June 28, 2014 03:25:21 GMT
The newly crowned Miss Delaware loses her title and $11,000 scholarship because officials say she is too old at 24.
Amanda Longacre, the newly crowned Miss Delaware 2014, was stripped of her title on June 24 because of an age controversy. According to regulations, contestants in Miss America pageant must age 17 to 24. Meanwhile, Amanda will turn 25 in October, a month after the Miss America pageant.
On Tuesday, the pageant officials informed Amanda that her age had become a dispute. The officials told Amanda that she would not be able to join the Miss America competition in September and she was stripped of her title as well as the associated prizes she had received, including $11,000 scholarship.
According to NBC's "Today" show on June 27, Amanda has submitted the proper documentation which clearly stated her age and birthday. She signed a contract which was also signed by a member of the board on a local, state and national level. Media relations coordinator for the Miss Delaware organization, Carolyn Nelson, told the show that Amanda was innocent and had reported her birthday accurately on her applications.
In an interview with News Journal, Amanda claimed, "I had asked and my local directors made sure of my eligibility with the executive board that I was eligible to compete because I would be 24 at the Miss America pageant."
"They had my birth certificate, my social security card, my driver's license. They had my birth date on numerous amounts of documents," she continued, "I have not fabricated anything. It was clearly stated, it was there."
Amanda stated, "They deleted me off of everything, they're ignoring me. They deleted me off the [Facebook] group and put up a press release announcing a new Miss Delaware." She said through tears, "Now I have lost everything ... all because of a technicality that was not caught by the executive board."
Amanda was studying at University of Pennsylvania and had an internship at Department of Justice. After being crowned, she told her campus and her workplace that she could not participate for one year because she must fulfill her duty as the Miss Delaware. Because of the recent issue, she is now uncertain whether they will accept her back or not.
Runner-up Brittany Lewis has now been crowned the new Miss Delaware. The pageant organization said in a statement on Friday, "Following the Miss Delaware Pageant, it was determined that Amanda Longacre exceeded the age requirement in order to be eligible to compete, therefore, the Miss Delaware 2014 title is awarded to Brittany Lewis. The Miss Delaware Pageant is proud to congratulate Brittany and wishes Amanda the very best on her future endeavors."