A 6-year-old Palmerton girl, Kira Ann Hauser, will be crowned the 2011 Pretzel Bowl Queen on Saturday during the 61st Annual Pretzel Bowl Game played at Eugene L. Shirk Stadium, Reading. The game is between Albright College and Delaware Valley College.

Kira Ann, the daughter of Bill and Lisa Hauser, is a first-grade student at Towamensing Elementary School. She has an older sister, Devyn.

Born in 2005, Kira Ann was 4 years old when her pediatricians discovered that her spine did not appear to be aligned properly. They began to monitor her to determine if there was a problem.

She later received a series of X-rays that revealed she had developed scoliosis, which is not a disease, but a term to describe when there are abnormal side to side (lateral) curves in the spinal column.

Kira Ann was referred to a major orthopedics group and after further evaluation, it was determined that she be sent to the Shriners Hospital of Philadelphia. Shriners was determined to be the best facility for her to receive treatment or surgery if needed.

After being evaluated by the orthopedic staff at Shriners, Kira was fitted with a custom brace that encompasses the upper portion of her body which she wears continually.

Since being fitted with the brace she is being evaluated regularly. The curve in her spine has improved and she is able to continue playing soccer, and take dance lessons while wearing her brace.

Kira Ann looks forward to her visits at Shriners and enjoys seeing and talking to all her new kind and supportive caregivers.

Because of the early detection, which is essential in the treatment of adolescent scoliosis, Kira's sister Devyn is also being evaluated by Shriners.

Persons with a family history of spinal deformity are at greater risk for developing scoliosis.

"We're forever thankful for all the support, compassion and dedication from the staff at Shriners Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and the Shriners organization for all they have done and will continue to do so in the future," said Mrs. Hauser.

A parade on Saturday starts at 12:30 p.m. and kick off for the game is at 1 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for Shriners Hospital.

There will be special halftime entertainment. There is a small admission fee.

Tickets are available from any Shriner, or contact the Rajah Office at (610) 916-9000.