From AP via Yahoo! News:
Beauty queen who shaved head wins Miss Alaska
FILE - In this March 14, 2012 file photo, Miss Chugiak-Eagle River Debbe Ebben poses for a photo in Town Square Park in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska’s bald beauty queen is heading to a bigger stage. Ebben, who shaved her head in March to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and who’s hair is now tomboy length, was chosen over the weekend as Miss Alaska and will compete for the 2013 Miss America title. (AP Photo/Dan Joling, file)
Just three months ago, Debbe Ebben had no hair. On Saturday night, she was crowned Miss Alaska.
"Like children who are fighting cancer, losing my hair was a really emotional experience, and something I hope they only have to go through once in their life," she said.
As she approached the Miss Alaska pageant, she had to decide whether to keep the look. Her drastic haircut had been done in honor of a child, and she decided to let grow back her hair, so that the haircut wouldn't be mistaken for a gimmick.
"I don't want to be branded as the 'bald beauty queen,'" she said.
She's had two haircuts since March, and her hair is two inches at its longest.
In the upcoming year, she said, she plans to work with St. Baldrick's and Headbands of Hope, which donates a spandex headband to a sick child and $1 to St. Baldrick's for every headband it sells.
Bonnie Faulk, director of the Miss Alaska Scholarship Foundation, calls Ebben the epitome of the standards and values of the program.
"We are elated to have this young woman serve us," Faulk said. "She has worked harder than many, many, many contestants in many years."
Ebben said her road to Miss Alaska has "been a long journey."
"This was my 16th pageant and it was more of, 'The moment had finally come.' And I was really happy it had come," she said.
In lieu of entry fees, contestants raise money for the Children's Miracle Network, the charity of the Miss America Pageant. Ebben was the pageant's top fundraiser this year, raising nearly $1,500 through a community yard sale in north Anchorage.
Scholarships from the pageant, in turn, paid for Ebben's college education.