gave back by ringing the Salvation Army bell at a local shopping mall on Wednesday, December 5. In addition, she worked a special booth, Presents for Pets, for the local humane society, which will be helping homeless pets this holiday season.
Brooke Bullock, Miss Leaf River Valley's Outstanding Teen 2013, was the featured speaker at The Petal Rotary Club in Petal, Mississippi, where she spoke about her platform, Clothe the Country. At the monthly gathering, Bullock collected more than twenty coats to help perpetuate her project, designed to give clothes to the needy.
In addition to the coats collected from the Rotary Club, Brooke received more than seventy from Forrest General Spirit Girls, a community service organization with which she is involved. Brooke will compete in the Miss Mississippi's Outstanding Teen pageant in June 2013.
Vickie Holtsman, Miss River City's Outstanding Teen, is working with the Promise to Kate Foundation, an organization whose mission it is to find a cure for Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy. Vickie recently visited Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, where Promise to Kate made a $10,000 donation to pay for the three Tesla MRI machines that help to quickly diagnose young patients. During her visit, Vickie delivered more than three hundred coloring books to the children.
During a recent trip to Texas, Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2013 Rachel Wyatt visited Heart House Dallas to bring books to the children who benefit from the program. Heart House Dallas is a free afterschool educational program that provides a safe haven and academic support to at-risk children, while encouraging them to become good citizens.
After her visit to Heart House, Rachel delivered Christmas gifts to the Toys for Tots drive in Dallas. The mission of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November, and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
While in Dallas, Rachel also received training at Mental Management System.
While in Dallas, Rachel also received training at Mental Management Systems, a recognized mental training program that is taught to and used by world and Olympic champions throughout the world. Lanny Bassham is recognized as a teacher of the world's best in the area of mental preparation for sport and business. His current and past clients include the PGA and PGA tour players, Miss America finalists, Miss USA winners, world and Olympic champions, Fortune 500 companies, United States Secret Service, Navy SEALs, United States Army Marksmanship Unit, United States Marine Corps Marksmanship Unit, and Olympic teams of USA, Australia Canada, India, Japan, Korea, and People’s Republic of China.
Source: MAOTeen Photo: L-R, Founder of Mental Management, Lenny Bassham with MAOTeen 2013 Rachel Wyatt and Mental Management Director of Performance Programs Heather Sumlin
Many of you are familiar with the U.S. Dream Academy because of its founder and Miss America's Outstanding Teen board member, Wintley Phipps. Wintley travels hundreds of thousands of miles each year, fundraising for his organization. He uses his oratorical and musical gifts to call attention to the plight of the children of incarcerated parents. The after-school "Dream Centers," located in eleven U.S. cities are havens of security and learning for six hundred boys and girls ... and they need our help!
In the spirit of the Season and "MAOTeen Gives Back," MAOTeen Chairman of the Board Donna Bozarth would like to challenge each of you to take a moment and give a donation of at least $10 (more if you can!) and ask ten of your friends/family to do the same. Let's see if the MAOTeen family can fill this need.
Please click on the link www.mydreamleaf.com and make your donation. While you are there, watch the short videos ... you may see someone you know! Then share this message with all of your family and friends. If you have Facebook or other social media sites, there are instructions to help you place the link on your sites. There is great power in numbers. Let's use our numbers to help the U.S. Dream Academy!
Thank you to each of you for your continued participation and support of the Miss America's Outstanding Teen organization. You are a valued friend and MAOTeen family member!
Source: Donna Bozarth, MAOTeen
Good Morning America revealed the diverse panel of national judges for the 2013 Miss America Competition on this morning’s show. This year’s panel of seven esteemed judges includes an accomplished designer and member of Oprah’s “Glam Squad;” Indiana’s very first Miss America turned marketing professional and philanthropist; a global broadcasting icon and television host who has interviewed the biggest celebrities to the President of the United States; an award-winning dancer, choreographer, and television star; a well known morning television broadcaster and weather editor; an entrepreneur, business icon, and television star, as well as a 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist. Together, the team of judges will have the important task of evaluating the contestants from the preliminaries through the final night of competition, which will broadcast live from Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January, 12 at 9-11 p.m. ET on ABC.
