MILWAUKEE -- Newly crowned Miss America, Laura Kaeppeler, was the featured guest at the Milwaukee Press Club's Newsmaker Luncheon Thursday, March 1.
24-year-old Kaeppeler seemed right at home during the Newsmaker Luncheon at the Milwaukee Press Club Thursday. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced a proclamation making March 1st "Miss American 2012 Laura Kaeppeler Day" in Milwaukee.
Kaeppeler is a Kenosha native, graduating from St. Joseph High School there and Carthage College.
Kaeppeler reflected on the Miss America experience Thursday. During an introduction of her state, she mentioned the home of the Packers, and ended it with "if you're watching, Aaron Rodgers, call me." "Not realizing that I was going to win, first of all, and not realizing that he would actually see it because I didn't think he was going to watch the pageant, and also not realizing it was going to make such headlines after the fact. For the first couple of weeks, that was all that was talked about. I have to laugh because he's not necessarily my favorite Packer," Kaeppeler said.
As it turns out, Kaeppeler's favorite Packer is Clay Matthews - and Rodgers never called.
On a serious note, Kaeppeler is the founder of Circles of Support - a mentoring support group for children of incarcerated parents, which supplies resources and tools to help them positively overcome adversity. The organization was inspired by her own experience. "My experience was that I didn't have anywhere to turn. I didn't have an outlet. I didn't have a resource to channel those emotions. It would have been very easy to go down a negative path during that time. Thankfully, I had a very strong family support system," Kaeppeler said.
Kaeppeler says she is dedicated to being a role model and providing community service. As part of that community service Kaeppeler will dedicate a significant portion of her title year to raising funds and awareness for the Children's Miracle Network hospitals. She'll be at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Friday to meet some of the patients and their parents.