Miss America Hopefuls Help Out at Atlantic City Rescue Mission

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A new Miss America will be crowned on Sunday in South Jersey.

And our own Miss New Jersey 2017 has something in common with the Miss America pageant, they were both born in Atlantic City.

“So I was born right here in Atlantic City, at the Atlantic City hospital,” said Kaitlyn Schoeffel, Miss New Jersey.

“I was raised about 10 minutes outside of Atlantic City and I grew up here," said Schoeffel. "So as a child, I grew up going to the parade, going to the pageant, and really just living in this culture and the tradition of the Miss America pageant.”

New Jersey residents are proud to claim the iconic event and even more proud to claim their Jersey girl each year. That is why Schoeffel says, being Miss New Jersey this week is especially sweet.

“Being Miss New Jersey here in A.C. is the best thing in the world,” said Schoeffel.

“I feel like I’m Miss America already just because of the way the entire community has treated me throughout the entire week,” said Schoeffel.

Even with all of that royal treatment, she says she hasn’t forgotten just how lucky she is to have realized her dreams.

“It’s truly incredible to be here and remembering that I was that four-year-old little girl looking at all of these 51 girls and wanting to be like them one day so it’s really a dream come true,” said Shoeffel.

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Fifty-one contestants are in Atlantic City hoping that on Sunday, September 10th, they secure the title of Miss America 2018. But first, they’re giving back to the city that the pageant calls home — at the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.

“Service is one of the cornerstones of the Miss America Organization and it’s one of the things that I believe keeps contestants interested and invested," said Cecili Weber, Miss Virginia. "So, it’s a great way for us to feel as though we’re giving back to our communities and giving back to the nation as a whole.”

One of Miss America’s most important duties is to be a role model. Titleholders hope not just to wow children with their sparkly crown, but to inspire them to give back to their communities.

“It’s fun because they're invested in the service work too,” said Weber. “They worked very hard to bring in the canned goods and they were excited to share their hard work with us.”

Multiple schools participated in the food drive, which has become a friendly competition. The school which collects the most items wins an appearance by the new Miss America.  

And just who will she be? We’ll find out this Sunday.

Recommended: Miss America 2018 Action Underway in A.C.

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