Beauty queens vie for Miss America title in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Beauties from every state are competing for the Miss America crown Saturday night, an honor that carries with it a $50,000 scholarship and a yearlong run as an advocate and role model.
The winner will go on tour, speaking to groups around the country and raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, the organization’s official charity.
The competition at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip is the culmination of a week of preliminary competitions and months of preparations for the titleholders from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each one has already proven her poise, charm and volubility by winning her state crown.
The queens have been staying at Planet Hollywood, but the humming slot machines and flashing marquees have been little more than a blurry backdrop for a tight schedule of rehearsals, media events and one-on-one interviews with the judges.
Among the preliminary winners were Miss Maryland and Miss Oklahoma. Miss Alabama won the $6,000 Quality of Life Scholarship for her commitment to community service.
West Virginia is represented by Kaitlin Gates, a graduate of Bridgeport High School and a student at West Virginia University.