BAR HARBOR—Competitive dancer and former Bar Harbor resident Susie Damm hopes to fulfill a family legacy when she competes for the Miss Maine USA title June 19-20 in Portland.
“My great aunt, Myrna Hansen, was Miss Illinois USA as well as Miss USA in 1953. She was even first runner up in the Miss Universe pageant that same year,” said Damm.
Damm was selected from hundreds of applicants as a state finalist to compete in the pageant.
“Each state has their own statewide pageant, which selects one contestant from each state, [and] all of those different state representatives come together to compete for the title of Miss USA. Then Miss USA goes to the Miss Universe pageant and competes against basically all the other countries that are entered in it,” Damm explained.
Established in the early 1950s as part of the Miss Universe organization, the Miss USA pageant’s mission is to celebrate women of all backgrounds and empower them to realize their goals through creating opportunities for success. It is considered one of the four major international beauty pageants in the world and is the most watched on television.
“I’m also at the end of the age range for this,” said Damm, who is 27. Only women ages 19 through 27 are eligible.
The competition includes personal interview, swimsuit and evening gown categories.
“It’s so exciting and will be an awesome experience to be doing something that a family member of mine, one that I’ve looked up to so much throughout the years, has done,” Damm said.
In 2018, another MDIHS graduate, Marina “Rosie” Gray, also participated in the pageant to ultimately win the title of, and advance to, the top 10 of the Miss USA competition.
Online voting is open for a People’s Choice Award for the pageant at missmaineusa.com.