fourpoints Magazine

The #1 Resource for Everything Miss America & MAOTeen

Heather French Henry is Miss America 2000, and now she's a designer! We asked Heather to give us the skinny on pageant style.

fourpoints: What is your opinion of the old adage, "white always wins"?
Heather French Henry: I can count on one hand the number of Miss Americas who won in white over the past two decades, so, I definitely believe white doesn't always win. When choosing a gown, I believe it's more important to choose a gown that fits "your" style, "your" body, and "your" coloring.

fpts: What is a cost effective way for girls to afford evening gowns?
HFH: I had this very problem when I was competing. I had three jobs, and was a full-time college student. I do feel that great gowns are worth saving for. When you go for quality, then you can use one gown many different ways. It can go from your evening gown to talent gown to eventually a walk-on gown. One gown can last you several years if you choose well.

fpts: How do you keep a teen contestant looking like a teen?
HFH: It is important to look "age-appropriate" in a teen competition. I had difficulty here because I always looked older. I feel sticking with a soft color palette in the wardrobe can help was well as toning down the make-up and hair.

fpts: How can contestants incorporate their personal style into the pageant wardrobe?
HFH: This is the one area most judges complain about–the contestants not choosing their own wardrobe. I believe guidance is good, but in moderation. The beauty of the Miss America system is that all of our contestants are unique in style as well as opinion and it should show.

fpts: Explain the concept of styling and outfit.

To read Heather's answer and more styling advice from the former Miss America, subscribe to fourpoints!

Meet Miss Washington 1939

Wednesday, 28 March 2012 11:04

New_AnnaMaeSchoonoverAs we all know, the Miss America Organization is one that embraces women from past, present, and future, and Anna Mae Schoonver is quite possibly one of the last people alive who participated in the earlier generations of Miss America.

Anna Mae was born in Seattle on February 9, 1917, and grew up during the depression. She moved with her family to a farm in eastern Washington to survive the depression years where she picked strawberries with her mother and sold them at a penny a basket. She claims that hard times like those made her strong and practical and were the inspiration for a book she wrote later in life call Picking Up Pennies. At 95, she's still a hard-worker, up every morning at 7 a.m., industrious, does her own driving, cooking, and cleaning, and makes time every day to read The Wall Street Journal cover to cover.

Anna Mae–who later shortened her name to Ann–won her first pageant in 1938, and then went on to compete for Miss Washington–and won again. After a summer of appearances as Miss Washington, Ann went to Atlantic City. She won the talent contest with a dramatic reading. She won the bathing suit contest. And she came in as second runner-up in the Miss America contest. At the time, she was engaged to James Clough Danly, and when advised during the competition to remove her engagement ring, she refused. She married James in November of 1939, spent her honeymoon in Hawaii, and moved to Chicago where they raised eight children.

Ann had offers from modeling agencies and film studios, but it wasn't until her last child was in high school, that she visited modeling agencies in Chicago and became very busy in her 60s as a model in print and media, taking on age-appropriate roles as a grandmother, a country-club socialite, and advocate of health and beauty products for mature women.

When James retired, he and Ann moved to Naples, Florida, where Ann got busy in another calling, writing. She wrote two novels and a non-fiction book on thrift called Picking Up Pennies. The books were sold at local CVS pharmacies and Amazon.

Ann is in excellent health. Her husband passed away in 2005, and she says she counts her blessings everyday that she married that wonderful man and had sixty-six "blissful" years with him.

To read more about Ann, subscribe to fourpoints!

Miss America Laura Kaeppeler is on the road speaking to centers and organizations about her platform–Circles of Support, Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents. Most recently, she attended a YMCA Safe Place Services fundraiser at Mellwood Art and Entertainment Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Laura spoke to more than 500 guests about her experiences as a teenager with a parent in prison.

"I know what it's like to be one of those children, I know what it's like to walk down that road and in those shoes," Laura said.

But to Laura, organizations like Safe Place Services make a positive impact on children whose parents have been or are still incarcerated, and by participating in their programming, kids can break away from negative stereotypes.

Some clients of Safe Place Services were present to hear Laura speak. Clayton Marshall, who is now 22-years-old, started participating in the Safe Place Services when he was 14-years-old. With a mom in and out of prison for drug charges, he said his involvement in Safe Place helped improve his outlook on life.

Laura spoke March 19 and 20 at Safe Place Services centers, and she met with the Domestic Policy Council in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to discuss her platform.

Sources: MAO, WHAS11 Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana News

Former Miss America Kirsten Haglund continues to spread her message of health and wellness to women struggling with eating disorders. The 2008 queen and former ballerina struggled with anorexia nervosa, but thanks to an interdisciplinary team, self confidence and MAO, she is proof that beauty comes from within.

