Thirty-Year Miss Oregon Volunteer
Las Vegas, Nevada- January 23, 2008 ---The Miss America Organization today announced that Dana Phillips, Executive Director of the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program, is this year’s winner of the 2008 Academy of Honor Award. This prestigious award was established in 1996 to recognize one individual annually who has provided outstanding service to the Miss America Organization at the State or Local pageant level.
According to Art McMaster, President and CEO of the Miss America Organization, Dana exemplifies what it means to be an Academy of Honor Award recipient. “Dana’s dedication and passion for the Miss America Organization are a shining example for others to follow,” said McMaster. “During her years of continuous service since 1972, she has made significant contributions to the Miss America program at the local, state and national level.” Her appointments have included serving as a Local Executive Director, a State Executive Director, Vice President of the National Association of Miss America State Pageants, and National Chair of the Miss America Trade Show.
One of Dana’s biggest fans is Miss America 2002 Katie Harman. “I have been blessed in so many truly innumerable ways by Dana Phillip’s selfless and passionate leadership of the Miss Oregon Scholarship Program,” said Harman. “She lovingly guided me in my public service as Miss Oregon and wholeheartedly assisted me in my preparation for the Miss America Pageant. She was a source of comfort, encouragement and wisdom during my reign as Miss America 2002.”
“I adore the fact that Dana finds something unique and wonderful in each Miss Oregon,” said Harman, “and that she celebrates it and shouts it forth to the world like any proud mother. She cradles this program and nurtures it, as well as the people involved with it, with love, devotion, optimism and gentle encouragement.”
Dana’s most visible contribution may be her tenure as Chair of the National Association of Miss America State Pageants Trade Show for the past seventeen years. Since 1990, this project has yielded an estimated $150,000 to fund numerous NAMASP membership services.
Dana’s husband Steve is also a veteran Miss America volunteer. In 1998, following the tragic death of their only daughter in a car accident, they established the Tiffany Phillips Memorial Scholar-Athlete Award. This scholarship is presented each year to an MAO contestant that demonstrates the spirit and tenacity to balance exceptional athletic skill with academic prowess.
When asked what influenced her to volunteer with the Miss America Organization, Dana explained that she is a second generation volunteer. “It is very gratifying to know that I had a small part in assisting thousands of young women to open doors of opportunity through education and in helping prepare them for life,” said Phillips.
Dana will be presented with a Waterford crystal eagle at an award ceremony in Las Vegas and her name will be engraved with other Academy of Honor winners at the Miss America Organization’ national headquarters. In addition, the Miss America Organization will award a $10,000 scholarship grant to the Miss Oregon scholarship fund.
Previous recipients of the Academy of Honor Award include Kay Dickinson, North Carolina, 2007; Bruce Robert, Massachusetts, 2006; Gail Sanders, South Carolina, 2004; Charles Welch, Oklahoma, 2003; Tess Beauchamp, Connecticut, 2002; Robert W. Arnhym, California, 2001; Joseph P. Sanders, South Carolina, 2000; Larry Webber, Missouri, 1999; Meg Geraghty, New Hampshire, 1998; Robert Wheeler, Arkansas, 1997; and Tom Hensley, Tennessee, 1996.
The Miss America Organization is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. For more information, go to www.missamerica.org.
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