April 6, 2011

Welcome Home, Miss America!


It was an evening of dreams for Miss America Teresa Scanlan and those who support her and the Miss Nebraska Scholarship Program.
Scanlan was honored at a banquet Friday night, the culmination of her homecoming to North Platte after winning the national title in January. 
Representing Governor Dave Heineman, Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy read a proclamation declaring Feb. 25 as "Miss America Teresa Scanlan Day" in Nebraska, and also inducted the 18-year-old into the Nebraska Navy.
Among the guests was the panel of judges who selected Scanlan as Miss Nebraska in June.
"We did it!" said judge and former Miss America Erica Dunlap. "I'm so proud to be here to celebrate this young lady."  
Prior to the banquet, Scanlan was at the Platte River Mall for a free autograph session where hundreds of people lined up to meet the Gering native.
"A role model shows everybody how to behave," according to Mason Newland, 8, who waiting in line for an hour to get an autograph. "I'm a role model for my brother. I show him and he copies me and that's how we learn."
Miss America is a good role model, Mason said, which is why he and his brother Zane wanted to meet her.
Mayor Marc Kaschke presented Scanlan with a key to the city during Friday evening's festivities.
"We are proud to call you an honorary citizen of our city," he said. "When you won, I was giddy as a school girl, bouncing off the walls and texting my friends."
Dunlap, who joined pageant co-director Jay Engel as host for the evening, had some fun at Kaschke's expense. 
"Our next performer will be Mayor Kaschke, acting as giddy as a school girl," Dunlop said, drawing laughs from the crowd. "I will pay money to see that."
The evening featured performances by Calvin Jones, composer of "White Water Chopsticks," the piano piece performed by Scanlan during the Miss America pageant and Miss Arkansas Alyse Eady, Miss Hawaii Jaylee Fuselier, Miss Washington Jacquie Brown, Miss Oklahoma Emoly West, Miss Connecticut Brittany Decker and Miss Vermont Caroline Bright.
Scanlan winds up her homecoming tour in Omaha today. 

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