September 2nd, 2005
Our National Teen Pageant Champion!
» Vermilion's Miss Teen USA Ready For Big Year
SAKAL, Cleveland Morning Journal Writer
(Ohio) -- To say the next year of Alexandra Leigh ''Allie'' LaForce's life
will be unique as she prepares to reign as Miss Teen USA would be an
understatement. But the 16-year-old, who earlier this month followed in
the footsteps of her mother, Lesa Rummell LaForce -- winner of the Miss
Ohio USA Pageant in 1977 -- maintains that she'll continue doing the
things she normally does.
you ask her, she'll spend the next 12 months playing basketball for
Vermilion High School -- where she will be a junior this year -- eating
pizza at Smokin' Joe's and taking trips in the family boat, just as she
Allie, who carries a 4.2 grade point average and is the top student in her class, also said she'll continue to serve on student council. ''It's relieving, but it's great because I get the best of both worlds,'' Allie said of being home. ''I'll miss a few days of school here and there because of what I'll be doing as Miss Teen USA, but that's being worked out. My whole life, I've always been busy.'' Allie returned home from New York for the first time in five weeks late Monday night after becoming the first Ohioan to win the Miss Teen USA crown in the 22-year history of the nationally televised pageant. And she did it in front of about 250 million viewers -- and an entourage of about 20 family members and friends.
In her first interview since returning home, LaForce said yesterday she'll be in school when it starts Aug. 30, and at the Vermilion High School football game on Friday cheering on her brother Jack, 15, the team's starting middle linebacker.
The game will be a celebration for Allie, as well. She will be recognized by Vermilion Mayor Jimmy Davis and the Vermilion Chamber of Commerce and may take part in the pregame coin toss. As Miss Teen USA, Allie also will be spending time in New York living with Miss Universe and Miss USA, rehearsing for a speaking part in an episode of the soap opera, ''Passions,'' and also will speak for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and perform other community service. To round out her busy year, Fox 8 News meteorologist Dick Goddard already has tapped Allie to be the grand marshal of the Woolly Bear Festival Parade on Oct. 2 -- the day after she passes on the Miss Teen Ohio crown to the 2006 winner. ''Her plate's a little bit full right now, but that's OK,'' said Lesa LaForce. ''We told her to take the time to enjoy it.''
Allie also said she had hoped to continue her 10-year tradition of working in the Midway Oh Boy restaurant's stand at the Lorain County Fair with her sister AuBre, 10, and plans to soon eat a Miss Teen USA Hot Fudge Allie Royale Sundae -- named for her -- at Romp's Dairy Dock on Liberty Avenue. ''Before we left for Baton Rouge, a lot of the businesses had signs on their marquees wishing Allie good luck,'' Lesa LaForce said. ''The community support has been great. Everyone has gone nuts over this.'' Wade LaForce, a Lorain native, who is the vice president of sales for an engineering and computer software consulting firm, said he's glad to have his daughter home.
''The greatest thing about her being crowned is that she's going to continue her teenage life along with her friends,'' LaForce said. ''We told her to keep it all in perspective while having fun. Personally, I'd like to thank the community for all of its support. She's just a good kid, and good-hearted.'' Allie believes the key in winning the Miss Teen USA crown was ''just being herself'' and eating healthy -- Special K cereal and a piece of fruit for breakfast, a turkey wrap sandwich for lunch and chicken breast for dinner.
From her pageant winnings, Allie brought home a $250,000 cash and prize package that includes about $100,000 in scholarship money and a $60,000 two-year scholarship to the School of Film and Television of New York City.
An aspiring broadcast journalist, Allie said she would like to become a sports commentator for ESPN. During her year as Miss Teen USA, she'll get to work with NBC and has a one-year contract with the Donald Trump Modeling Management. Trump owns the Miss Universe Corp. ''That'll be pretty cool,'' she said of working with NBC. ''I've been pretty blessed with everything I have gotten to do.'' Allie admits that her mother helped her along the way soon after she won the Miss Teen Ohio Pageant in Portsmouth in November. ''She definitely helped me out and gave me some pointers, but she's never been a pushy person,'' Allie said. ''She just told me to be myself and have fun.''
Lesa LaForce was speaking from experience.
Lesa LaForce, a native of Paris, Ohio, owns the modeling agency About Faces Models and Talent in Atlanta and commutes there once a week. She still laughs at the Farah Fawcett hairdo in her winning photo from the 1977 Miss Ohio USA Pageant. ''Pageants have come a long way, but they really haven't changed a bit,'' she said. ''The girls or women in these pageants are high achievers, and you have to be as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside to make a difference.'' Allie said that being in the pageant would have been victory enough.
''My family made sure to tell me that even if I didn't win -- I was still a winner,'' Allie said. ''They told me I was a winner just by being myself. You have to stay true to yourself.''
»Kudos & Did You Knows
- Kudos to Miss Florida USA 2005 Melissa Witek on her appearance in the new national Under Armour Sportswear catalogue. Channeling her inner supermodel this shoot was done just after Miss USA. Also look for Ms. Witek in point of purchase advertising in Sports Authorities all over the country. Congratulations and work it Melissa!
- Did you know that Survivor Guatemala contestant Danielle Boatwright was this close to becoming Miss USA in 1996? This former Miss Kansas USA was first runner-up to Ali Landry one February evening on South Padre Island. Now she is queen of the jungle as we have a pageant rooting interest this season. Miss Florida USA alumni Gina Crews was the first pageant contestant to cross over to the reality world as she was on the inaugural season of Survivor some four years ago! Were rooting for you Danielle!
Miss Boatwright then and now!
- Kudos to all of our Miss Florida USA Family for doing what they can do to help the Hurricane Katrina survivors. All it takes is a credit card and surfing to www.redcross.org and give to those who absolutely have nothing! Yeah Miss Florida USA family for being there when it counts!
»Miss Florida USA Cares!
all of those who have asked about helping the Hurricane Katrina victims we are
coordinating a Miss Florida USA cares campaign with Simon Malls in Miami-Dade
County. The details are forming and should be in place by this upcoming
Wednesday (9/7/05) but look for current and former titleholders helping raise
funds at Sunset Place, Dadeland Mall and International Mall the weekends of
September 10-11; September 17-18 and September 25-26.
are asking all current and former preliminary and state titleholders in South
Florida to volunteer a few hours for this cause. Bring your crown and banner and
join in this much-needed event. The media and local celebrities will also be
involved so please either call Tel-Air Interests at (954) 924-4949 or email us
directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to assist. The
Miss Florida USA family can make a difference!
» Pageant News Wanted!
Are you a titleholder or at large delegate who is making appearances or doing good things in the community? We would love to tell all of the Miss Florida USA Family your story. Send pictures and updates to email@example.com as we feature everything Miss Florida USA on Friday’s at Faces & Places.
Alumni News Wanted!
If you know of any Miss Florida USA alumni in the news please drop us an email to feature them in future articles. Email all info to firstname.lastname@example.org! Until next week here to good pageantry!
PICTURE OF THE WEEK!
After trying to get motivated to find the perfect pageant picture of the week just didn’t seem appropriate after Monday’s Gulf Coast disaster. So in an effort to show our readers why we need to help I found this shot by David Kaye of Lake Charles, Louisiana, took this picture of a injured young man Wednesday while delivering bottled water to victims and volunteers in New Orleans. He is just one of the millions of people in need along with this caption. PLEASE do what you can to help! Miss Florida USA is doing several fundraisers around the state or simply surf to www.redcross.org and donate. God Bless us all!
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