Miss Arizona Piper Stoeckel is busy preparing for the Miss America competition Jan. 12 in Las Vegas.
As she works out and practices her talent for the scholarship pageant, the University of Arizona senior has been making numerous public appearances.
Saturday night, Stoeckel was emcee at the City of Marana Holiday Festival and Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.
During UA home football games, the broadcasting major and dance minor from Prescott worked as a sideline reporter.
And Wednesday night, Stoeckel will host "A Glamorous Affair," a fundraiser for the Southern Arizona Children's Advocacy Center, at Social House on Campbell and Sixth Avenue.
Since winning Miss Arizona in June, Stoeckel has made more than 200 public appearances. Those include fundraisers to help her pursue the Miss America crown and opportunities to advocate for children in crisis, her platform.
"As Miss Arizona, it is my priority to have a close connection with communities throughout the state," Stoeckel told Tucson News Now. "Public appearances form my support group and allow me to meet children and families. My year of service is defined by spreading my platform and creating my own personal brand; public appearances allow me to do just that.
"I have a lot of support from sponsors and the Miss Arizona Organization, but this job can also be financially demanding, therefore it is crucial to have fundraisers to allow me to be a full-time volunteer," she said. "A lot of people don't realize that the Miss America organization is a non- profit....we work for free, so we do have to reach out for sponsors and support."
Stoeckel will dance for her talent on the Miss America stage. She has been working with choreographers Sam Quinn and Jordan Marques to fine tune her routine.
"It is extremely important to practice, ultimately, so I can present my best talent for the judges," she said. "It's not a competition against 52 other competitors; it's a competition against myself...so I want to be the best I can be.
Talent counts for 35 percent of each contestant's score. Other elements include personal interview, evening gown, swimsuit and onstage question.
"I have never felt a feeling like this. I am so motivated, inspired and driven to make Miss America the best experience, and to finish the week with a new crown and a whole new chapter of memories," she said.
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