Katie Stam, who won the crown in 2009, was in Greencastle to help with a Peace Lutheran School fundraiser dinner and auction. She spoke before a crowd of 175 people about what her faith, her Lutheran education and Indiana have meant to her.
"I am a born and bred Hoosier," Stam said. "I grew up in Seymour, Ind. and attended a Lutheran school there -- St. John's Sauer's Lutheran. A number of people who attended Sauer's are here tonight. ... It's neat to have them here tonight, to have a Seymour get-together.
"It's such an honor that I got to represent the Hoosier state on the stage of Miss America," she said.
The business center was full of people seated at dining tables. The back of the room had a buffet and the center and edges had a variety of items up for auction. Tickets to Pacers games, Easter baskets, dinner packages and more were available for silent auction. The items that were not sold in silent auction were available at a live auction after the event.
Peace Lutheran will use the funds raised at the event to update the school's computer lab and to work on the community fitness trail behind the school.
Angela Mann, the PTO president at Peace Lutheran, said the fundraising goal for the night was $15,000 and she estimated the actual amount raised was very close to that.
"I think it went excellent," she said. "We had a great fellowship within the community.
"The amount we raised should be very beneficial to the school. We're very satisfied with the amount we raised and the people who came out and supported the school," Mann said.
Stam discussed what going to a Lutheran school meant to her.
"Going to a Lutheran school taught me so, so much. It really planted my feet in a firm foundation that was my faith," she said.
"It taught me everything that I needed to know to go out and be a soldier for Christ, which is the most important thing that I could have learned as a child and the most important thing that I can continue to grow on each and every single day," Stam said.
She said her education taught her to put Christ in everything, which she said led to her success in life.
Stam also discussed her charity work with the Children's Miracle Network and other organizations. During her time as Miss America, the Children's Miracle Network, community involvement and supporting members of the armed forces were her three main goals.
"Volunteerism has always been extremely important to me, another lesson I learned growing up in a small Lutheran school," Stam said.
While Stam acted as Miss America she was asked to not discuss her faith.
"I couldn't stand up in front of an audience and openly discuss my faith unless I was asked. That became very difficult to me because, as I'm sure it is to many of us, it seems like second nature because our faith is such an important part of who we are and who we strive to be," she said.
She did say that at each speaking engagement she had, someone would almost always ask her about her faith.
After Stam's talk, Matt Schriever with Matt Lewis Presentations was on hand, and he made a chalk sunset landscape in front of the audience. As music played, Schriever hurried around the canvas with a string of sweeping motions and calculated smudges. Like Bob Ross, Lewis was able to make a dramatic image in a matter of minutes.
After Lewis finished the painting, Jeff Rich auctioned the painting off, getting $175 for the image. This led into the live auction.
At the end of the night a presentation by Schriever was auctioned off for $700, again benefiting the school. It was another example of a person offering up time and money to support Christian education in a night filled with them.