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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Miss America Homecoming

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For those who do not know, I was in Miss Indiana this past year, placing 2nd Runner Up to Katie Stam, who went on to become Miss America!! I was in Las Vegas to first-hand witness Katie's amazing journey of achieving her childhood dream of becoming Miss America. The week was one of the most inspiring and motivating weeks I have ever had!

March 5, I flew back to Indianapolis for Katie's Homecoming and the crowning of the new Miss Indiana. Talk about a fantastic weekend! I began by photographing Katie for Indianapolis Monthly Magazine on Thursday and picking up Miss California, Jackie Geist at the airport. Friday, I visited my college campus & favorite, irreplaceable hairstylist Bryce before picking up Leigh-Taylor Smith, Miss NY to head to the Homecoming rehearsals and show. I am loving getting to know this girl better - what an amazing [& absolutely hysterical] person! We arrived and were greeted by 10 other Miss America contestants and the rest of the Top 5 from Miss Indiana. Tech rehearsals, visiting with the girls, photos, and of course, FOOD.

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For the program, it began with the video of Mario Lopez announcing that incredible moment...."Miss America 2009 is..... Miss Indiana, Katie Stam!!!" The moment was recreated as Katie rose from below the stage in her beautiful white evening gown, an arm full of roses and of course, the Miss America crown! She performed followed by performances by MAOT Taylor Fitch, MIOT Megan Thwaites and the Top 5 of Miss Indiana, during which I performed "Wonderful" -- in front of the Miss America girls. Quick change into evening gowns and the Top 5 as well as all the former Miss Indiana's stood on stage to witness the crowning of the new Miss Indiana, Megan Meadors. Megan, a very close friend, is the most deserving person of this title and job! SHE will be a Miss Indiana to remember!! People may look at Ashley, Katie, myself and Nicole and think we're nuts for passing up the crown, but it could not be more perfect. Katie performed with the princesses and then the Miss America contestants spoke and performed (IL, OK, UT, KY, AR, MI, TN, CA, FL, NY, IA) All are incredible, beautiful and talented women and it was SUCH a pleasure to get to know them a bit!

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Performing in that company reminded me of my goal: to be Miss America. Having been a part of Katie's journey since the beginning of her involvement in MAO has made this goal attainable. The weekend made me so proud of the Miss Indiana Organization! Congratulations and Thank You to all who made the weekend possible!

After dinner with the "Pageant Posse" and hotel-hang-out time with the MA girls, I headed home at 2:00 AM only to leave at 5:15 AM for the airport on Saturday to return to my NY Sweeper interview. Let's just say - it was a difficult flight experience. The short of it - obviously with that kind of sleep, I didn't shower in the morning - which eventually found itself to be a mistake since my flight was delayed twice and then cancelled - got a new flight but I ended up getting ready (recurling my hair and redoing my makeup) at the airport, changing into my interview outfit and tennis shoes only to find my luggage didn't make it to NY, so I just ran straight to my Miss Manhattan/Metropolitan/GG interview, arriving with 5 1/2 min to spare in the last girl's interview!!! If I've learned anything in Miss America, it's BE PREPARED and BE FLEXIBLE!! I soared through the day and the weekend on the adrenaline from the Miss America Homecoming and the encouragement of all of the Miss America Contestants, especially my good friend, Katie Stam. A weekend to remember!!

LOTS OF PHOTOS!! [click the X to see the entire album]

:) CLAIRE

1 Comments:

Blogger Miss Pride of Indiana 2008 said...

Go Claire! New York is lucky to have you!! I'll be cheering you on even though I have to crown the next Miss Indiana the same weekend of Miss New York:(. I hope all of the Miss New York girls know what a great friend they are making!! Hope to see you soon!

Megan Meadors
Miss Indiana 2008

March 22, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

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