Two thousand friends, relatives and fans turned out Saturday to welcome home North Dakota's first Miss America.

The Bismarck Tribune reports well-wishers of all ages were present to cheer Cara Mund when she appeared for her 'homecoming at the Bismarck Event Center.

"I just want all these young girls, whether you're in North Dakota, whether you're in a state in a rural area, to know that if you can dream and you can work hard, you can become it," said Ms. Mund.

Prior to her homecoming appearance, she stopped off to visit patients at the Sanford Children's Hospital.

Ms. Mund was bestowed a key to the city of Bismarck and commended by the state's congressional delegation. "She demonstrates that you have to work hard, and that if you have a big goal that you want to achieve...you have to be willing to pay the price, and you have to be willing to stick with it," said Sen. John Hoeven.

Ms. Mund said she was honored to represent North Dakota.

[Source: Bismarck Tribune]