The Gorecki Alumni Center was flooded with florals and pops of pastel on April 10, as dozens of female leaders dressed for a spring day that still felt like winter.
But amidst the seasonally bright attire, a glittering crown stole the show.
Miss America 2018 Cara Mund was in the house – and although she was wearing the tiara, she shared a common thread with these ladies.
“There are four points to the Miss America crown – service, style, scholarship and success. And, even before I was Miss America, I have embodied those qualities my entire life, because I came from North Dakota,” she said.
Mund, a native of Bismarck and Miss North Dakota 2017, was invited to deliver the keynote address at the annual Women for Philanthropy luncheon, hosted by the UND Alumni Association & Foundation and sponsored by the UND Panhellenic Council, UND Student Government, SEI and Dakota Medical Foundation.
The gathering brings together women of all ages to celebrate community giving, empowerment and leadership, and Mund has become well-versed in all three.
Miss America told the audience that, when she was only 14 years old, she lost a friend to cancer. She took the initiative to organize a Make-a-Wish Foundation Fashion Show, with the hopes of raising $1,000 for the organization.
She more than doubled that goal.
The Make-a-Wish Foundation turned the fashion show into an annual event, and 10 years later, it has raised more than $78,000 and turned into Mund’s pageant platform issue.
“When doing philanthropic work and giving back – I didn’t realize what I was really doing at the time,” she said. “It just seemed like the logical thing to do.”
Read more about Miss America’s visit to UND here.