The Miss Mountain Empire Scholarship Organization is a local preliminary to the Miss Virginia and Miss America Scholarship Organizations. The Miss America Organization, with its state and local affiliates, is the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women.
The Miss Virginia Pageant, a Scholarship Pageant, was held for the first time in Roanoke in 1953. That year, Elizabeth Bowles, a member of the Valley Junior Woman's Club went to Atlantic City and requested a franchise for the Miss Virginia Pageant for her Club. She was successful in getting the franchise and the pageant was directed and produced by the Valley Junior Woman's Club until 1963. In October of 1963, a non-profit organization, the Miss Virginia Pageant, Incorporated, headed by Jack C. Smith, Executive Vice President of the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce, was formed, and the franchise was granted to that group by the Miss America Pageant. The pageant celebrated its 50th year in Roanoke in June 2003.
The first Miss Virginia Pageants in Roanoke were held in the Ballroom at The Hotel Roanoke. Later on the pageant was moved to The American Theatre and remained there until the opening of the Roanoke Civic Center Auditorium. It moved to the Roanoke Civic Center Auditorium and continues to be held there.
Pageant headquarters have always been at the Hotel Roanoke with the exception of the time that the hotel was closed. The pageant moved its headquarters to Holiday Inn Tanglewood and stayed there until the Hotel Roanoke reopened. The Hotel Roanoke lends itself well to the pageant because of its beauty, charm and close proximity to the Civic Center Auditorium.
Virginia has had two young women to hold the title of Miss America -- Kylene Barker - Miss America 1979, and Miss America 1999, Nicole Johnson. Virginia has been fortunate to consistently have contestants in the top ten or in the non-finalist talent and swimsuit categories.
The Miss Virginia Pageant has been televised every year but one since 1964 which gives the Roanoke Valley Area excellent statewide publicity. In addition, the area receives national publicity when Miss Virginia appears in the Miss America Pageant.
The Miss Virginia Pageant is important to the Roanoke Valley area in many ways -- the economic impact it has on the Valley ranges from $1.1 million to $3 million each year.
The Miss Virginia Pageant is a scholarship pageant, and each year scholarship dollars are given to deserving young women from all over the state who participate in local pageants and the state pageant.
At the local and state Miss America competitions, over $45 million in scholarship assistance was available in 2006.
The Miss America Pageant is, and has been for years, the largest scholastic benefactor to women in the world.
-As taken from the Miss Virginia Organization's website, History section
Developed by the Miss America Organization, the Miss America program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. It provides a forum for today's young women to express their viewpoints, talents and accomplishments to audiences during the telecast and to the public-at-large during the ensuing year. Almost all contestants have either received, or are in the process of earning either college or postgraduate degrees, and utilize Miss America scholarship grants to further their educations.
The Miss America Competition began in 1921 as part of an elaborate public festival staged by Atlantic City businessmen to extend the summer tourist season. In succeeding years, the Miss America competition evolved into an American tradition with contestants from each of the states competing every September for the coveted title of Miss America. Early on, the talent competition was made part of the Competition in addition to the original swimsuit segment.
In 1945, the Organization began supporting women's education by offering its first scholarship. Today, the Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Each year, the Miss America Organization makes available more than $45 million in cash and tuition scholarship assistance.
In the 1980's, a significant stride towards community service was made by the Organization when it began requiring each contestant in the local, state and national competition to embrace a social platform of national significance. As a result, Miss Americas have since become powerful, visible and credible spokeswomen for issues ranging from AIDS awareness and prevention programs to programs in support of homeless veterans. Whereas the Miss Americas of the past may have spent their year of service signing autographs in local drug stores for one of the pageant's sponsors, Miss America today is in great demand as a speaker before legislative bodies, civic and national service organizations and prestigious bodies of the nation's news media such as the National Press Club. Today, on an annual basis, Miss America state and local titleholders, along with the Organization's network of volunteers, participate in more than 12,000 community service projects, providing in excess of 500,000 service hours to worthy causes.
Since its inception in 1921 the competition continues to grow and remains rich in history and social significance. Based in Linwood, New Jersey, the Miss America Organization (a not-for-profit organization) provides young women with a vehicle to further their personal and professional goals and instills a spirit of community service through a variety of unique nationwide community-based programs
-As taken from the Miss America Organization website, Corporate Info Overview
For more information regarding The Miss Mountain Empire Scholarship Organization contact Allison Woods at email@example.com