Ebben is Alaska's best
Debbe Ebben is all in.
Ebben, of Eagle River, earned a trip to Las Vegas on Saturday, June 16, when she won the 2012 Miss Alaska Pageant at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium in Anchorage.
“I’m really excited,” Ebben said on Tuesday. “This is something I’ve been hoping and praying would happen for about five years now.”
Ebben’s victory means she will represent Alaska in the Miss America Pageant, which will be held in January.
The road to Sin City was a long one for Ebben, 24, who began competing in the Miss Alaska pageant five years ago.
“It was a lot of fun. It’s a long time coming,” said Ebben, who won in her final year of eligibility.
Saturday’s pageant marked the 16th time the reigning Miss Chugiak-Eagle River competed in a pageant. For her talent, she played “Requiem for a Dream” on piano — and nailed it.
“It was the best performance I’ve ever done on stage,” she said.
She said knowning Saturday’s pageant might be her last helped motivate her on stage.
“I went in knowing I had to give it all or nothing,” she said.
Ebben gained national notoriety earlier this year when she shaved her head to benefit the St. Baldrick’s cancer charity. Since then, her hair has grown back about two inches, she said. Ebben is also a “Miracle Maker” fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network. She said she’s hoping her high profile can help further raise awareness for the charities.
“I’m going to be working very closely with them,” she said.
While she’s a seasoned veteran of local and statewide pageants, Ebben said the idea of competing for Miss America hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“This is the Big Kahuna,” she said.
As for her chances in Vegas, Ebben said she thinks the charitable groundwork she’s done leading up to the Miss Alaska pageant could help her in the national competition.
“Alaska’s going to be a lot more well known down there than we’ve ever been in the past,” she said.
Between now and the competition, Ebben said she’ll be doing more charity work and fine-tuning both her body and mind in preparation for the talent and fitness portions of the competition.
“I’m going to be working as hard as I can,” she said
Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-27272 or firstname.lastname@example.org