Friday, Jan. 6, 2012 | 4:36 p.m.
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2012 Miss America Pageant
The first standout 2012 Miss America Pageant contestants in the Quality of Life Awards have been announced and might be the early ones to watch. But all 53 hopefuls put rivalry aside this morning to compete for best pancake-making skills at the annual IHOP pancake breakfast.
This time it wasn’t about vocal skills, but kitchen abilities. Not a battle -- but batter! Instead of twirling a baton high, it was about the perfect pancake flying high from the pan. Contributing photographer Tom Donoghue was on duty today for the first social sport of this year’s pageant headquartered at Planet Hollywood. The glamour girls arrived Thursday for the official welcoming ceremony at Planet Hollywood.
Two Miracle Kids from our local St. Rose Hospital joined the contestants as they swapped evening gowns for aprons in the playful pancake pandemonium. Buttermilk batter flew as the girls raced to flip, stack, cook, serve and consume plates and plates of IHOP’s pancakes for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
It was all to raise awareness for IHOP’s 7th National Pancake Day on Feb. 28 when more than 1,500 IHOPs offer a free short stack to raise awareness and funds for CMNH. This year’s goal is $2.7 million, to bring the total to $10 million over the past seven years the pageant has been held here.
Today is dance rehearsals and stage parade blocking for the contestants, and we we’ll have those photos later. Meantime, the 2012 Quality of Life finalists and their platforms 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 scholarship money, contestants submit an application describing their involvement with Children’s Miracle Network, the national platform of the Miss America Organization, and their platform.
The winner receives a $6,000 scholarship, the first runner-up $4,000 scholarship and the second runner-up $2,000. The Top Three from the finalists will be announced Thursday by 2011 Miss America Teresa Scanlan before a reunion luncheon for Miss America winners at Vintner Grill.
Check back to Vegas DeLuxe over the weekend for new reports and photo galleries as the 53 beauties show off their wardrobe styles and personality at the Fashion Show mall runway parade Saturday and as I join them for dinner at Buca di Beppo. Our daily coverage continues to the crowning of the 2012 Miss America on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Theater for the Performing Arts in Planet Hollywood and airing on ABC.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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