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Area girls enter Pageant
Story credit: The Messenger. May 23, 2010
Two area girls will be part of the National American Miss Iowa Pageant and 27 in Grinnell.
Chelsey Loehr, 16, of Otho, will compete in the 16 to 18 age division, Miss Iowa Teen, and Tsonda Martin, 11, of Dayton, will compete in the 10 to 12 age division, Miss Iowa Preteen.
"The National American Miss pageants are unlike any other," organizers say. "All activities and competitions are kept age appropriate. Girls under the age of 12 are not allowed to wear makeup, and there is no swimsuit competition. Emphasis is put on the importance of gaining self confidence, learning good sportmanship and setting and achieving personal goals."
Loehr, daughter of Stacy Smith, said she wanted to enter the pageant because it includes a modeling division. "I want to be, like, a model person, so I decided to join that. I'm doing the top model part" of the pageant.
She said she has started to raise the entry money and will continue to work on that in the coming weeks.
Loehr, a sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High, works at Godfather's Pizza in Fort Dodge.
Required competitions at the pageant are formal wear, personal introduction, interview and community involvement. There are other competitions in addition, such as the modeling contest Loehr will be part of. Others are actress, talent and photogenic.
Martin, daughter of Heather and Jon Jermeland, of Dayton, is a fifth-grader at Southeast Webster Grand Middle School in Boxholm. She has been part of the pageant scene before in the Little Miss Frontier Days pageant, beautiful baby pageants at the Crossroads Mall and Little Miss River Days pageant in Lehigh.
She will participate in the photogenic and modeling areas of the pageant, as well as the required competitions.
"This is a good way for her to get out and build her self-esteem," said her mother, Heather Jermeland. "This is what she wants to do. It's her way of saying 'I can do this; you're not going to stop me.' It makes me proud to see her grow up and say you're not going to stop me."
Martin is an honor roll student, participates in sports, is a 4-H member and recently joined a book club at the Dayton Library. She also works with her mother in the Heather's Helping Hands project to provide clothing to low-income families and with her grandmother in the Soldiers' Guardian Wings project, making quilts for disabled and injured veterans.
Kenn and Lani Maples, of Kearney, Mo., are pageant directors. The pageant's website is www.namiss.com.