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Miss Virginia Will Keep Her Hair for Now


Tara Wheeler fell short of her fundraising goal of $500,000. (Courtesy of Tara Wheeler.)

No bald Miss Virginia -- for now. Crownholder Tara Wheeler failed to reach her fundraising goal of $500,000 before this past Saturday's deadline and was not one of the volunteers who shaved their heads for St. Baldrick's Foundation, a charity for children's cancer research. Pageant officials set a huge fundraising amount for Wheeler, who got plenty of ink but not enough cash to be the Miss America Organization's first bald beauty queen.

"I was waiting for Oprah to come in with a big cardboard check," Wheeler joked with us yesterday. Didn't happen, although Miss America President Art McMaster showed up at Crystal City Sports Pub in Arlington to support her effort. Wheeler pulled in about $30,000 and plans to keep asking for donations until this summer, when she turns over her crown and will then make good on her promise to go bald. "We planted a lot of seeds, and we now we have time for them to grow," she said.

By The Reliable Source  |  April 13, 2009; 1:02 AM ET
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