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Miss America hosting pageant

June 13, 2006|by KRISTIN WILSON

HAGERSTOWN

Reigning Miss America Jennifer Berry will appear at The Maryland Theatre later this month as mistress of ceremonies for the Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen pageant.

Berry, who won the Miss America pageant representing Oklahoma, is believed to be the first reigning Miss America to visit Hagerstown in 21 years, local pageant organizers said.

Miss America 1985 Sharlene Wells made guest appearances during the 1985 Miss Maryland pageant, according to Herald-Mail archives.

"Everyone is very excited" about Miss America's involvement with the teen pageant, said Barbara Carson, a local volunteer with the Miss Maryland Organization. Pageant organizers hope Berry's appearance will create more interest in the teen segment of the Miss America Organization.

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Every year, the reigning Miss America participates as mistress of ceremonies in several state-level Miss America pageants.

This year, Berry will act as host of five pageants. The Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen pageant is the only teen event she is scheduled to host, according to information from the Miss America Organization.

States are chosen based on request and the amount of time since a national winner visited, said Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization.

Berry is scheduled to make several appearances in Hagerstown during her visit, including at a luncheon hosted by Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, the final night of the Miss Maryland pageant and a luncheon open to the public Saturday, July 1.

Berry will act as mistress of ceremonies at the Miss Maryland Outstanding Teen competition on Friday, June 30. Miss America 1981 Susan Powell will act as host for the Miss Maryland 2006 pageant, concluding July 1.

Berry will be traveling to Hagerstown after spending time in Washington, D.C., with the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization, her platform organization.

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