ELLE gives Miss DC New Look

Rush out to your nearest newsstand and pick up the January edition of Elle magazine! You'll read a special article about ME (!!!), Miss Kentucky, and Miss New York along with an incredible photo spread of us in haute couture fashions.

Zac Posen personally chose me to dress and style for the issue, and I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out. Thanks, Zac!

Perhaps this could be my big entry into the wonderful world of fashion modelling?? Let's see how Miss America turns out, first!

Spreading Holiday Cheer

When I was asked to join the Marines and others in spreading holiday cheer around the Veterans Affairs Hospital in the District, I rearranged my schedule to be sure that I could go - how could I miss the opportunity to give back to those who have given so much for me??

It was certainly a night to remember! We visited, distributed holiday treats, played Bingo, posed for pictures with Santa, and listened to the stories of a lot of people who really have some to tell!

I do want to send a special note to my new friend, Jason, who didn't seem to want to let me go... and Ron, whose enthusiasm for life was absolutely inspiring. And to all of the Marines who so unselfishly gave of their time, thank you for including me in such a wonderful effort.

Contestant Profiles/Videos Available on CMT.com

Log on to the County Music Television website to read about each of the Miss America contestants and see my profile video, hometown pictures, and answers to the Miss America Questionnaire.

Here are some of the things you can find:

Contestant bios, favorites, video profile and personal photos.
Miss America Radio (programmed with the contestants' favorite songs)
Vote for the Best Smile (Vote for me, of course!!)
Play the $1,000,000 game
Vote in January for Miss Congeniality
Meet the Judges
Download the official judging form
Chat on the Miss America Message Board
… and more!

Check it out at http://www.missamerica.cmt.com/ and tell all your family and friends!

USO Casino Night

The United Service Organization is instrumental in its support for our Nation's Armed Services. To raise funding for its efforts, the USO annually hosts a Casino Night. This year, I attended, along with Miss Maryland, and Miss Greater Richmond County. Several soldiers from Walter Reed were able to be in attendance as well as USO supporters that came in from at least as far away as Michigan!

We gambled the night away (with fake money, of course!) trying our hands at BlackJack, Roulette, Craps, and Texas Hold 'Em. Rhett Butler, of World Championship Poker fame (5th in the World!), was there to give us tips on how to keep our "poker face."

After this fun night of mixing, mingling, and money-making, the "Beauty Queens and Poker King" spent the following day at Walter Reed Hospital and the Mologne House visiting with patients and their families. To all that we met - thank you for being our HERO!

USO Lunch at the Pentagon

Once monthly, the USO organizes a luncheon in honor of wounded soldiers from Walter Reed and Bethesda military hospitals AT THE PENTAGON. Each luncheon, they arrange for an entertainer or other celebrity to attend and meet the 50 or so brave men and women who deserve our appreciation so much. This month, the honor belonged to Miss Virginia (Adrianna Sgarlata), Miss Maryland (Brittany Leitz) and me!

It was almost a repeat Thanksgiving, with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie! We got to visit a little bit of time with the soldiers and their families while everyone ate. It was amazing to hear their stories and learn a little about each of them - I also tried to persuade them to cheer for ME at Miss America!

This is the latest in a series of several events I have participated in with the USO. Thank you to the USO for supporting a partnership between the Miss America contestants and your fine organization. We can't thank our soldiers enough for their service, or you enough for keeping up their morale.

(Sergeant Major Preston of the Army was in attendance and "coined" each of us. That makes two Sgt. major coins I have collected this year!! )

Capitol File

Last night, Capitol File, a magazine which has been extremely generous in offering support to me this year, celebrated its 1st Anniversary. The National Portrait Gallery was filled with Washington socialites, many of whom have been printed in the magazine's famed Social Scene section over the past year. The music played, the people smiled, and the photographers snapped away!

The Guest of Honor was Supermodel, Iman, also a celebrated philanthropist. She graces the cover of Capitol File's 1st Anniversary issue. It was such an honor to meet her! Also in attendance were several Washington sports stars and actress Bai Ling.

My girls and I certainly had a blast! Thanks, Mark, for acting as our papparazzi! And a HUGE thank you to Jayne Sandman for her enthusiasm and for promoting my involvement with Capitol File in its first year.
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