HONOLULU (KHON2) — Out of fifty-one contestants, Miss Hawaii USA 2023 Savannah Gankiewicz placed as the first runner-up in the Miss USA 2023 pageant on Friday.
Representing the islands on the national stage, Gankiewicz also won the pageant’s costume competition on Wednesday.
Gankiewicz paid tribute to the events happening on Maui dressed up as the historic Lahaina Banyan Tree.
“I represent the banyan tree after the disaster of my home island. And there is hope beyond hopelessness and strength,” said Gankiewicz on stage during the night of the 2023 Miss USA & Teen USA State Costume.
After sustaining damage in the deadly Aug. 8 fire on Maui, the 150-year-old banyan tree in Lahaina stands as a beacon of hope that not all was lost in the flames.
“The banyan tree of Maui survived the worst fires in American history in over 100 years,” said Gankiewicz in a social media post.
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The crowning of Miss USA 2023 will air on Thursday night in Hawaii on CW from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.