Pumpkin Show set for September 23-26
Miss America 2009 coming to Versailles Pumpkin Show

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Here she is - Miss America 2009 Katie Stam - right at the Versailles Pumpkin Show, sponsored by the Versailles Lions Club.

The big news for the 2009 preparations for the upcoming Pumpkin Show scheduled for September 23 through 26, is that Miss America will be in attendance on Saturday, September 26.

Excitement is mounting as plans have been finalized to have the beauty queen attend the 107th Versailles Pumpkin Show.

“This is truly a special occasion for the town, the Lion’s Club and the community,” noted Jerry Gilpin, who was instrumental in securing her presence for the event.

Stam hails from Seymour where she began the odyssey of the beauty pageant world to first become Miss Indiana then on to take the Miss America title in January of this year. She is the first Miss America to be named from Indiana in the 88-year history of the pageant.

The 22-year-old has a passion for service and promoting community service and involvement. As Miss America 2009, she is the National Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network and is the official spokesperson for Zerosmoke.

She attends the University of Indianapolis majoring in communication with an emphasis in electronic media to obtain a bachelor’s degree in communication.

Scholastic honors for Stam include first place IASB News Anchor; 1st place IASB News Reporter, and Elisa Bowen Outstanding Student in Television Award. Her career ambition is to become a television news reporter and anchor.

Although her journey has already taken her many miles from her hometown of Seymour where she graduated from high school, Stam holds fast to her roots proving even a girl from a small town can achieve the dream of one day becoming such an American icon.

She has been quoted as saying, “The best part of my job is coming home and being a representative of this state.” She says “dreams do come true through hard work and dedication.” Stam said from the time she was a little girl Miss America was a role model for her. Now she has the opportunity to be a role model for thousands of girls just like her.

Stam is the daughter of Keith and Tracy Stam, who are both school teachers in Seymour. She practiced singing since she was a child, performing with her family, known as the Stam Family Singers. She was active in 4-H, made good grades in school, and won her first pageant when she was 15-years-old - the Teen Jackson County Pageant. Then she took the Kentuckiana Teen title. She also claimed the Southern Teen crown. She went on to win the Jackson County Junior Miss title in 2004, just to name a few of her crowning achievements before claiming the ultimate title in 2009.

She believes her mission is to make a difference in people’s lives. That’s her ultimate goal at the end of the day. She wants to leave a legacy through her endeavors this year as Miss America. She says she’s a Hoosier at heart and looks forward to coming back to her home state eventually to live.

The Miss America Organization is the largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women and one of the nation’s leading achievement programs. Last year alone the organization made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. Stam not only received the title of Miss America, a crown and sash, but a $50,000 scholarship.

From the first live broadcast of the Miss America competition in 1954, the telecast is the fourth longest running live event in television history. With over 3.5 million television viewers watching, Stam was crowned at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on January 24. Since then, she has toured the country, spoke at various events, and signed thousands of autographs.

She will be speaking at the Versailles Pumpkin Show this year, an event you won’t want to miss. Watch for additional information on Miss America as she makes her way to Versailles in September.

Katie Stam - Miss America 2009