After 14 years as president of the Miss America Organization, Art McMaster has resigned.

In a letter to the Miss America Organization, McMaster wrote that “after successfully working with the lieutenant governor of New Jersey and the New Jersey officials to bring Miss America back to Atlantic City this September, I can now officially state that my work has come full circle, and with much pride, I am now moving on to begin the next chapter in my career. My decision is one that I have made for personal reasons.”

Sam Haskell, the chairman of the Board of Directors will also be the chief executive officer. Sharon Pearce, former vice president of the organization, will be the interim president.

“I know many of you have learned the news that Art is leaving, so I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank Art for his 14 years of dedicated service to our organization,” Haskell wrote in a statement. “Art decided to move in another direction and we will truly miss him. Upon Art’s departure I will work closely with Sharon ... (and) our dedicated staff to create a most memorable and successful return to Atlantic City.

“The staff is already preparing for the beloved Show Us Your Shoes Parade, along with creating special events for contestants and national press events. We are also working with ABC and Tall Pony Productions to produce a unique telecast that will reflect the beautiful beach and boardwalk and our home on the Jersey shore. Please join me as we wish Art and his family the very best and continued success. The Miss America family will truly miss him.”

Internet companies seek partners

MidOil USA’s Managing Director Vincent Crandon, who recently announced a $75 million financing commitment for 2UP, structured the transaction. 2UP Gaming PLC is a U.K.-based publicly held provider of leisure and entertainment products in the gaming, wagering and lottery segments of the gambling industry. Through 2UP.com, customers can access all gaming, wagering and lottery products from one website.

Crandon commented that “2Up is poised to become a major player in online gaming as it will have a full suite of world-class products, an existing profitable customer base, and the ability to fund an aggressive expansion campaign both online and a planned real-world hotel/casino acquisition in Atlantic City.”

I called Crandon and left a message but haven’t received a response yet.

After seeing The Atlantic Club end its agreement with Poker Stars, and noting that the 2UP company had publicly stated their desire to have a real world hotel/casino acquisition in Atlantic City, one might assume that they are speaking about The Atlantic Club. However, to date, there has been no comment from Michael Frawley, president of Atlantic Club.

The Mid-Oil Company had its representatives in to see New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck, and they were sent up to Trenton to explain their concept of entering into the Atlantic City gaming industry. There are quite a few other Internet companies that are now seeking to team up with some existing properties. It is anticipated we will hear about this in the very near future.

Events for forthcoming season

This summer season will have a number of interesting and exciting events that will be sponsored by the Atlantic City Alliance and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. They will kick off in mid-June with 24 world-class sand sculptors competing on the beach in Atlantic City adjacent to the Mississippi Avenue side of The Pier At Caesars. They will be vying for cash prizes. The type of sand being used will allow these large sculptures to remain for much of the summer.

This will be followed with a week of activities beginning with exciting powerboat races off our beaches on Sunday, June 23. Excellent viewing for these races will be on Garden Pier, Steel Pier, Central Pier and The Pier at Caesars. On Saturday, the day before the races, children and disabled people will have an opportunity for a free ride on one of the powerboats, which will be docked at the Farley Marina, in front of Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

This will be followed by the Atlantic City Salutes America’s Armed Forces Parade 6:30 p.m. Monday June 24. It will begin on the Boardwalk at New Jersey Avenue and end at Albany Avenue. A stunt pilot will start the parade with some interesting acrobatics over the beach. The parade will be led by an honor guard marching before a riderless horse that will represent those who lost their lives fighting for this nation in all of our battles. Further information about the parade will be forthcoming within the next couple of weeks.

Rear Admiral Mark Busby, an Atlantic City native son whose family owned the Dennis Hotel, will be fulfilling his final official order before his retirement after 31 years of service as he and his wife ride down the Boardwalk. A special plaque will be presented to him in front of Boardwalk Hall thanking him for his dedication and service to this great nation.

At noon Tuesday, June 25, Atlantic City’s Air Show will feature some of the finest civilian acrobatic pilots in the world during a run-through of their program. The show itself is scheduled for Wednesday June 26. Please note, the air show will begin at noon and end at 3 p.m. Although we are missing the aircraft from our military, the show will be a very exciting one never before seen over the beaches of Atlantic City.

At 7 p.m. that Tuesday, on the Kennedy Plaza stage in front of the Boardwalk Hall, there will be a concert by a special portion of the Bay Atlantic Symphony Orchestra. The event is free and open to the public. The public is invited to bring a chair and enjoy the marvelous music of this outstanding orchestra that will be playing patriotic songs.

This year’s spectacular fireworks display on Thursday, July 4, will be held in two sections of the beach and the Marina District of Atlantic City, instead of on barges in the ocean. It will serve to make the fireworks more exciting and interesting.

Throughout the summer, Atlantic City’s new Echo Park and sculpture walkway will be available for everyone to enjoy. There is easy access to the park either by parking at Harrah’s or the Golden Nugget and walking to the north end of their property or coming off the White Horse Pike into a gravel parking area adjacent to the Borgata. The specifics of what will be available to the public should be forthcoming within the next month or so. Remember everyone can fish, or get a kayak and enjoy this magnificent site that is being developed.

We’re happy to note that beginning in the summer there will be entertainment along the Boardwalk seven days a week. It will be held in different areas of the Boardwalk and is free and open to the public. The specifics of what will take place will soon be announced.

The Miss America Organization will have a special presentation of the contestants when they arrive in town Sept. 3. Their parade will be on Saturday night, Sept. 14. The ABC presentation of the final night of competition, Sunday, Sept. 15, will have the contestants visiting several areas in Atlantic City and its environs. This is a great way to show that Atlantic City is back and that Miss America is where she was born and bred. We look forward to a truly outstanding program. There is more to come.

Pinky’s Corner appears every Thursday in The Press. The Pinky’s Corner radio show airs 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on WOND 1400-AM. His TV show, “WMGM Presents Pinky,” airs 7:30 p.m. Saturdays on NBC TV40. E-mail Pinky at: pinky@pressofac.com.