Former Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur Auctions Her Crown to Help Teachers Hit by Covid-19 Pandemic

Former Miss America Marilyn Van Derbur is all set to make history by auctioning off a Miss America crown for the first time. She is auctioning off her crown which she won in 1958 in order to support the teachers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is the first time a Miss America crown will be auctioned off. Van Derbur was crowned Miss America in 1958. The crown is being sold by Heritage Auctions to raise money for teachers in Colorado. Heritage Auctions is an American multi-national auction house based in Dallas, Texas. The bidding starts at $20,000, reported People.

The Sale is Historic and For a Very Good Cause

"It's one of my most prized possessions," Van Derbur told The Washington Post. She also stated that she rarely removes the crown from storage. "Anyone who knows a Miss America knows that a crown is the most special thing that she would personally own." However, she was compelled to sell her prize "because of the unexpected expenses needed for Covid protections."

"We give to one another in ways that we can," she says. "I have something of value to offer." Van Derbur has spent most of her life giving back – as a motivational speaker and as an advocate for those badly affected by childhood sexual abuse.

Marilyn Van Derbur
Marilyn Van Derbur was crowned Miss America in 1958. Twitter

What are the Other Prized Possessions That Van Derbur is Auctioning?

Van Derbur is also selling the matching "crown motif" bracelet, along with the trophy she received on Sept. 7, 1957, and the sequined Alfred Bosand gown she wore for the Miss America 75th Anniversary pageant in 1995. Interestingly, both the crown and the bracelet are made of the same material. The auction listing reveals that it is the "only Miss America bracelet in existence."

All of those stunning, historic items will be offered at Heritage Auctions Nov. 4-7 during the auction house's Hollywood & Entertainment Memorabilia Signature® Auction. However, the items of the former pageant winner could sell for as much as $40,000, according to David Talarico, owner of Schoppy's jeweller in New Jersey, whose grandfather William Schoppy crafted them, as per the People report.

Generous Gesture

Van Derbur was inspired to auction her valuable possessions after film-maker Jay Pitts encouraged her to look into the possibility while interviewing her for a Miss America documentary, reported the Insider.

Many are appreciating her for her generous gesture. She told The Post that she chose to donate the revenue to teachers in her hometown of Denver after witnessing the persistence and perseverance of educators during the pandemic.

This article was first published on October 24, 2021