LaRoche Chosen For Quality of Life Award

The scene at the mezzanine level of Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood resort was hectic one on Monday.

Organizers were busy as they worked to put the finishing touches on before Tuesday's opening press conference of the 2011 Miss America Pageant. But for the pageant's contestants, the events have previously started.

"They're putting in 12- to 14-hour days," said Shelly Taylor, state executive director of the Miss Michigan Pageant who has accompanied Bay City native Miss Michigan Katie LaRoche to the Miss America Pageant.

LaRoche and the pageant's 52 other contestants have been spending a large bulk of their time rehearsing for the show, Taylor said, which airs Saturday night at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Miss Michigan Katie LaRoche has been named one of the eight finalists for 90th Miss America Pageant's Quality of Life Award.

The award, which was introduced in 1988, recognizes contestants who shine in their commitment to community service.

The winner of the Quality of Life Award receives a $6,000 scholarship with $4,000 and $2,000 scholarships going to first and second runners-up, correspondingly.

The winner will be declared on Jan. 14, the day before the Miss America Pageant airs live on national TV.
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