The Rose of Tralee is set to begin a fundraising drive with a series of runs across the world for Irish and American charities in March.
Chicago native Maggie McEldowney will be running her first event on March 18 at the Tralee International Half Marathon.
Maggie will be running for two charities, the Baile Mhuire Day Centre for the Elderly in Tralee and the Young Fellowship Club of Chicago, where Maggie is a board member.
She plans to raise money for charities on both sides of the Atlantic by taking part in 5km, 10km and longer distance running events around the world before handing over her sash and tiara on August 22.
Maggie said: "What better way to honour the Irish diaspora than through two Irish charity organisations from across the world?
"For me, there's no better place to honour it than from where it all started this year - in the beautiful town of Tralee."
Ms McEldowney has run the Chicago marathon before but she said she is "definitely facing a challenge coming into the Tralee race".
"I didn't win in Chicago but definitely held my own," she said.
"I am very excited to run the race as it is just another different way to give back after all the support I have received.
"Another member of the Rose team will be running with me and I think that speaks volumes for the support," she said.