During her time as Miss Oakland County and as a college freshman, Kirsten started to speak out against eating disorders, and took the cause to the state competition where she won the title as Miss Michigan when she was just 18 years old. The crown gave her a broader scale on which to deliver her message. She spent six months attending national conferences on eating disorders.

"I learned so much about the illness; it was a really good educational period for me," she said. "From hearing other people's recovery stories, I learned how to share my own personal struggles," Kirsten said.

Before the Miss America competition, Kirsten stuck to a healthy diet and a schedule of regular exercise that brought her back up to normal levels of nutrition. Although the thought of being in a bathing suit in front of so many people made her a little nervous, she channeled her thoughts toward health.

Kirsten won the national title that year, and now post-crown, she continues to work toward helping men and woman who struggle with eating disorders. The Kirsten Haglund Foundation provides financial aid to those seeking treatment for eating disorders. 

Source: CNN Health

Raising Funds for Platform Organization

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 15:39

fpts-Platform_FundraisingPageants aren't the only ones who need to fundraise–contestants also need to raise money for Children's Miracle Network, as well as their own personal platform organizations.

Each year, the Miss America Organization makes more than $45 million scholarship dollars available to young women on the local, state, and national level. Fundraising is a large function of local and state pageants, as well as on the national level. But it isn't just pageants that are raising money and opening doors. Contestants at each level raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, as well as charitable groups connected to their personal platforms. Fundraising is no an easy task n this unstable economic climate, but contestants still manage to raise money. There are a variety of ways to do this, from holding special events to other promotions.

Miss Prairie Rose 2012 Cat Taylor found a fun way to raise money for her personal platform, "Be Aware It's In the Air: Weather Safety," and her community service project, "Tiaras For Tornado Safety." At large events, like the National Weather Festival, Cat sells small tiaras, mostly to young girls. She gets to education the children on emergency weather preparedness, and the girls walk away with a glamorous trinket. Cat is able to purchase the tiaras for a small price, and all of her profits enable her to provide portable weather radios to local school administrators.

"It is always fun to see the girls' happy faces when they walk past my booth as a newly crowned princess," explains Cat.

Here are some other basic fundraising ideas:

  • Hold a rummage sale or carwash in your neighborhood
  • Ask family, friends, and co-workers for their donations–every $5 counts!
  • Coordinate an event, like a benefit concert or bowling party
  • Work closely with your chosen organization, like CMN or the American Cancer Association, and see if they have any scheduled fundraisers coming up
  • Volunteer to waitress at a local restaurant in exchange for donated tips or a percentage of that evening's sales. Recruit your fellow contestants to help

To read more, subscribe to fourpoints today!

Laura Kaeppeler Visits fourpoints!

Friday, 09 March 2012 11:34

Laura_Kaeppeler_at_AfterSchool_ProgramMiss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler made a stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this week, where fourpoints writers and photographers escorted her around the city for the April/May cover story and photo shoot. Laura visited the Grand Rapids Montessori to speak at an assembly for fourth, fifth and sixth grade students, then she spent time with children in the school's afterschool program.

Students in the afterschool LOOP program showed Laura their LEGO projects that they made as part of the STEM–Science, Technology, Engineering and Math–curriculum. The Miss America Organization is focusing on enhancing awareness of educational programs like STEM, especially for girls, this year.

“Miss America, as we know, is a scholarship organization, but it’s also an organization of female empowerment, and an organization that is encouraging young people to become involved in fields related to STEM,” Laura said.

Laura was in Michigan on Tuesday and Wednesday. She flew to New York Wednesday evening.

Don’t miss the next issue of fourpoints magazine with Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler on the cover! Fourpoints is offering a special discount for this issue. Order 5 or more copies, and pay only $3 per issue* Order your extra copies today! Click here and use promo code: LAURA Not a current subscriber? Subscribe today!

*When five or more copies are ordered, pay only $3 per issue. Less than five copies will be at the standard rate of $5.50 per issue.


Five Minutes With...Kris Jenner

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 10:22

Five_Minutes_with_Kris_JennerReality TV star and Miss America 2012 judge Kris Jenner dishes on the swimsuit competition, role models, and more!

fourpoints: How do you feel about the swimsuit competition? Some previous judges have said it is unnecessary part of the pageant.
Kris Jenner: I liked the swimsuit competition. If the contestants had not looked healthy, I might have a problem with it. But you can tell by their hair, their skin–they are healthy!

fpts: Did any of your daughters ever compete in pageants?
KJ: Pageants were not a part of their lives, no. We always watch Miss America as a family. But if one of my girls had come to me and said, I want to do this, I would have said, you bet.

fpts: What were you looking for in a Miss America?
KJ: Definitely a role model. This Miss America pageant is a different game than it was fifty years ago. Today, with all the things that a contestant has to deal with–Facebook, Twitter, all of social media–she has the ability to reach even more people.

fpts: Did anything surprise you about the pageant?
KJ: What did surprise and impress me is the work ethic that all the contestants have. They look at this as a job, not just a beauty pageant, which is something I try to instill in my girls.

