Rose Chung, founder of the Miss Asian America Pageant, is currently preparing for the 25th anniversary event Aug. 7.
Why do you think the pageant has lasted for so many years? It’s a way to get involved in the community. The pageant is run entirely by volunteers.
This is the pageant’s 25th year. Will there be anything special planned for it? We’ve invited all of our former winners back for a reunion and are working on other ways to make this extra-special.
Is this pageant like others? Yes and no. This is a cultural pageant, so the first phase the girls wear an ethnic costume. All of the introductions are also done in their native language and [for] the talent part, a lot of contestants do native dancing. But we also have swimwear, evening wear and an interview section.
What is the prize for the winner? The prize is a $5,000 scholarship. And if they are local, they do a lot of appearances in the Bay Area.
Why are pageants so important? Pageants can be transforming. I grew up in Chinatown, and if I never did Miss Chinatown, I wouldn’t have been so active in the community, helped out in nonprofits or gone on to help young ladies give back to the community.