ATLANTIC CITY — While fans of Miss America continue to wait for the announcement of the 2019 competition date, the Miss America Organization continues to promote Miss America’s strong ties to the city.

Miss America Executive Director of Operations Karen Nocella spoke Tuesday to members of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber during a luncheon, explaining how Miss America can support local business and vice versa.

“With our new leadership, one of the things that we have dedicated ourselves to do is give back to the community that has given so much to Miss America,” Nocella said.

Part of that giving back includes a new scholarship, announced at Tuesday’s luncheon, to benefit seniors at Atlantic City High School. The Miss America Sisterhood Scholarship will be awarded to one young woman based on academic achievement, community service and a submitted essay.

The scholarship’s amount was not given, but it will be funded by previous Miss Americas through the nonprofit Miss America Foundation and the 51 state organizations.

Suzette Charles, Miss America 1984 and Atlantic City liaison for the MAO Board of Directors, who grew up in Mays Landing, led the initiative to create the scholarship.

Unlike other Miss America scholarships, the Sisterhood Scholarship looks to provide financial aid to a young woman not otherwise participating in a Miss America program or pageant.

“The Miss America Organization helped me by providing quality scholarship assistance, and I wanted to pass that along and empower a young woman to pursue her academic goals,” Charles said in a statement. “By creating this scholarship opportunity, the Miss America Sisterhood hopes to encourage success and support of young women in the local community and beyond.”

The Miss America Foundation recently announced the appointment of former Miss America 1991 Marjorie Vincent-Tripp as chairwoman of its Board of Directors.

“Part of my goal as the newly appointed chair of the Miss America Foundation is to expand the foundation’s mission of funding scholars to encompass young women who are accomplished and talented, yet may not have participated in the Miss America program,” Vincent-Tripp said in a statement.

Since she was appointed to the national office, which operates out of Boardwalk Hall, Nocella said, her main goal is for Miss America to have a year-round presence in Atlantic City.

Nocella said the MAO is building upon established relationships with Atlantic City organizations, such as the Metropolitan Business and Citizens Association and the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and creating new relationships with Atlantic County Habitat for Humanity, the Atlantic City Rescue Mission and the Women’s Center in Linwood.

“Atlantic City and Miss America are in the same breath for some people,” Nocella said.

Contact: 609-272-7286 Twitter @ACPress_LC

Staff Writer

Joined the Press in November 2016. Graduate of Quinnipiac University. Previously worked as a freelance reporter in suburban Philadelphia and news/talk radio producer.

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