OBITUARIES: Decatur | Shoals | Huntsville
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With video: Miss Alabama a Quality of Life award finalist
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan, shown in July, began Miss America pageant activities Thursday in Las Vegas. The competition will be Jan. 12.

Miss Alabama Anna Laura Bryan has been named as one of the seven finalists for the Miss America pageant’s Quality of Life award.

The Miss America Organization announced the finalists during the arrival ceremony at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas this afternoon.

Introduced in 1988, the Quality of Life award recognizes contestants who excel in community service. The judges take in consideration the contestants’ involvement with their own platform and the Children’s Miracle Network, the organization’s national platform.

Bryan’s platform “P.A.W.S. for Autism: People and Animals Working Side-by-side” focuses on raising awareness of the benefits of service animals for individuals with autism. Decatur resident and Oak Park Middle School eighth-grader Brayden Ellis inspired Bryan, a Decatur native, to select autism as her platform.

The winner of the Quality of Life Award will be announced next week.

The other six Quality of Life finalists are:

  • Miss Maryland Joanna Guy. Her platform is “Heart to Heart: Raising Awareness for Healthy Hearts.”
  • Miss Tennessee Chandler Lawson. Her platform is “Feed Hope: Fight Child Hunger.”
  • Miss Washington Mandy Schendel. Her platform is “Do Something: “Enriching Youth, Cultivating Leaders.”
  • Miss Mississippi Marie Wicks. Her platform is “eyeS.TA.R.-Eyesight To All Regions.”
  • Miss Delaware Alyssa Murray. Her platform is “Mela-No-More: Skin Cancer Advocacy and Awareness.”
  • Miss Idaho Whitney Wood. Her platform is “Handbags of Hope: Giving Women Confidence They Can Carry.”

CATHERINE GODBEY

Announcement of Quality of Life finalists

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