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Storm victim receives new crown, tiara lost in debris

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MOORE, Okla.- For some Oklahomans, the May 20 tornado was a matter of life and death.

For others, it was simply measured by what was lost.

One woman lost her home and all her belongings, like so many others, but there was one thing that was replaced in a very special way.

Melanie Kubitscheck said, "I was at school. I'm a first grade teacher at Tinker Elementary and I saw on the news, on NewsChannel 4, that my house was gone. It was just a pile of wood and bricks."

Kubitscheck was finally able to make it home and she and her husband began digging, searching for anything they could salvage.

She said, "We looked forever. The three things we needed to find were my external hard drive, my cat and my crown."

They were able to find the hard drive and a few pictures buried under the rubble.

After that, they found the cat but the crown was gone.

Kubitscheck was named Miss Northern Oklahoma College Enid in 2002.

She said, "We found the display case it was in and the pillow it was on but we never found the crown."

Kubitscheck's sister contacted the pageant director to see if there was something she could do.

Since the pageant is part of the Miss America organization, she had to contact them to see about replacing the crown.

They agreed and sent it free of charge after hearing about the devastation in Moore.

Terri Sunderland, Miss Northern Oklahoma College-Enid Director, said, "It's not the one she was crowned with but it's just nice to be able to do something like that."

Sunderland, along with Kubitscheck's family, surprised her with the new head-piece.

It was complete with a new customized Miss America box.

Kubitscheck said, "Absolutely speechless."

As for the fate of the original crown, she says she just has one wish for it.

She said, "Hopefully, it's somewhere in Wichita or Broken Arrow making some little girl feel like a princess."