Iowa will stage the BlackBerry Gridiron Bash on Friday, April 18, and its annual spring football practice the following afternoon at historic Kinnick Stadium.
March 28, 2008
IOWA CITY -- Former University of Iowa Golden Girl and current Miss Iowa, Diana Reed, has been added to the lineup of entertainment to appear at the first annual BlackBerry® Gridiron Bash Ultimate Fan Competition scheduled for Friday, April 18, at historic Kinnick Stadium. Reed will join two-time Grammy Award-winner Kelly Clarkson on the stage at the UI Athletic Department's celebration of the start of another college football season.
Coach Kirk Ferentz's UI football team will stage its annual spring practice at Kinnick the following day, Saturday, April 19. The team will practice from approximately 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
"We are absolutely delighted that the current Miss Iowa - who also happens to be a University of Iowa graduate and a former UI Golden Girl - has agreed to add another level of excitement to the first-annual Gridiron Bash and the celebration of the start of another college football season at the UI," said Rick Klatt, associate athletics director for external affairs.
A native of Norwalk, Iowa, Reed graduated last May with a pair of degrees from the UI - one in business management and another in performing arts entrepreneurship. For years Diana could be seen each football Saturday in Iowa City on the 50-yard line of Kinnick Stadium entertaining audiences of 70,000 as the Hawkeye Golden Girl.
She has won numerous state, regional and national titles in baton, and, in 2005, made her Broadway dance debut with Christina Applegate in the musical Sweet Charity. Diana's love for performing inspired her to start her own business called Diana's Golden Twirlers, an organization in Iowa City that teachers students of all ages the art of baton twirling.
During her college career, Diana was recognized by Fortune Small Business Magazine as one of four successful student entrepreneurs in the nation and last year she won the John Pappajohn Business Plan Competition.
Last June, Diana was crowned Miss Iowa, the Official Hostess of the State of Iowa. She has been seen on TLC's Miss America Reality Check and recently returned from the 2008 Miss America competition in Las Vegas where she won a preliminary talent award and brought the state of Iowa back into the limelight as a top ten finalist.
"I'm thrilled and excited to be a part of such a special event and for the opportunity to return to a place - the University of Iowa and Kinnick Stadium - that means so much to me," said Reed.
"I'm thrilled and excited to be a part of such a special event and for the opportunity to return to a place - the University of Iowa and Kinnick Stadium - that means so much to me."
Former UI Golden Girl and
current Miss Iowa,
Tickets for the BlackBerry® Gridiron Bash Ultimate Fan Competition are available at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and online at hawkeyesports.com and tickets.com. A special group rate for students of any age - college, junior college, high school and elementary - is available.
In other BlackBerry® Gridiron Bash Ultimate Fan Competition news, the University of Iowa stands in sixth place in the "USA Today Bash for Cash" competition with ticket sales, text and online votes combining for more 14,000 points.
The University of Alabama is in the lead with Texas A&M and Penn State University in second and third, respectively. In the past several days, South Carolina has jumped from 11th place to fourth.
Daily school standings are being posted at the Girdiron Bash's official world wide web site, www. gridironbash.com. Also there is information on how to place a vote for the Iowa Hawkeyes and details about the BlackBerry Gridiron Bash event featuring two-time Grammy Award-winner Kelly Clarkson inside historic Kinnick Stadium on Friday, April 18.
Results are also being displayed in weekly national advertisements in both the Sports and Life sections of USA Today. Fans of Hawkeyes cast a vote for the UI by purchasing tickets, texting IOWA to 23909, or placing an online vote.
"Alabama's fans are outshining all others," said Shawn Garrity, president of MSL Sports and Entertainment and creator and producer of BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM nationwide.
"But that could change quickly as we enter the home stretch of the competition. We watched how Iowa fans supported the Hawkeyes' ESPN's Pontiac Game-Changing Performance competition two football seasons ago, so we know this race is a long way from over. Hawk fans are great and we expect them to step up in support of their football team."
Tied to spring football games and including pep rallies and live concerts with nationally known names at football stadiums, the BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM fan competition - being billed as the USA TODAY Bash for Cash SeriesTM - will be based 70 percent on fan attendance at BlackBerry® Gridiron BashTM events and 30 percent on text in and online votes. The winning school receives $1 million; second place receives $500,000 and third place earns $250,000.
Fans of the Hawkeyes should be watching closely over the coming days for several announcements regarding additions to the lineup of entertainers to take the stage at Kinnck when the UI celebrates the start of another college football season in Iowa City.
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