Miss Cache Valley Karlie Major traded in her old title and will now spend the next year promoting her platform — Get Real: Embracing a Positive Body Image Through Media Smarts — across the state after she was crowned Miss Utah 2014 at Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City Saturday.
It's a task and a platform she's excited to bring to the national stage as she represents Utah at the Miss America competition in Atlantic City in September.
"There hasn't been a platform yet at Miss America that is promoting and educating and empowering youth in media literacy," Major said Saturday. "This is such a relevant issue."
As Miss Utah 2014, Major will also act as an ambassador for the Miss America Organization's national platform, the Children's Miracle Network.
During Saturday's competition, 10 finalists were chosen from 48 titleholders based on preliminary scores from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday competition. The finalists were Bailey Johnson, Miss Davis County; Kelby Tyler, Miss Pioneer Valley; Lauren Wilson, Miss Pleasant Grove; Mallory Rogers, Miss Panoramaland; McKenna King, Miss Wasatch County; Sasha Heaps, Miss Provo; Kira Hannemann, Miss Northern Utah County; Chelsi Lukens, Miss Legacy; Abbey Eyre, Miss UVU and Major.
Lukens was named the fourth runner-up and took home a $600 scholarship. Heaps was named the third runner-up and received an $800 scholarship. Wilson, the second runner-up, was awarded a $1,500 scholarship and Eyre, as first runner-up, received a $3,000 scholarship.
As the new Miss Utah, Major was awarded a $10,000 scholarship.
Other awards given Saturday night included the 2014 Children's Miracle Network Miracle Maker Award, which went to Miss Roy Brittni Strickland, who raised more than $6,000 for the Children's Miracle Network. The Miss America scholastic award went to Miss Pioneer Valley Kelby Tyler, while the Miss America service award went to Miss Lehi Dania Rice. Tyler also received the Sadie Huish Memorial Scholarship during an earlier night of competition.
Additional awards included the Spirit of Miss Utah award, which is voted on by the contestants and went to Miss Pacific Islander Whitney Matagi, and the Glenn Harman Instrumental Music Awards, which went to Miss Utah County Hannah Harkness and Miss Garfield County Baylee Palmer.
This year, the Miss Utah Organization partnered with the non-profit charity organization Dando Amor and participated in their "Shoes for Love" program, collecting more than 70,000 pairs of shoes for children in Ecuador, Africa and Haiti. The new Miss Utah Karlie Major and Miss Draper Kelsey Blaser were honored for their work in collecting the most shoes out of the 48 contestants.
During the first night of competition Wednesday, Lukens, the eventual fourth runner-up, took home a preliminary talent award for her performance of "And I Am Telling You," from the Broadway musical Dreamgirls, and Miss Lehi Dania Rice claimed a lifestyle and fitness award.
On Thursday, Lukens won a lifestyle and fitness preliminary award, while Miss Utah County Hannah Harkness won the talent preliminary with her piano performance of "Flight of the Bumblebee."
During Friday's competition, Heaps, Saturday's third runner-up, took home a lifestyle and fitness preliminary award and Eyre, Saturday's first runner-up, won the talent award for her dance performance.
Each preliminary award winner received a $100 scholarship.
More than 700 young women competed in local Miss America-affiliated pageants throughout Utah this year, with the 48 titleholders raising $9,000 and donating some 1,100 hours of service to the Children's Miracle Network. These 48 young women also have dedicated a combined 19,000 hours of service and raised $456,000 to support their personal platforms.