The Miss America Organization Names “Academy of Honor” Award to Twenty-three Year Miss Florida Volunteer

The Miss America Organization Names

“Academy of Honor” Award to

Twenty-three Year Miss Florida Volunteer

Las Vegas, NV- January 21, 2009 –The Miss America Organization today announced that Mary Sullivan, Executive Director of the Miss Florida Scholarship Program, is the recipient of the 2009 Academy of Honor Award. This prestigious award was established in 1996 to recognize one individual annually who has provided outstanding service to the Miss America Organization at the State or Local pageant level.

Art McMaster, President and CEO of the Miss America Organization, stated that Mary Sullivan exemplifies what it means to be an Academy of Honor Award recipient. “Mary’s passion and her continued dedication as a volunteer for the Miss America Organization is a shining example for others to follow,” said McMaster. “Throughout her years of service, Mary has made significant contributions to the Miss America program at the local, state and national level.” Her accomplishments have included serving as a Local Executive Director, and our Florida State Executive Director.

When asked what influenced her to volunteer with the Miss America Organization, Mary explained, “I have so many daughters and this program has been a blessing. I am so very proud to be there for these young women to let them know how very, very special they are!” Mary has helped thousands of young women and has helped open doors to continue their education and to help prepare them for life.

Mary will be presented with a Waterford crystal eagle at an award ceremony in Las Vegas and her name will be engraved with other Academy of Honor winners at the Miss America Organization’ national headquarters. In addition, the Miss America Organization will award a $10,000 scholarship grant to the Miss Florida scholarship fund.


Previous recipients of the Academy of Honor Award include Dana Phillips, Oregon, 2008; Kay Dickinson, North Carolina, 2007; Bruce Robert, Massachusetts, 2006; Gail Sanders, South Carolina, 2004; Charles Welch, Oklahoma, 2003; Tess Beauchamp, Connecticut, 2002; Robert W. Arnhym, California, 2001; Joseph P. Sanders, South Carolina, 2000; Larry Webber, Missouri, 1999; Meg Geraghty, New Hampshire, 1998; Robert Wheeler, Arkansas, 1997; and Tom Hensley, Tennessee, 1996.



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miss america


once again the miss america competition snuck up on me. i’m still used to it being in september and am having trouble getting on board with a january pageant.

a bit weird to welcome a new president and a new miss america in the same week. i’m sure there is a comparison somewhere in there, but all i can see are the jokes.

the pageant is saturday and this year i’m trying a virtual miss america competition via facebook, so log on to miss america’s website and choose your state.
as always, the prizes will be earth shattering.

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The Miss America Pageant – Notes from the Field

Fifty-two gorgeous contestants strutted their stuff on stage.  This year’s talent, at least in the first group of 18, was heavy on piano and song.  Miss Delaware, Galen Giaccone, won for a rousing rendition of “El Cubanchero” on the piano.

 

I don’t know how the judges could chose between all those eighteen beautiful young women parading around in hankerchiefs for the swimsuit competition, but chose they did with Miss Indiana, Katie Stam, buff and beautiful, coming out as number one.  It takes a special kind of confidence and poise to appear comfortable and relaxed in so little before so many.  As many of the former Miss Americas I interviewed for my book, Pretty Smart: Lessons from our Miss Americas, said, “If I could do that, I can do anything.” That’s a lesson for all of us about doing what you must to achieve a goal.

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Tonight – Preliminary Night One of Miss America 2009

Tonight Miss Ohio, Karissa Martin, and the Alpha group will compete in Talent. Best of luck to her as she sings “The Girl in 14G!” The prelims begin at 8 p.m. Vegas time. (Is that Mountain or Pacific time? I’m too lazy to look it up.)

The photos below are from this mornings rehearsal and are courtesy of Virginia’s photographer, Julius Tolentino. Click here to view his album and scroll down for a listing of the rest of the talent selections in the flight.

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Miss Illinois Talks Cheeky

CheekyChicago.com got to sit down with Miss Illinois, Katie Lorenzo, right before she heads on out to Vegas this weekend to compete in the Miss America pageant.  This down-to-earth Midwestern girl dishes about volunteerism, our amazing city and ice cream and French fries.  Sounds pretty Cheeky to us.

Cheeky: What’s a typical day like in the life of Miss Illinois?

KL: First of all, no day is typical – my business manager, Jason, is responsible for my schedule.  He books everything for me and I can view the calendar online.  Taking a look back at the week before Christmas, I was doing a tour of the Chicago Public Schools.  So, the day would start out at 9 a.m. – I’d do one school presentation, about 30-45 minutes long, answer student questions, then rush off to the next school.  Three of the days, I did four schools a day!  Sometimes I’ll go see the seamstress to get my gown ready for Miss America or, at night, I’ll go to a charity event.  No day is typical!

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How did TV pageants ever convince us that beauty queens were stupid?

This year, TLC launched a reality show, “Countdown to the Crown,” making contestants/stars of the beauty queens in the running for Miss America 2009. The show does what every other reality show does, putting the girls in “Survivor”-type situations. They go on scavenger hunts, answer questions and compete with each other in teams and as individuals. It’s an eye-roller of a reality-show idea, but once you start watching, you’re basically hooked. Such is the nature of reality TV.

What’s kind of brilliant about “Countdown to the Crown,” though, is the way the show connects viewers with the Miss America contestants, an insight from Miss Connecticut, 23-year-old Ashley Glenn, whom I spoke to before the first episode of “Countdown to the Crown” aired three weeks ago. (There are four episodes total, the final airing on Jan. 23, before the pageant on the 24th.)

Miss Connecticut and her alien-head friend.

Miss America Pageant 2009

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How did TV pageants ever convince us that beauty queens were stupid?

This year, TLC launched a reality show, “Countdown to the Crown,” making contestants/stars of the beauty queens in the running for Miss America 2009. The show does what every other reality show does, putting the girls in “Survivor”-type situations. They go on scavenger hunts, answer questions and compete with each other in teams and as individuals. It’s an eye-roller of a reality-show idea, but once you start watching, you’re basically hooked. Such is the nature of reality TV.

What’s kind of brilliant about “Countdown to the Crown,” though, is the way the show connects viewers with the Miss America contestants, an insight from Miss Connecticut, 23-year-old Ashley Glenn, whom I spoke to before the first episode of “Countdown to the Crown” aired three weeks ago. (There are four episodes total, the final airing on Jan. 23, before the pageant on the 24th.)

Miss Connecticut and her alien-head friend.

Miss America Pageant 2009

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