As announced today on “Good Morning America,” this year’s seven judges are:
Bradley Bayou: Bradley gained widespread recognition for his many contributions to the fashion industry. As a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America he has received numerous industry honors, including “Mercedes-Benz Presents” Designer for Los Angeles Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios. While the BRADLEY BAYOU couture label is a favorite among celebrities, he also has a ready-to-wear namesake collection at QVC where he has translated couture quality and the fundamentals of his book The Science of Sexy into an affordable clothing line. Bradley’s fashion pieces have graced the covers and pages of many magazines and periodicals including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Essence, Cosmopolitan, People, Entertainment Weekly, and In Style. He is a member of Oprah’s “Glam Squad” and has been a contributor on www.oprah.com as well as an ambassador for NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) promoting healthy body images in the media and fashion industry.
Cheryl Burke: Cheryl has more than twenty years of dancing experience and several championship titles under her belt, and as a professional dancer Cheryl has tangoed and sambaed her way into the hearts of millions through the hit ABC television show “Dancing with the Stars.” Recently she became the show’s first professional dancer to appear in the finals four times, becoming champion twice with Emmitt Smith in Season Three and Drew Lachey in Season Two. Now at 27, she has used her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” to propel her career into different avenues. In 2008 she opened her first dance studio, the highly successful Cheryl Burke Dance and has authored a best-selling biography.
Sam Champion: Sam is the weather anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America and also serves as weather editor for ABC News. In addition to covering the national forecast, Sam travels for weather-related stories around the country and the globe. Since joining Good Morning America, he has reported from the frontlines of California wildfires; hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana; and from winter storms in Denver, Chicago, and Boston. As part of the morning broadcast’s The New 7 Wonders of the World series, Sam has even broadcast live afloat in the middle of the Polar Ice Caps. He reported from Louisiana on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which included a dive in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, he regularly brings tips and information on how to be environmentally efficient to his regular Just One Thing reports. Sam also hosts Sea Rescue, a weekly series broadcast nationally on Saturday mornings.
Mary Hart: Mary is best known for hosting Entertainment Tonight for nearly thirty years. Her reporting has included interviewing nearly every major motion picture, television and music star of the last thirty years from Dame Elizabeth Taylor and Sinatra to George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, and Justin Bieber. Mary was the only entertainment journalist to interview all of the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates and she has been honored by American Women in Radio and Television with the Gracie Allen Award, which recognizes those responsible for “exemplary programming created for women, by women, and about women in all facets of broadcasting and electronic media.” She was also presented with the Samaritan Award by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation for her work on behalf of several children’s charities. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and as co-chair of the New Hospital Campaign, she helped pave the way for the opening of the new building in July 2011. She is also an ambassador for Childhelp USA that combats child abuse across America.
Daymond John: Star of ABC hit show Shark Tank, Daymond is an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. Daymond has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother’s house and moving his operation into the basement. Daymond is CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with more than $6 billion in product sales. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, and he has received more than thirty-five awards including the Brandweek Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, and Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year.
McKayla Maroney: McKayla is the 2011 World Vault Champion and last summer in London, she let the world know that she'd arrived. As a member of USA's 2012 Olympic Women's Gymnastic Team, "THE FIERCE FIVE," she earned a gold medal with her teammates as she performed a historically epic vault, which will forever be remembered. After arriving home from the Olympics, McKayla discovered she had competed on a potentially career ending toe fractures which required surgery, and a fibula fracture. In spite of these injuries, she joined the Kellogg's Tour. She has become an internet sensation after inspiring the blog website “McKayla Maroney is NOT impressed.” She recently shot a guest star role on the CW television show, Hart of Dixie, and will be shooting a second one soon.
Katie Stam Irk: Katie served as Miss America 2009, and during her year of service, she traveled more than 250,000 miles on behalf of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, United States armed forces, and her personal platform of promoting community service and involvement. Katie has continued to travel the country on her national speaking tour as an advocate, spokeswoman, host, author, branding professional, and performer. She is an executive consultant for New Sunshine, LLC in Indianapolis where she specializes in product development and marketing. Serving on the Board of Directors for Ovar'coming Together; Indiana's ovarian cancer awareness organization, Katie is passionate about ovarian cancer research, education and support groups.
This year’s judges panel comprises experts in each of the fields that a young woman must excel in order to be named Miss America. Miss America must be intelligent, talented, well-spoken, a leader, have a commitment to her community, and be modern in her style and fashion—a relevant and individual young woman who can connect with today’s contemporary woman, as well as being physically fit.