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Miss Virginia 2009

Miss Virginia 2009

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Virginia Tech's Own Competing for Miss Virginia Title By Millie AlspaughJune 26, 2009Gucci, Prada, Dolce and Gabbana are in? Think again.

Bargain shopping has become the trend for Miss Virginia contestants as the economy continues to flounder.It comes as no surprise that Amanda Jones, 22, a recent Virginia Tech graduate, has curtailed her clothing and accessory expenditure as she prepares to compete in the upcoming Miss Virginia Pageant.

The theme of the pageant, Miss Virginia 2009 'Gets Real', shows the organization's efforts to create realistic role models for young girls said Jones.

Jones said this year's contestants are shopping at stores that anyone can go to so that when a young girl says 'I like your shoes, where did you get them?' the response can be 'T.J.

Maxx', a reply that elicits a down-to-earth vibe, as opposed to 'Gucci'.

As the Miss Virginia Pageant feels the effects of the economic crisis, this "reality check" seems to have come just in time.

The 2009 Miss Virginia Pageant runs June 25-27 in the Roanoke Performing Arts Theater at the Roanoke Civic Center.

The opening night, Thursday, began at 8:00 p.m.

The preliminary rounds continue Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

followed by the final competition on Saturday at 9:00 p.m.Tickets will be $30 for Friday and $40 for Saturday and can be purchased at the Roanoke Civic Center Box Office, online at or over the phone at 888-397-3100.Bootie Chewning, the executive producer of the pageant, said the Miss Virginia Pageant has grown some in comparison with years past.

This year there are 29 girls from all over the state, particularly Northern Virginia, Richmond and Lynchburg.

The increase in participation could suggest that the recession is causing more women to seek scholarship opportunities than in years past.

Whitney Law, a Virginia Tech junior, competed in the 2008 Miss Virginia Pageant.

She said her central motivation for participating was to use the pageant as a means to promote her platform, "Funding the Fight: St.

Jude's Childhood Cancer Research".

Law received the 2008 Deborah Glakas Scholarship for community service at last year's pageant."My involvement with the Miss Virginia Organization is mainly focused on serving the community and the opportunity to earn scholarships that have assisted in furthering my education," Law said.Unfortunately, the scholarships are suffering on account of the economic situation.

Chewning said finding sponsorships this year has been incredibly difficult because people who have helped in the past are unable to contribute this year.

One method the pageant has implemented, as a means of fundraising for scholarships has been the online voting system said Chewning.

Voters can go online at and cast a vote for the 11th finalist to be considered for winning the title of Miss Virginia.

Voters pay 99 cents per vote and can submit as many votes as desired.

"It's kind of like 'American Idol,'" said Chewning.Additionally, board members of the Miss Virginia Organization have been assigned the task of working bingo at the Roanoke-Salem Plaza located on Melrose Avenue to raise money for the pageant, Chewning said.With a new image and innovative fundraising methods the Miss Virginia Pageant has found ways to adapt to the current economic situation.
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