Michele Herger, Ms. New York America 2013, will compete in the Ms. America pageant on Sunday night in Costa Mesa, Calif. The competition, for women between 26 and 60, will see contestants judged on the evening gown and sportswear they wear, as well as an interview and on-stage question.
A Babylon native, Ms. Herger, who was also Mrs. Suffolk County last year, went to Long Island University at Southampton. She lives in Hampton Bays and Queens, but said she considers herself an East Ender, given how much time she spends on the South Fork. Licensed in real estate sales, Ms. Herger works with Nest Seekers International, but said charitable work is closer to her heart.
Nest Seekers, which has an office in East Hampton Village, is a corporate sponsor, she said, of Kids Stock the House, a student fund-raising organization that benefits the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children who are hospitalized. As an adult volunteer, she works with students across Long Island and helps with the organization’s international expansion.
Ms. Herger is also active in the City Girl Beauty Project, which assists victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, and the American Cancer Society. Last year, she was honorary chairwoman for an annual Long Island VisionWalk in Wantagh, which supports the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
Ms. Herger has been busy in preparation for the pageant, doing predawn runs at Main Beach in East Hampton. She is also a fan of the beach at Ditch Plain in Montauk, she said. “I’m competing against a bevy of beauties.”
The pageant will stream live at msamericapageant.com at 7 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Fans of Ms. Herger can vote for her via the Web site until Sunday at 9 a.m. P.D.T. These votes will be combined with the judges’ votes to determine the winner.
“No matter what happens,” she said this week, “I feel like I’ve won already.”