Saturday, August 24, 2013

Evelyn Kraklow, The 2012-2013 National American Miss Wisconsin Pre-Teen Queen, shares Memories from her year

Walt Disney once said:  “If you can dream it, you can do it…Last August, one of my dreams did come true when I was crowned the 2012 National American Miss Wisconsin Pre-Teen Queen!  My journey with NAM has given me confidence, poise and polish.  Whether I am performing a piano solo, speaking to children about my platform on dental health or meeting new people in daily encounters, I feel self-assured and prepared. 

Enjoying some bonding time with new friends from surrounding states.

I began my reign with a trip to the Ronald McDonald House where I donated over 200 books and stuffed animals.  Two days later, I was on my way to the Illinois state pageant where I met sister queens and the newly crowned Illinois royalty.  Lending a hand as visiting royalty was a terrific experience!  In September and October, I participated in various fundraisers for the Children’s Miracle Network, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and my church.  Raising awareness and money for these organizations will continue after my NAM crown has been put on my shelf. 

Walking the red carpet at Nationals with my brother and sister.

In November, my entire family joined me at the national pageant where I represented Wisconsin for the national title.  Though I didn’t receive a crown, I did make new friends and created memories that I will cherish forever. 

The remainder of my reign has been spent making visiting royalty trips to Missouri and Minnesota, participating in the IHOP National Pancake Day raising money forChildren’s Hospitals, and volunteering at The Agape Center feeding the underprivileged.  I also spoke to various grade schools in my area promoting good dental health with my platform, “Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives”…a power point presentation I developed that is presented to 3rd and 5th graders teaching them the importance of their teeth and how healthy teeth help contribute to a healthy body. 

I want to thank the entire NAM staff for the warmth and love they deliver to each and every contestant.  From Cheryl and the ladies in the boutique, to Ryan and the tech crew, to all of the choreographers and support staff and  to Lani and Breanne who never fail to deliver a thoughtful suggestion, a beautiful smile and words of confidence that inspire each young lady in this wonderful program, I thank you!  To my parents, I love you.  You never fail to support me and have always pushed me to be the best I can be.  Mom, thank you for being the Type B personality to help keep Type A Dad balanced and in check.

Had a blast with two of the National American Miss staff members (Molly and Ashley), at the Illinois Pageant!

Finally, to the future pre-teen contestants, only one of you will wear the crown.  However, each of you is a winner.  I know that sounds like a cliche, but the confidence you will attain and the lifelong friends you will make are going to be so valuable to you for the rest of your life.  I will finish with another Walt Disney quote:  “laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever”. Ladies, dream big and enjoy the ride! 

With love,

Evelyn Paige Kraklow
Your 2012 National American Miss Wisconsin Pre-Teen Queen

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Farewell from The 2012-2013 NAM Wisconsin Princess Queen, Reese Lund

As the reigning National American Miss Princess Queen, I have had some amazing experiences.  I have participated in parades, I have volunteered to work at the Einstein Project, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, and I have donated books and bears to the Children’s Cancer Foundation in Green Bay.  At the end of April, I will be assisting the wonderful girls that will be competing at the Wisconsin Miss Amazing Pageant.  How lucky can a girl be!  

I have also been fortunate enough to travel as well.  I competed at the Nationals in California which was so exciting.  I met so many new friends and had a great time.  I wasn’t able to bring the title home to Packer Country but I was so thrilled to represent one of the greatest states in the U.S.  This summer my family and I went to Washington D.C. to see the White House.  We also went to the Capitol where I got to meet some very important people!

  As my year winds down I want to take a moment the thank all who have helped me get here.  I want to thank my Mom, Dad and sister, and my grandparents and Great-Grandma.  I also want to thank Cherokee and Jordan for all the preparation and confidence to participate in the pageant.  To all my friends and teachers at Valley View thank you and to all my friends at the Gym especially Rose thank you and last but not least my sister Queen Kenna, I hope to one day grow up and be like you!

 As my year comes to a close, I will be sad to leave but happy for the next Queen who will get to experience a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I know she will do wonderful in representing Wisconsin and I hope that she will have as much fun as I did.

With Love,

Reese Lund
2012-2013 National American Miss Wisconsin Princess Queen

Monday, August 12, 2013

Farewell from The 2012-2013 NAM Miss Missouri, Kelsey Parrott

My, how time flies.  It seems like just yesterday that I competed in my first pageant, the National American Miss Teen pageant in 2010.  After two more years of competing I was honored and privileged to be named National American Miss Missouri 2012.  The past year has been filled with fun, from riding in parades to volunteering in my community and state.

