Jennifer Fairbank

Wednesday - May 07, 2008
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Jennifer Fairbank lived almost every little girl’s dream - becoming a contestant in the Miss USA contest as Miss Hawaii USA in 2005. Since the pageant, the Punahou grad made a complete 360 from a surfing Island girl to a dove-hunting, snowboarding TV personality in Corpus Christi, Texas.

After her disappointing loss in the Miss USA Pageant in 2005, Fairbank moved to Los Angeles, where she learned a lot about the film and TV industries. “It’s a stab-you-in-the-back kind of city,” she admits. “You really have to watch your back and stick up for your friends - it was crazy.”

Her negative experiences didn’t stop her, though. Fairbank has been an extra in CSI: Miami, Vanish and Ocean’s Thirteen. “I was a featured extra as a cocktail waitress. You could see me if you know where to look,” she laughs.

Taking her confidence and love of being on camera to Corpus Christi, Fairbank is now a reporter on Action 10 News, writing, producing and starring in her own segment called Action Heroes. “When I was running in pageants, my platform was community service,” she says. “So, when I was asked if I wanted to anchor or be a reporter in the field, I proposed the idea to the station manager.”

Named after the news station, the segment profiles members of the community who go out of their way to provide for others.

“I want to inspire everyone by showing them what it means to be a hero,” Fairbank says. “You don’t have to be a millionaire donating everything, or spending every waking minute volunteering. It can be something as simple as picking up trash.”

She hopes to one day have her own travel or cooking show. In addition to starting a new media career, Fairbank also will take the plunge into marriage to her fiance, Kyle Ditto, a Marine fighter pilot and local boy.

“Never knew him when I was growing up,” she says. “But his mom (MidWeek columnist Susan Page) introduced us four years ago when I was Miss Waikiki.” The couple recently got engaged after seeing each other for about a year.

In terms of what the future holds, Fairbank would like to return to Hawaii one day to raise her family and be closer to her home base.

“I get homesick every time I see movies or TV with Hawaii in it,” she says. “So I definitely want to make it back here in the next five, seven years.”

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