The Miss America Organization has prohibited contestants and judges from taking part in the National Sweetheart Pageant, a major event in pageant circles that has produced multiple Miss America winners, according to the Hoopeston Chronicle.

A change in contracts now prohibits them from working with the event if they want to continue to be part of the Miss America Organization, according to the report.

The Sweetheart Pageant, based in Hoopsten, Illinois, follows Miss America rules and scoring, despite not being affiliated with the Miss America Organization, the report said. The pageant features the runners-up from various state Miss America events, the report said.

Nine contestants from our National Sweetheart Pageant have become Miss America, according to the National Sweetheart Pageant’s website. Pam Eldred in 1970; Rebecca King in 1974; Grace E. Wardin 1982; Debrah L. Turner in 1990; Carolyn Sapp in 1992; Leanza Cornett in 1993; Tara Dawn Holland in 1997, Katie Marie Harman in 2002 and Caressa Cameron in 2010.

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