Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Miss Iowa Princess, Shae's Farewell

 In May of 2013 I had one of the most exciting days of my life!  I won the title of Miss Iowa Princess!  I had never competed in a pageant before and my mom really had no idea what to expect so we were blindsided when I actually won.  

     When I arrived at the hotel I immediately started making new friends and having fun.  I got to participate in optional contests, watch other age groups pageants and just had a blast hanging out with all of my new friends.    I was so shocked when at the finale pageant the announcer said, "Your new Iowa Princess Queen is...Shae Smolik!"  I started crying with joy after I heard those words and then I could hear my mom yelling out from the crowd.

     After the crowning I delivered books and toys to Mercy's children's hospital and met some adorable patients.  I have also had the opportunity to be in the Race for the Cure with my Queen sisters and the Waukee City parade.  I raised money and food for the Food Bank of Iowa which felt so good to help the hungry!  I have an amazing group of Queen Sisters that i will cherish forever.  I also got to be visiting Royalty at many other State pageants and met many more friends.  I love to pass out trophies to all the contestants to see their faces light up with joy!

     When I went to Nationals in November I had a blast.  My entire family was there and we got to experience Disneyland, Santa Monica Pier, and my mom and I were even bus captains for our tour.  My goal at Nationals was to make it to the top 5 at the finals so I was totally amazed when I actually won the crown of National American Miss Princess 2013-2014!  I have been told that an Iowa contestant has never been a National Queen and that I finally broke the "curse" so that means...GET READY FOR MORE NATIONAL QUEENS FROM IOWA!!

     First and foremost I want to thank God for all that I have been blessed with in my life.  Second, I want to thank my family for all of their hard work.  And lastly I want to thank the beautiful and wonderfully crazy, Breanne Maples, and her FiancĂ© Ryan along with the entire amazing staff of my NAMILY!

With Love,
Shae Smolik

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Iowa Teen Cover Girl, Anna Schroeder's farewell

As your 2013 Miss Iowa Teen Cover Girl, I have had the chance to put smiles on others faces. Making appearances at the Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball games, where the stadium was full of Girl Scouts and signing their baseballs and t-shirts, was a blast. I could tell the girls were excited. I did at least eight LONG parades. And you all know the lovely weather here in Iowa. One was raining, one was 96 degrees, one was raining with the sun shining, and my last parade it was a nice -7 degree night. But I look back at those days, and laugh because I made the best out of it.

I participated in America’s Reads Day in my community reading to three schools. The kindergarteners and I had a blast reading many types of stories, and I enjoyed answering their questions about myself and about pageants. I donated my school supplies and books to Taylor elementary in Cedar Rapids. Taylor is a school who was affected terribly in the Flood of 2008, and has struggled, along with the families within the school, post flood.

One of my favorite things I did in my year was being able to help my work paint a women’s shelter home. This was volunteer work, and a lot of fun being able to pain the house for women to live in. It was a great experience, and the best experience I had.

Last August, the sisters and I walked in the Iowa State parade for breast cancer. Walking that long distance was fun, and we had a great time together.

I had an amazing year with my sister queens. One in which I have become the best of friends with. I could ever ask for. She only lives 20 minutes from my home, when she is home from ISU, and I know she would listen to me and give me the best pageant advice I could ask for. She will forever be my sister.

I wish I could have become closer to all the rest of my sister queens, but distance kept us apart. But it’s ok because I  will forever love them and keep them in my heart.

Alyssa, you are such an amazing role model and I will love you forever!

Maddison, you are such a sweet loving girl, and also a great role model. I will miss you!

Hannah, we really didn't get too close, but you will forever in my heart!

Shayla, we didn't get to know each other very well, but I want to wish you much luck with the near future.

Lemuel, I have yet to even meet you. It’s sad we haven't met, but may the best come towards you as you reach success

Shae, YOU GO GIRL! When I watched you get crowned at nationals, I cried like a baby. You will be forever loved by anyone you meet! Good luck with the rest of your year, and I love you.

And to all of my Cover Girl sister queens, none of us have meet, and that is a shame, but you ladies will forever be in my heart and I hope you had a good year.

