Alexis Crosen, winner of the recent fourpoints Coach Bag Giveaway, is on a winning streak!
By signing up to receive fourpoints magazine at the Miss America Pageant this January, Alexis entered into a contest to win the purse, and she did! Now, Alexis has been crowned Miss VA Dogwood's Outstanding Preteen. Next, she will compete in the Miss Virginia's Outstanding Preteen competition. Alexis' mother Rebecca said her daughter carries the purse everywhere she goes, and considers it her "good luck charm."
"She is over the moon excited. Between going to see Miss America, winning the bag, and now the prelim title, she is just more in love with the Miss America program, and what it stands for," Rebecca says.
The Miss Alabama pageant may be most well known for giving us our first deaf Miss America, Heather Whitestone, but the pageant has both a rich history and an exciting future.
The Birmingham News started the pageant in 1921. In the early years, both Miss Birmingham and Miss Alabama competed for the national title of Miss America. Eventually, Miss Birmingham (along with Miss Mobile and Miss Montgomery) became local titles. Today, the pageant has a grand total of forty-seven locals–closed, open and university pageants.
It takes a lot of people and time to keep the Miss Alabama pageant going throughout the year, and especially during pageant week. Executive Director Nan Teninbaum credits many people behind-the-scenes for the success of the pageants.
"Our board of directors is most definitely a working board," says Nan. "Everyone has assignments. We couldn't do it without the parents of former Miss Alabama’s who pitch in and help."
Another group of people that help tremendously with the pageant are Miss Alabama alumni. Whether they are former Miss Alabama’s or local contestants, they are great resources for the Miss Alabama pageant.
"You have got to involve your alumni," says Nan. "Let them know that you need their help. A young lady who has been through the program will love to educate someone else on the values of her experience. I have found many times that the young lady who never wins gets the most out of the experience.
The pageant also has a large group of generous donors and sponsors that allow both the pageant and the titleholder to have the best year possible. It's clear that the Miss Alabama program is doing something right. With three Miss Americas to call their own, nearly fifty local pageants, and dozens of volunteers, it's easy to see that the organization is on the right track. According to Nan, their collective success comes from simple dedication.
"We get paid for our time in so many different ways," says Nan. "We wouldn't do what we do if we didn't truly believe in the program."
Read more about the Miss Alambama pageant in the December/January 2011-12 issue of fourpoints
Written by: Julie Anne Long. Photo: Danny Barrett of Pageant Works
Miss Lights of the Delta Somer Allen is more than glitz and glamour, and she sure isn't wearing heels during her four-month stay in Uganda. Somer is currently volunteering with the Outreach Mission Program, where she will forgo the traditional pageant exterior to focus on the beauty within.
Somer is taking her platform worldwide In Lira, Uganda where her daily routine includes working in schools, hospitals, prisons and outreach ministries. Somer's platform is "Service and Involvement: Promoting a Positive Future."
At home in Arkansas, Somer is a frequent volunteer at the Lights of the Delta Festival, the Northeast Arkansas Pageant and the Blytheville Tree Lighting Ceremony, Taylor Home Open House, the Chuck & Steve radio show. Somer also volunteered at the Children's Miracle Ball in Little Rock.
Somer, former Miss Northeast Arkansas 2011 and third alternate to Miss Arkansas, will be home in May to get ready for the 2012 Lights of the Delta Festival at the Miss Arkansas Pageant in July. Until then, you can read more about her adventures in her blog!
Source: Marrietta Jerome, Director of Lights of the Delta Pageant in Blytheville, Arkansas
In each issue of fourpoints, we like to provide local and state pageant volunteers with fundraising ideas that are a good for each program, whether it is a new idea or a time-tested classic fundraiser. One reader and local pageant volunteer took our scholarship ideas to the next level.
“You have featured a variety of articles that have encouraged us local directors to think outside the box to raise scholarship money,” says Tracy Olson of the Miss Gloucester County pageant. “Due in part to that encouragement, this past March, I took on the challenge of a local fundraising program entitled Dancing with the Gloucester County Stars.”
The program, run by the Chamber of Commerce, takes six Gloucester County notable figures from the community (3 women and 3 men) and gives them an opportunity to dance for their cause. Tracy chose the Miss Gloucester County Scholarship Organization, a local preliminary to the Miss New Jersey Education Foundation.
To learn more about this awesome scholarship idea, subscribe to fourpoints!
Lauren Percy began working with the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals for two years.
“I remember my first time ever volunteering at a children’s hospital in Boston,” says Lauren. “Somebody warned me and said, ‘Be careful, Lauren. You just might fall in love.’ I fell head over heels in love.”
After that first visit, Lauren felt a rush of happiness that has stuck with her through her service with CMN.
“It may sound cheesy, but the second you walk into that hospital, you know there is some sort of magic going on. Something more than medicine is making miracles for the kids,” says Lauren.
Want to learn more about Lauren? Subscribe to fourpoints!
Growing up as a little person, Makenzie Stevens was always shy and worried about how others perceived her. But competing in Miss America pageants gave her the boost of confidence she needed.
“As a junior in high school, my mom encouraged me to participate in the Junior Miss program,” said Makenzie. “I was so surprised that after many months of hard work, I was awarded second runner-up in a field of twenty-six girls. When Junior Miss was over, I knew I wanted to continue to grow in confidence in a similar program.”
It was at that time she heard about Miss Idaho Outstanding Teen.
“I had such an amazing experience as a teen that I decided to compete in a local Miss Idaho program,” said Makenzie. “I won a local pageant, and competed at Miss Idaho, which was also an amazing experience.”
After competing in a few pageants and realizing the importance of being physically fit, Makenzie chose the platform “Fitness Inside and Out.”
“I have watched my family members and others experience difficulties and health problems because of weight,” said Makenzie. “In addition, as a little person, it is especially challenging to maintain a healthy weight. So when I decided to continue competing in the Miss Idaho pageant system, I knew I wanted to promote physical and emotional health.”
Makenzie promotes First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program, which focuses on eliminating childhood obesity. She also endorses the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award website.
“To utilize this website, I created a group called ‘Fitness Inside and Out,’ and encourage members of my community to create an account and log their fitness,” said Makenzie. “Physical fitness is important and contributes to good emotional health. I believe that when we are physically fit, we are better prepared and more willing to serve in our community and feel good about ourselves.”
Community service is a strong passion for Makenzie. As a child, she admits to feeling sorry for herself and finding it difficult to be happy. Her mother helped her get involved with many organizations in her community upon their move to Idaho.
“I noticed that when I was helping others I felt on top of the world, and didn’t even think twice about the obstacles in my life,” said Makenzie.
After finding out she was the first little person to compete in the Miss America pageant system, Makenzie said, “It felt incredible and freeing. I hope I can inspire other young women like me to pursue their dreams and believe they can accomplish anything.”
She also encourages people to never give up, and perform with everything you have.
“It is so important to not let the words of others bring you down,” said Makenzie, “and always focus on what you have to give.”
Miss Puerto Rico 2011 Laura Ramirez greeted Condado residents at the Renace Condado Cocktail Reception held at the Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This cocktail was a fundraiser for the Renace Condado organization which aims to build a safer and cleaner community, along with the State and Municipal Police Department, Puerto Rico Tourism, Parques Nacionales and the Municipality of San Juan.
Other special guests of the evening included chef Roberto Treviño, and other officials from the different dependencies of Condado, the president and founder of Renace Condado - John Fucile and plenty of San Juan socialites.