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Tonight marks the end on an incredible chapter of my life as Miss Georgia 2009.

Through a very special twist of fate, I was able to seize a unique moment in Miss Georgia Pageant history and embark on a journey to better myself, inspire my peers, and carry with my the hopes and dreams of an entire state to the Miss America Pageant.

As daunting as it was to be looked up to as a role model for both strangers and friends, I relished the opportunity to give you my very best, to show the world that young women everywhere are capable of doing great good, and show that in life as it is in sport — we should always give our best–and never, ever give up.

Many have made today and my journey as Miss Georgia possible–But one thing I have learned is that it is the generous spirit of every Georgian that has made my reign so meaningful and memorable.

I have to thank my loyal, selfless pageant prep team, Greg, Galen, Shana, Alta, Snooky, Roland, and Stephen—the countless volunteers who smiled through the countless hours of rehearsals, pageants, prep work, and goofy fundraisers—my incredible sponsors—the field directors—the Miss Georgia and Miss America Organizations for giving me this opportunity—and of course, to my friends and incredible family–for their belief in me, their endurance through all things, their sacrifice, their courage and their love.

To every contestant who participates in the Miss Georgia program, through our example tonight, this week, and over every day of our lives, let us give inspiration to those who will begin to dream and believe in what is possible.

No matter the outcome tonight, we are, and always will be, beautiful inside and out—dedicated to making our lives and the world we live in a better place.

Thank you for being here. For supporting me in this and every day, and for being the very essence of what makes Georgia the place to be.

And to the contestants of Miss Georgia 2010, I wish you all the Time of your Lives…..

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