To my Successor, good luck! May you have a great year, and make the best out of it. People will judge you for being a pageant queen, but just smile and wave. Make a difference in yourself, in others, and throughout your state, and the community! Put yourself out there, and have fun! Put that crown on whenever you feel the need. Where it when you’ve had a bad day, when you need a smile, while you are in your princess footy pajamas. Love your crown, and love yourself. Put your crown to good use and Good luck!

With much love:
Anna Schroeder

2013 Miss Iowa Teen Cover Girl

Friday, April 25, 2014

Miss Iowa, Alyssa Priebe's Farewell

When I received the call announcing me as the Iowa Miss, I was ecstatic! I was given another chance to represent our state, myself, and National American Miss-and I took advantage! I immediately started volunteering at my local library, vacation bible schools, and helping the Belle Plaine Historic Society. I dedicated my reign to project “Crown for a Cure”. In honor of my grandmother and grandfather, I attended events to fundraise for cancer patients. These included, emceeing and hosting Bra’s for a Cause in Des Moines, speaking at Concert for a Cure, selling cookbooks created by cancer patients, and walked with survivors and my sister queens in the Susan G. Kommen section of the State Fair Parade.

Nationals in California was incredible! I met so many fabulous women, spent two days at Disney, watched our Iowa Princess win, and created lasting memories. However, the most special part of my reign was becoming part of a sisterhood. Because of the generosity of my fellow queens I was able to travel to four state pageants, including Minnesota, Indiana, Missouri, and Wisconsin. I will cherish these memories forever. Anne, Hannah, Maddison, Shae, Anna, and Sarah, you’ve made my year representing Iowa unforgettable. I love you all so much and know you are like family to me! Raelynn, you are a true and dear friend. Thank you for coming to my events, cheering me on in California, and bragging to everyone how your best friend is Miss Iowa! You mean the world to me!

Of course, I need to thank my family and their constant support. I know I said in 2012 it was my last time competing, but thank you for changing my mind. I love you more than you’ll ever know, thank you for sharing in this crazy ride with me. Dad, you are the most understanding man I know, not to mention the best chauffer, grill master, and pep talker! Mom, what can I say? From writing introductions at 3am, dress shopping 3 hours away, and simply keeping me on track-I appreciate everything you do! Christopher and Kytana, though you are busy with your own paths, thank you for sharing in mine every chance you got, I am truly grateful! I love you all so so much!

I find it difficult to find the right words to describe my time with NAM. Not only this past year, but throughout my entire life. I started pageantry a scared, timid, self-conscious girl and thanks to my journey, I am strong, confident, and ambitious. I want every girl to understand: You are WORTH IT, you are BEAUTIFUL, and you are SPECIAL! If you believe these things, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. In ten years I never imagined I would have the privilege to represent Iowa, let alone twice. Please understand it is not the crown that makes the queen, but her attitude. Just keep swimming and never give up on your dreams; work hard and you will achieve them!

For the final time, I am your 2013 Iowa Miss, Alyssa Priebe <3 nbsp="" p="">

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Miss Iowa Jr Teen, Hannah Bockhaus' Farewell

I can hardly believe that it's already been one year since I was not only being blessed with the title of Miss Iowa Junior Teen, but with a year I will never forget. As I opened my letter from National American Miss in 2013, I had no idea what this next year had in store for me. As I reflect on my journey, I couldn't be more thankful for the experiences I've had, lessons I've learned, and people I've met.

I've had the opportunity to volunteer with various organizations, but the closest one to my heart has been the project I've created, Cuddle for a Cure. By donating handmade fleece blankets to children at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, I've helped create a sense of security to those who need it most.

Aside from making a difference in my community, I participated in parades, helped with NAM open calls, and attended other state pageants throughout the year. Attending the Iowa State Fair parade and walking for the Susan G. Komen Foundation with my sister queens was one of my favorites.

Before I knew it, I was traveling over 1,500 miles to the national pageant in sunny California where I spent Thanksgiving with my NAMily. The week of nationals was easily the highlight of my reign! Although I didn't come home to Iowa with the national title, I can honestly say that I had the time of my life and made memories with new friends that I will truly never forget!