In November, my mother, great-aunt and I boarded a plane in Kansas City (my first plane ride ever!) and flew to Anaheim, CA for a fun in the sun filled week at the National American Miss Pageant at the gorgeous Anaheim Marriott Hotel.  Disneyland, the Santa Monica Pier, touring Beverly Hills and seeing the sights was just some of the highlights of the week.  Thanksgiving found us miles from home and family, yet the Thanksgiving dinner was awesome.  I had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and while I did not “win the crown”; I did place fourth overall in Volunteer Service and Community Involvement, both of  which hold a special place in my heart.
I returned home to The Show Me State, just in time for finals at Central Methodist University where I am majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Political Science.  January 2013 found me attending college fulltime on-line and interning full-time at the Missouri State House of.  On March 26, 2013, the rest of the Missouri queens joined me at the Capitol and were recognized by both the House of Representative and the Missouri Senate.

I want to thank Ken, Lani, Breanne, Ryan, and National American Miss Staff for giving me this opportunity in my life.  I will never know how to thank you enough.  I also want to thank my family, Mom, Papa and Nanny, Stacy and Mitchell thank you for being my foundation and coming along on this crazy, wonderful journey with me.

To my successor, use your year to give yourself to others. The crown and sash is not what makes you a queen, but rather finding the beauty within yourself and showcasing a love for others.  Always be an example, you never know when little girls are watching you, needing someone to look up to in this world today. In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” 
Until Then,
I am your 2012 National American Miss Missouri, 
Kelsey Parrott

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The 2012-2013 NAM Miss Missouri Teen Shares Memories from her Special Year

As Walt Disney once said, "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Being crowned your 2012 National American Miss Missouri Teen was truly a dream come true for me. I cannot thank National American Miss enough for allowing me this wonderful opportunity and a year of a lifetime, full of memories that I will never forget.

To start off my reign, I made several donations of books and stuffed animals to various organizations, including Children's Mercy, Gilda's Club, Hope Haven and Drumm Farm orphanage. I also did many hours of volunteer work with Harvester's Food Network, a community food bank that helps feed the hungry in the Kansas City area. Seeing the difference I could make and the joy the donations brought within these charities was amazing. I am so grateful to have been blessed with the chance to meet so many wonderful people.
However, the fun had only just begun! So many memories were made in the months leading up to Nationals. I got to visit the Illinois pageant, where I met several other state queens I would be competing with in November. Even though we were only in Illinois for a few days, we quickly became close friends and I will always remember that weekend. When I returned back home, the American Royal Parade awaited! I got to ride in a convertible white mustang through the streets of Kansas City- talk about exciting! It was so great to see all the people that came out to watch that day.
My sister queens and I had a blast any time we were together. During October, we went to the Ronald McDonald House in Kansas City to decorate Halloween cookies and crafts with the families staying there. Each and every one had their own story, and it was truly an inspiration. We also made the journey to Jefferson City to meet our state officials and be recognized on the house floor. Getting to meet my district's State Representative Donna Pfautsch and Senator Ed Emery was such an honor. I will never forget these spectacular girls that I got to spend my year with!
Thanksgiving week seemed to come incredibly fast! After many weeks of preparing, I was ready for Nationals. Before this, I had never been on an airplane before! I was thrilled for this first time experience, and I made sure I got the window seat.  When we arrived in Anaheim, NAM had taken over the hotel! Getting to meet so many wonderful girls from all across the country was perhaps the best part of the whole week. Disney, Hollywood, the Thanksgiving banquet- EVERYTHING, was all that I had imagined and more.

This year has been one that I will never forget, and I would just like to thank each and every person that has helped my dreams come true. Mom, Dad and Joe, you have been my support system from the start. Thank you so much for giving me all of the opportunities I need to succeed. I could not have accomplished this without you, and I am so blessed to have such an encouraging family behind me all the way. Laura, you are amazing. You have not only helped me in pageants, but taught me life lessons as well. You have helped me realize that anything is possible as long as you believe in yourself and in your abilities. I am so thankful for all of your help, and you will always be a role model, a mentor, and a best friend to me.
 Ken, Lani, Steve and Kathleen, thank you so much for creating such a fantastic program that helps young girls build confidence and achieve their goals. Breanne and Ryan, thanks for always being so much help and never failing to make me laugh. Gelly, Haley, Kayla, Callie, Hannah, and all of my sister queens, you are all such amazing friends that will always have a special place in my heart.

To all of the Teen contestants, make pageant weekend a fun time to meet new friends and make memories! Remember, it's not about the crown and sash, but the experiences and life skills you gain. In my eyes, you are all winners for having the courage to pursue your dreams.
To my successor, make every day of your reign count, because this year will fly by! Use your title to make a difference in your community and inspire others to dream big. And remember, you can NEVER take too many pictures- you'll want to look back and remember the wonderful times you had representing the great state of Missouri.
I want everyone to remember, that life is what you make it. Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right."

Your 2012 Miss Missouri Teen,
Samantha Jo Bowers