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Kaeppeler passes on her Miss America crown Saturday night


LAS VEGAS (WTAQ) - If you don’t like the Packers, there’s another Wisconsin-flavored national event you can watch Saturday night.

Kenosha’s Laura Kaeppeler will pass on her crown to the next Miss America, in a pageant that starts at 7 p.m. on ABC.

The 24-year-old Kaeppeler is finishing her one-year reign, after spending 340 days meeting celebrities, helping charities, and representing all that Miss America stands for.

Kaeppeler is only the second Miss America from Wisconsin. Her father spent a year-and-a-half in prison for mail fraud when she was in high school – and her platform was to show support for youngsters like her.

She said the Miss America program taught her that people can accomplish anything they set their minds to, regardless of their past. Kaeppeler plans to go to law school and keep working with charities, including one she created – Circles of Support, a mentoring group for children of incarcerated parents.

During last year’s pageant in Las Vegas, she professed her love for the Packers and asked Aaron Rodgers to call her. He didn’t, but they met a few weeks later at a Milwaukee Bucks game. Kaeppeler said the spontaneous gesture still haunts her, and she thanked Rodgers for being a good sport.

She won’t be able to watch the Packer game at the Las Vegas pageant – but during her moments off stage, she hopes to get the score and highlights on her laptop.

Wisconsin’s new contestant in the pageant is UW-La Crosse graduate Kate Gorman. Her platform is attacking childhood hunger.