This year would not have been the same without all the people I've shared it with. To the Maples and crew, thanks for instilling confidence in me and making pageants an unforgettable experience. To my momager, photographer, coach, personal chef, and most of all mom: thanks for pushing me to do my best and spending countless hours practicing and preparing with me. Dad, thank you for encouraging me to always be myself and secretly loving to be a pageant dad. Blake, you're the best escort I could ask for; thanks for always giving me a good laugh before we go on stage! Grandpa and Grandma, you guys are awesome and I can't thank you enough for your support and inspiraton. Shae, Lemuel, Shayla, Maddison, and Alyssa, each of you are simply amazing and I now couldn't imagine my life without you. The long car rides, laughs, hugs, and memories we've created surely won't stop here. As the saying goes, sometimes being a sister is better than being a princess; I love you all! National American Miss, thank you for inspiring girls around the country to follow their dreams and become the best that they can be.

Forever and always,
Your 2013-2014 Miss Iowa Junior Teen
Hannah Bockhaus

Monday, April 21, 2014

Miss Iowa PreTeen, Shayla Timm's Farewell

Becoming Miss Iowa has been a great accomplishment.  I grew confidence in myself and met great people!  I spent time with my sister queens. We were in the Iowa state Fair Parade walking for breast cancer.  I look forward to talking to the contestants at the pageant and helping them grow their confidence, just like ME!  At Nationals I had so much fun, from going on the roller coasters, to hanging with all the other queens.  I am sad to hand off the crown, but happy to know someone will be as HAPPY as I was when I was crowned.

Shayla Timm
Miss Iowa Pre-Teen 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Iowa Jr Pre Teen Cover Girl, Hailey Volz's Farewell

I can't believe my year is coming to an end!  It has gone by so fast!  I have had such an amazing time being your 2013 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-teen Cover Girl!  

Our NAM queens and I helped show our support for the Susan G. Komen Foundation by walking with them during the Iowa State Fair parade this summer.  We helped get the word out about how to register for the 2013 Race For the Cure.  We had such a great time!
I would like to thank my parents, my 3 younger sisters, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and the community for all your love and support during this amazing year!  I am very excited to crown the new 2014 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-teen Cover Girl at this years pageant!  See everyone in May!

Hailey Volz 
Your 2013 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-teen Cover Girl

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Miss Missouri Jr PreTeen, Shae Smith's Farewell

It was a dream come true to hear my name announced as the 2013 National American Miss Missouri Jr PreTeen Queen.  I was so excited and could not stop smiling!  I finally achieved one of my goals and it felt amazing.

As soon as I got back home I hit the floor running using my title to volunteer at various events and fundraisers.  I donated books collected from the MO pageant community involvement project to a group of children in my hometown known as Club Liberator.  I rode in three parades, made local appearances as a state queen, helped with the crowning ceremonies at four local festival pageants and raised over $500 for the Trisomy 18 Foundation in honor of my brother and sister.  During my reign I have also had the privilege to represent Sears as a spokes model for their Anti-Bullying Pledge.  For my platform I talked to local schools, signed a pledge and took photos at my cheerleading gym, made posters, and I raised money for my own schools' anti-bully fund.  Because of my involvement I was asked to take photos for a short documentary for an anti-bullying campaign called "Little Miss Victim."  I was having a blast with all of these opportunities, but little did I know the fun was just beginning.

Before I knew it I was off to nationals in California with my mom and my amazing sister queens.  We had so much fun playing and riding roller coasters at Disneyland and California Adventure.  During the Hollywood Tour we were able to shop on Rodeo Drive, have my name put on my very own Hollywood Star, and I was able to play on the beach with my new friends at the Santa Monica Pier.  The week was filled with laughter and making memories to last a life time.  I was so honored to receive first runner up with my resume at nationals and to realize that I am not only setting goals, but accomplishing them.  

I would like to thank so many people who have helped me on this journey.  I would like to thank God for my many blessings, my dad for always supporting me, my brothers who have to watch me practice every day, and my mom who takes care of everything for me.  She is always there cheering me on!  To my sister queens, I cannot express how much you mean to me.  You girls are so talented and always make me smile.  We have had so many great times together preparing for nationals, eating lots of goodies at our send off party, and making our appearance known at the Chicago Bulls game.  I am honored to have you as sister queens and friends for life!  I would also like to give a special thanks our state directors Breanne and Ryan.  Your words of encouragement mean a lot and I will always think of you and tell myself that "I LOOK GOOD!"  You are amazing directors and a great team!

