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Miss Maryland mum on whether she'll keep fur coat

July 07, 2011

Miss Maryland Carlie Colella wouldn’t say Thursday whether she intended to keep the fox fur coat she was given for winning the state pageant or if she would donate it to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ anti-fur campaign, as PETA requested.

“At this point, I don’t have anything that I can say to that,” Colella said Thursday.

On Wednesday, PETA announced it had sent a letter to Colella, asking her to donate the fur, and another letter to the pageant’s executive director, asking her to pledge not to have fur prizes at future pageants.

Asked if contestants had to sign a contract that included appearing with the fur coat to participate in the pageant, Colella said, “We have a sponsorship with them so that’s between the company and the sponsorship.”

Maryland Fur Trappers is the sponsor that provided the fur coat.

Maryland Fur Trappers President Ronnie Leggett said Wednesday that Miss Maryland is required to make four appearances with the fur coat. He said the association donates the fur coat to the pageant as a way to educate the public about the need for wildlife management.

Colella, 20, of Hagerstown, referred further questions to Miss Maryland Executive Director Sherry Rush, who did not return three phone messages left on her cell phone Thursday.

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— Julie E. Greene

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