January 6, 2012


All 53 contestants competing for the 2012 Miss America Pageant debuted in their EXPRESS fashions at the annual arrival ceremony at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The arrival ceremony was hosted by one of the stars featured at Planet Hollywood, Josh Strickland. Returning to the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino for the seventh consecutive year, the contestants’ arrival kicked off a week of preliminary competitions (interview, lifestyle and fitness, talent and evening wear), culminating in the live telecast on ABC, Saturday, Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. (EST)/tape delay (PST). On hand to welcome and introduce the 2012 Miss America Contestants were Rossi Ralenkotter, President and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Tom Collins, Commissioner and Board Chair of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; David Hoenemeyer, Regional President of Bally's, Paris and Planet Hollywood; Sam Haskell, III, Chairman of the Board of the Miss America Organization and Art McMaster, President and CEO of the Miss America Organization. This year’s Quality of Life finalists were also announced at the ceremony. 
The eight finalists and their personal platform issues are: 

Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover - Second Chances Through Mentoring

Miss Hawaii Lauren Cheape - C.A.R.E. - Collegiate Athletes Reaching Everyone

Miss Kentucky Ann Blair Thornton - Alzheimer's Awareness and Research

Miss Michigan Elizabeth Wertenberger - Continue to Dream - Giving Hope to Children with Chronic Illness

Miss Minnesota Natalie Davis - Autism Awareness: The Missing Piece

Miss New Hampshire Regan Hartley - Bullying Awareness in Our Community
Miss New York Kaitlin Monte - Anti-Bullying Through Youth Leadership
Miss Ohio Ellen Bryan - Promoting Lightning Awareness - "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors"
The Quality of Life Awards were introduced in 1988 to recognize contestants who excel in their commitment to community service.  In order to be considered for the Quality of Life Award, contestants must submit an application describing their involvement with Children's Miracle Network, the national platform of the Miss America Organization, and their own personal platform issue. 

The winner of the Quality of Life Award will receive a $6,000 scholarship, the first runner-up will win a $4,000 scholarship, and the second runner-up will win a $2,000 scholarship.  Winners will be announced at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on January 14 during the 3:00 p.m. (PST) press conference.

Additional information about the Miss America Organization can be found at www.MissAmerica.org.
For tickets to attend the Miss America Competition, call Ticketmaster at 1-877-307-8667 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

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