56 women compete for the titles of Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen in Mid-Missouri

1 year 9 months 1 day ago Saturday, June 17 2017 Jun 17, 2017 Saturday, June 17, 2017 3:00:00 PM CDT June 17, 2017 in News
By: Shade Bullock, KOMU 8 Reporter
Miss Missouri contestants line up at last year's final night.
MEXICO - 56 young women across the state have assembled at the Missouri Military Academy to compete for the titles of Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen. The winner was announced last night at the Teen finals. The Miss finals begin tonight at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the door. The Miss Missouri and Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen will represent Missouri at Miss America and Miss America's Outstanding Teen.
 
Heleena Haberer was crowned as Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen last night.
 
Haberer said, " I was overjoyed, I was excited, I was honored, and I still haven't let it sink in yet," when describing her initial thoughts when announced as MMOT. 
 
Every young woman competing for the state title is representing her local title at state. Girls have represented a local city/community all year long participating in appearances, community service and events in that area. Each contestant has a board made up of local community leaders/volunteers to help prepare her for the state pageant.
 
Miss Missouri is more than just a beauty pageant. Each contestant is required to have a personal platform, a cause that she is passionate about and promotes all year as a local, state, and national title holder. Being adopted herself, Heleena's personal platform is "The Faces of Adoption."
 
Harberer said, "As Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen, I hope to teach all teens to celebrate others differences instead of just tolerating them."
 
In addition to their personal platforms, contestants act as ambassadors for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Each competitor is required to raise a certain amount of money in order to compete at the state pageant. The Miss Missouri Organization was ranked first nationally in raising the most amount of money.
 
Miss Missouri's Outstanding Teen Director Steve Wilson said, "This year in 2017  the outstanding teen contestants raised over $31,000 for Children's Miracle Network."
 
The Miss America Organization is also one of the world's largest scholarship providers, annually awarding over $45 million in scholarships. Miss Missouri competitors have received scholarships for preliminary awards, top ten placement, and extraneous honors like Miss Congeniality.
 
Wilson said, "For the teen contestants we were able to give almost $7,000 in scholarships and for the Miss contestants, I believe we are giving over $40,000 in scholarships this year."
 
All week long girls have been rehearsing, making appearances in the Mexico community and competing in preliminary competitions to evaluate who will be in the top ten final nights. Girls compete in evening wear, on stage question, lifestyle and fitness (swimsuit for Miss and athletic production for teen), talent, and personal interview.

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