The Power of the Crown is formidable. I have seen it.
The sparkling eyes of children and old people, the opening of wallets to help Children’s Miracle Network. The “straightening up” of even the most jaded and discouraged people when Miss South Carolina walks into the room.
It is all undeniable and very visible.
There is no reason why Miss America’s Power of the Crown cannot make a triumphant and socially beneficial return to the American landscape. I have had no dealings with the Miss America Organization, scant dealings with the Miss South Carolina managers, and just a few dealings with local pageants, but I have seen Miss South Carolina at work. Bree Boyce Marsh came to the schools in Manning when I was a reporter there. From her first smile in that first school, I was hooked. The Clarendon County School Districts had Bree, from nearby Florence, come in for a week, and it was a great experience for everyone. Bree was just a little while removed from very serious “urban running” leg injuries, but she was quite a trooper. The magnificent community work of Ali Rogers FauntLeRoy is still today the stuff of local legends. Ali came back onto the national stage recently with a rousing defense of former Miss America and Miss New York Mallory Hagan, who was maligned in e-mails that have led to the resignations of former Miss America CEO Sam Haskell, COO Josh Randle and Chairman Lynn Weidner. These were exposed to the world by The Huffington Post (a caution: if you look this up, beware of the language) and a whistleblower. In fact, the whistleblowers on a culture of body-shaming and sexism in corporate and arts America are Time Magazine’s 2017 Persons of the Year (titled “The Silence Breakers”).
To a lesser extent, I have seen the community work of Leah Lawson, Presbyterian College and Laurens District High School graduate, who served as Miss South Carolina USA. My wife Pat’s piano student Kathryn Tribble serves as Miss Laurens County Teen and the reigning Miss LDHS. We have seen, first-hand, some of her preliminaries in the teen competition. We know that Miss Clinton Teen Carolyn Addison is a forceful advocate of better childhood literacy.
As the father of two daughters, I would have no reservations about their becoming involved in Miss America, had they expressed an interest. I say that knowing full well that any competition is “cut-throat,” any time there are “winners and losers” there is the opportunity for bad behavior. Our reigning Heisman Trophy winner is the poster-boy for that statement.
The “sexist email scandal” has swept clean the Miss America Organization. The pageant has announced former Miss America Gretchen Carlson as its new chairman. Effective Jan. 1, the additions of Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss, Miss America 2012, Heather French Henry, Miss America 2000, and Kate Shindle, Miss America 1998, are board members. The sophomoric rantings of Haskell and others about the bodies, sexual activities and business savvy of former Miss Americas have mobilized a great army of former and current titleholders. Already, this is an organization that since 2007 has raised more than $16 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Miss America scholarships.
Mobilized with a new mission, Miss America (since 1921, its logo points out) is poised to make the light of its crown shine more brightly than ever.
There is intense, person-lifting power in that light; I know, because I have seen it.
(Vic MacDonald is Editor of The Clinton Chronicle. Contact him at 833-1900 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
|MISS AMERICA ORGANIZATION ANNOUNCES
NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
|Atlantic City, NJ - The Miss America Organization is proud to announce Karen Nocella as the executive director of operations. She will oversee the day-to-day activities in the Atlantic City office.
Karen brings us over 30 years of experience in disciplines across public relations, marketing, and management channels. Karen joined the organization in 2008 as a tour manager for Miss America and worked as business manager and executive director of promotions and licensing where she was tasked with growing the brand through Miss America’s appearances. Prior to coming to MAO, she worked for the Phillies professional baseball club in their public and community relations department.
Karen’s honors include being featured in South Jersey Magazine’s Super Women, 2015.