To all contestants, just remember to keep reaching for your goals and keep smiling because you are all very special.  It takes a lot of courage and confidence to do what you do, so be proud of yourselves!  To the new 2014 NAM Missouri Jr Preteen Queen, you are going to have the best year of your life!  

Wishing you the best and encouraging you to always believe in yourself and dream big!  

For the last time, your reigning 2013 National American Miss Missouri Jr PreTeen, 
I am Shae Smith.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Miss Iowa Teen, Maddison Lange's Farewell

It is crazy to think that in one moment your life can be changed forever. This just reassures that miracles do happen and I can not believe my journey is almost over! When I heard my name called as the 2013 National American Miss Teen Iowa, I was in udder shock. I couldn't believe all of my hard work had paid off. 

I started my year off by donating school supplies and books to my old local elementary school where I talked to the students about character counts and achieving their dreams. During the Fourth of July weekend, I was honored to ride in two different parades. I was honored to help crown the 2013 Miss Monroe County Fair Queen and judge their prince and princess pageant. In August, I walked with my sister queens with the Susan G. Komen foundation in the Iowa State Fair parade to promote their Race for a Cure. Later that month, I got to spend time talking to Sheree's Flip Flop tumblers about proper diet and exercise. In September I rode in a local festival parade called Pancake Day. In October, I helped out at the local YMCA at their five year anniversary block party. Also, I attended the World Food Prize and got to package meals to send to third-world countries. With these many appearances, I did a lot of volunteering through the non-profit organization I began called Healthy Education and Living Awareness or HEALA. During the Fall, I also wrote and published my very own children's book called Petunia's Winning Plan to educate children about the importance of diet and exercise in today's world.

During the year I also went to two state pageants where I got to see two of my best friends be crowned. At nationals, I was able to make many life-long friends. National's week ended nicely since I made it into the top ten, my baby sister was crowned a national queen, and I saw one of my very best friends crowned the National American Miss Teen. I left Nationals with many amazing memories.
This year would not have been possible without my family. I want to thank my three older brothers James, Ben, and J.T. for all of their love and support. I want to thank my dad for always being there for me on and off of the stage. Also, I would like to thank my mom. I would not have made it through this year with out her because she is my rock. I want to thank all of the rest of my friends and family that traveled out to California to watch and to support me. I can not tell you how much it means to me.

Finally, I want to thank Breanne, Ryan, Lani, Kenn, and the entire NAM staff for all of your help throughout the year.

To my sister queens Shae, Lemuel, Shayla, Hannah, and Alyssa, this year has been a blast! I definitely would not have had this much fun without you. I will treasure all of the precious memories we made.

To my successor: you are in for an adventure! You will have an extraordinary family and team behind you. Hold on because you are in for the ride of your life! Even the craziest of dreams can come true. Much Love!

Your 2013 National American Miss Teen Iowa
Maddison Lange

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Iowa Princess Cover Girl, Addison's farewell

Hi Everyone, 
   I'm Addison Opheim, my friends call me Addi, you can too! I'm your Iowa Princess Covergirl. Let me tell you what an honor this year has been! It was a shock to win this title and I had no idea what that all meant! When we got home there was a welcome and congratulations party in my school. The next year would fly by. 
  When I got back I got to donate hats and mittens to all the children who would go through the school year with out. I got to show them my crown and banner and tell them about my journey. 

  I got to ride in many parades through out my area. One of them was Railroad days. It was where my Grandma & Grandpa Great live. Boy were they proud! 

   Starting the fall I did more fundraisers and gathered more goods to donate. My brother (Aidyn) and I worked at our fairground where we packages meals in bags to send to Honduras. We were the youngest kids who helped out. 

Next my journey was to head to Nationals. My grandma julie, my brother aidyn, and my mommy came with me. Boy were those two weeks a blast! It was a lot of hard work but we also go to play. I got to meet so many girls from all over the United States. When your a small town country girl this was a big journey to the big city! My mom always tells me "no matter what your dream is you can achieve anything as long as you believe princess! Because I believe in you" my mommy told me over and over my hard work paid off. Iowa represented well in the Princess category. My friend Shae won the National American Princess category and I won the National Cover Model! 

  As my year ends I've had so much fun and so many fun memories that will last a lifetime. Always be who you are and dream to the stars! Thanks to my family, friends, and my parents for allowing me to dream big! 

Love Addi
2014 Iowa Princess Covergirl