To read more of Kris Jenner's responses and other answers from the experts in the field, subscribe to fourpoints magazine!

Local Miss Cracks Down on Cyberbullying

Monday, 05 March 2012 14:03

Elissa_McCrackenMore than 70 percent of students play a role in cyberbullying, whether they be the bully, the victim or a witness, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. For Miss West Central Ohio, Elissa McCracken, the number is too high, and she is using her platform to fight it.

Elissa was a victim of cyberbullying in middle school, an experience that shook her confidence and made her doubt her ability to compete in pageants. But now that she has overcome the terrors of cyberbullying, she is promoting her platform throughout her home state.

"I have devoted myself to the commitment that I would help others avoid the intimidation, humiliation, and embarrassment that I endured," Elissa said.

Elissa is traveling throughout Ohio to promote her platform and attend cyberbullying workshops. At a recent event, she addressed educators, mental health professionals, and law enforcement personnel. The event was called "Cyberbullying 101," and was sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine.

"Several attendees requested my contact information, and I am very excited about the possibilities such networking can provide me for spreading my important message to help other young people," Elissa said.

Elissa's platform, "Stop Cyberbullying," is being received by a wider audience thanks to her public service announcements. She recorded the announcements for the Attorney General's Office, and they will be broadcast, one on radio, and one on television, throughout the state.

Elissa is in her third year of pharmacy school at Ohio Northern University. She plans to continue spreading the message of anit-cyberbullying in the near future and for years to come.

"I plan on attending the conferences and workshops to which I was invited, participate in webinars devoted to continued education about safety online, and continue my diligent pursuit of spread the important message of my anit-cyberbullying platform message," Elissa said.

Source: Leslie Townsend

How to Plan Pageant Training Sessions

Wednesday, 29 February 2012 08:59

HeadlineNews-PageantSchoolPageant training sessions go by many names: pageant boot camp, pageant prep, and pageant school, among others. Recently, a local pageant in Iowa held their own session called “Pageant School: Road to the Crown.” Ashley Brown, director of the Miss Pearl Pageant, and Kindra Plett, director of the Miss Muscatine Pageant, teamed up to create this event. From their experience, you can learn hot to organize your own pageant training session to benefit contestants in your area.

Learn how to organize your own pageant training session to benefit contestants in your area.

Recruiting keynote speakers is first on the to-do list. The Iowa pageant school formed a panel of speakers. Your speakers should have experience of their own in different aspects of pageant life. You may even want to include contestants or former contestants on your panel. Hold a Q&A session as well as a direct audience address.

“It was a great session, and it gave the audience a chance to interact with the panelists," says Ashley of the Iowa panel and Q&A session.

Putting on a pageant school is a lot of work. Ask other pageants in surrounding counties to join you in your efforts. In Iowa, two local boards coordinated the pageant school, but Ashley and Kindra were fortunate to receive support from the entire state in setting up the pageant school.

“We reached out to all the locals and the Miss Iowa state board for their help with marketing and really spreading the word across the state,” says Ashley. “The reception and support from everyone was wonderful.”

Choose a venue that will fit your budget and the size of your guest list. The venue for the pageant school was Geneva Golf and Country Club, who worked closely with Ashley and Kindra to keep overhead costs very low.

Pageant schools are an excellent resource for contestants and volunteers, and a wonderful way to introduce the community to the Miss America Organization. In its first year, Ashley and Kindra were thrilled to see the event take shape. In the future, they have hopes that it may become both educational and lucrative.

With a little advance planning and the help of your pageant family, you can have your very own pageant school event–a benefit to everyone involved.

Subscribe to read more about Iowa's Pageant School: Road to the Crown.

IHOPTuesday is IHOP'S National Pancake Day! Visit any International House of Pancakes Tuesday from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. to get a free short stack and support the Children's Miracle Network.

Guests attending the pancake smorgasbord will be asked to provide a donation to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the official platform of the Miss America Organization.

Pageant winners including Miss America Laura Kaeppeler will be in attendance to help serve and to promote the platform. Laura will visit a Hollywood, California IHOP tomorrow.

IHOP National Pancake Day has raised approximately $8 since its first year, 2006. Proceeds support local charities, including the Children's Miracle Network.

Sources: Dine Equity and MAO Photo D. Sharon Pruitt