Miss Tennessee 2012 Chandler Lawson’s campaign against child hunger resulted in her being named a semifinalist in the Miss America Quality of Life program, pageant officials announced Thursday in a news release.
Winners will be announced on Jan. 10. The first-place prize is a $6,000 scholarship. The first runner-up will receive a $4,000 scholarship; and the second runner-up will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
"The Quality of Life Awards were introduced in 1988 to recognize contestants who excel in their commitment to community service," pageant officials said. "In order to be considered for the Quality of Life Award, contestants must submit an application describing their involvement with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, the national platform of the Miss America Organization, and their own personal platform issue."
Lawson "serves as Gov. Haslam’s Official Spokesperson for Character Education and travels over 70,000 miles and speaks to over 40,000 schoolchildren about the Character Education Trait: Caring," according to her pageant biography. "Throughout her year of travels across the state, Chandler also serves as a Spokesperson on the Community Council for Second Harvest Food Bank as well as the Goodwill Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network for the state of Tennessee, home to five CMN hospitals."
"Chandler is the founder and spokesperson for 5 Loaves 4 Kids, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization she established in her hometown of Tullahoma," according to state pageant officials. "She worked with principals, teachers and cafeteria coordinators to place food in the hands of children who would not otherwise eat over the weekend through her backpack program, serving over 50,000 meals since the program’s inception. In order to support 5 Loaves 4 Kids, Chandler created a 'Cans for Kids' food drive, as well as five other fundraisers that help to fund the non-profit organization. She has personally raised over $10,000 for her backpack program to date, which is still thriving in her community."
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