Road to Miss America 2012:
Middleborough native Molly Whalen was crowned Miss Massachusetts 2011 at the Hanover Theater in Worcester on July 9. The 20-year-old resident of Middleborough held the local pageant title of Miss Taunton. She had competed in the state pageant three years prior, at the age of 17, and took time off from pageants in order to complete her degree in dental hygiene from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Lakeville native Molly Whalen was crowned Miss Massachusetts 2011 at the Hanover Theater in Worcester on July 9. Photo: Steve Smith
“I really felt that this was the time,” Whalen said. “I was ready to compete. I was ready to give my all to it.I just wanted to go into this experience having so much fun.”
Despite that readiness, she said that during the pageant, she never felt like she would win, but enjoyed the experience, and found it hard to believe when her name was announced as the winner.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I honestly didn’t expect to hear my name called. What was going through my head was ‘This is okay – I made the top 8, I won the swimsuit preliminaries, and now I’m ready to go have an ice cream sundae.’ When they called my name, it was absolutely surreal.”
Whalen said her plans (after eating the sundae) were to travel across the state, promoting her platform – Smart Smiles: Promoting the Importance of Oral Health – to school children, as well as getting other dental hygienists involved.”
Molly Whalen reacts when she was annouced Miss Massachusetts 2011. Photo: Steve Smith
Whalen said she is grateful to Massachusetts, where she was born, raised, and went to school, and is excited to represent the commonwealth in the Miss America Pageant in January, 2012.
Molly Whalen will represent Massachusetts in Miss America 2012. Photo: Steve Smith.
“I’m so excited for Vegas, and to get to know the other contestants,” Whalen said. “I met a few tonight, and they’re wonderful.”
In attendance at the pageant to congratulate Whalen were 2011 titleholders Miss Connecticut – Morgan Amarone, Miss Maine – Julia Furtado, Miss New Hampshire – Regan Hartley, and Miss Rhode Island Robin Bonner.
Special thanks to Steve Smith for the photos and the article.