Journey to the Crown: Winding Up Appearances as Miss WV

By Kaitlin Gates on June 17, 2013 from Journey to the Crown via

It has been quite some time since I have posted about my recent appearances! Here is what I have been up to around the Mountain State:

May 18 I was at the Cross Lanes Wal-Mart promoting our wonderful Miss America sponsor, Catalina Swimwear. Each contestant made appearances in 96 Wal-Mart locations nationwide as a part of their launch tour. It was so much fun to share the swimwear line with others and show the swimsuit I chose for the national pageant.

The 21st of May was a busy one! First, I went to Wahama High School to speak to their Girl Talk Club, which was started by one of our former MWVOT contestants, Lauren Roush. Girl Talk is a national organization and she started the first one in the state of West Virginia! The girls were so sweet to make me posters that lined the halls of the school! It was so awesome to be welcomed like that! After I visited at Wahama, I drove to Charleston to speak at the Kanawha County Preschool Association Banquet. I had so much fun there and it was an honor to have been their keynote speaker. Miss Morgantown, Ashley McLaughlin, kept me company on the road that day. It was nice to have someone to chat with... being on the road alone gets lonely.

May 22 I was in Wheeling for Miss Wheeling, Gabby Payne's, celebrity server event. She raised money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, as well as awareness of the Miss WV Scholarship Organization! It was great to visit with Gabby and her pageant board members. They are all so kind! Congrats to Gabby on a job well done and thanks for including me!

I was in Nashville on May 23 for the Duke of Edinburgh Gala. This was an award contestants within MAO have an opportunity to receive based on a series of tasks they must complete. This gala was special because HRH Prince Edward came to the United States to visit and attend the gala. It was so neat to meet him as well as catch up with some of my Miss America sisters.

May 25 I was in Alderson, WV for the Miss Fireworks Pageant. My sister went with me to this appearance and we had so much fun! I was the emcee for the pageant, along with a local news personality. The board of this pageant was so hospitable. I really enjoyed this appearance, even if they did trick me into learning to play the spoons onstage! It is harder than it looks! My appearance coordinator, Rose, was a judge at the pageant as well. She is a hoot! I will miss working with her when my reign is over. Thanks for having me!

I spoke at Suncrest Middle Awards Day on May 28 and the Johnson Elementary 5th Grade Graduation on May 30.

May 29 I organized a volunteer project at Chestnut Mountain Ranch for our Miss contestants. We did some painting and other odd jobs around the ranch. It was so fun and a great chance for everyone to get to know each other. Thanks to those girls who participated and to Steve Finn for having us!

June 8, I went to my first motocross race! It was at Highpoint in Pennsylvania and I sat with the Veterans Mobile Unit to sign autographs and chat with spectators. My friend, Jack Morton, walked me around the race and helped me learn the ropes. I have to say, it didn't know what to expect going in, but it was pretty entertaining. I am looking forward to my next race at Snowshoe here in WV on June 29. Thanks to Mr. Tim Cotter for your kindness!

My time as Miss WV is quickly coming to an end! It has been an amazing ride. Stay tuned for more information on our pageant, 2013 contestants, and my plan for "life after the crown." ;)
On cover: Kaitlin and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan. 
Kaitlin's blog is also posted here - with photos - at

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