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Miss Tidewater wins crown

July 02, 2006|by KRISTIN WILSON

HAGERSTOWN - Miss Tidewater Brittany Lietz took her victory lap on The Maryland Theatre stage Saturday night after winning the title of Miss Maryland 2006.

Lietz's platform is skin cancer awareness. The issue hits close to home for the 21-year-old, who was diagnosed with stage 2 melanoma in 2005.

With her year as Miss Maryland, Lietz said, "I just want to spread my message as far and as wide as I can."

Lietz will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant later this year. She wins a $10,000 scholarship, a car for the year donated by Dual Highway Motors, a fox fur coat presented by Maryland Fur Trappers, a $1,000 portfolio and portrait package from Photography by Dale, a $1,125 personal fitness training package from Beth Lewis and a year of massages from Renaissance Massage.

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Miss Annapolis Laura Kelley was named first runner-up. She will compete in the National Sweetheart Pageant in Hoopeston, Ill. She also wins a $4,000 scholarship.

Miss College Park Vickie Kalasinsky won a $3,000 scholarship as second runner-up. Miss Mountain Maryland Chia Jung Tsay was third runner-up and won a $2,000 scholarship, and Miss Cumberland Coty Warn was named fourth runner-up, receiving a $1,500 scholarship.

Scholarship awards in several other categories were given to contestants Saturday night and this morning during an awards brunch.

Five semifinalists each received a $1,000 scholarship, and all of the contestants received at least $500 in scholarship money for competing.

In total, the Miss Maryland Organization awarded about $40,000 in scholarships to contestants this past week.

Saturday's crowning of Miss Maryland capped a week of pageant activities. Twenty-four women from across Maryland competed Wednesday and Thursday nights before audiences at The Maryland Theatre.

This year, audiences can be assured to see Miss Maryland, Miss West Virginia and Miss Pennsylvania compete for the title of Miss America on national television.

The Miss America show has been overhauled so that all contestants will be featured. The Miss America Organization plans to air a documentary-style series over the course of seven days that will follow all 52 Miss America contestants through the preliminary competitions.

Viewers will get to vote for who they think should advance to the top 15.

"In 85 years that we've been in business, we've only showcased the final 15 contestants," said Art McMaster, president of the Miss America Organization, in a prior phone interview. "This is the first time in history that America gets to participate in the selection of Miss America."

The preliminary competitions will be filmed in Los Angeles in September, but won't be aired until January.

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