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Miss North Dakota campaigning for your online vote
5 January 2012

BISMARCK (UTN) - Miss North Dakota is asking for your vote. No, it's not a primary election. It's her campaign for the public vote of the Miss America Pageant.

At left, Miss Indian Nations Shanoa Pinkham (Yakima) and Miss North Dakota Ariana Walker have recorded public service announcements together.
DENNIS J. NEUMANN - United Tribes News

      Ariana Walker, Bismarck, a student at University of Mary, is asking North Dakotans, and Americans nationwide, to go online and vote her into the 'Top 15' candidates competing for crown.

      "Only three North Dakota women have made the 'Top 10' in Miss America in 90 years of the pageant," said Miss Walker. "Now there's a 'Top 15.' And one will be named 'America's Choice' based on the number of online votes."

      All of the contestants appear in short videos on the pageant's website, www.missamerica.org/videocontest, showing their style and personality and explaining why they should be chosen as the next Miss America. Unlike the clips of most of the contestants who highlight title glamour, Miss Walker's video emphasizes her commitment to community service. Seen in a t-shirt and passing along a heavy sandbag, she praises the National Guard and other volunteers who battled devastating floods in North Dakota cities in 2011.

      "Sandbagging is hard work, but so is being Miss America," Miss Walker says in the video. "It takes strength, dedication and service to others. You must be willing to put in long hours, travel and visit with people who are going through good times and bad."


      During her six-month reign, Miss Walker has raised money for her platform, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and for Miss America's official charity: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. She also made a connection on the powwow trail with North Dakota's tribal population. She attended the 2011 United Tribes International Powwow, visiting with participants, other royalty and spectators, and proceeding around the dance arbor during grand entry accompanied by former Miss Indian Nations Evereta Thinn (Dine'). She pursued the contact and more recently, Miss Walker and the reigning Miss Indian Nations, Shanoa Pinkham (Yakima), posed together for photographs and recorded joint public service messages intended for tribal audiences.

Miss North Dakota Ariana Walker with former Miss Indian Nations Evereta Thinn (Dine') at the 2011 United Tribes International Powwow
DENNIS J. NEUMANN - United Tribes News

      "It truly has been one of the highlights of Ariana's year," said her mother.

      Her parents, Renae and Dwayne Walker of Bismarck, met with the state's pageant director in December and urged the Miss North Dakota organization to continue to promote the tie with Miss Indian Nations.


      As for winning the public vote in online balloting, North Dakota's small population is a handicap. That's why, courting your vote, Miss Walker directs you and your friends to the pageant website www.missamerica.org/videocontest. You are to scroll down to Miss ND 2011 Ariana Walker, and click "Watch Video & Vote." Then click the little round dot to place your vote and receive a confirmation that it was recorded.

      It's your opportunity to get comfortable with casting a vote in this election year, and to endorse community service and friendship as important values in a pageant.

      Online voting ends Thursday, January 12. The pageant will be telecast from Las Vegas on Saturday, January 14 on the ABC television network.

      More information Renae Walker 701-527-4611, renae_walker@bismarckschools.org.



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