Thursday, March 31, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa, Larissa Henecke's Farewell

It’s hard to believe that 9 years ago I stepped on the stage as an awkward and shy 12 year old and today I stand here as your 2015 Miss Iowa. Years of hard work and dedication paid off and I realized that dreams really do come true.
During my year I had the opportunity to participate in my hometown’s Pumpkinfest, volunteer at the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Walk, collect oral hygiene products for those in need, volunteer at Mission of Hope homeless shelter, create Valentines for Vets, and start my own non profit organization, B’s Blankets of Hope, which donates blankets to those receiving cancer treatment at the University of Iowa hospitals.
One of the highlights of my year was spending the week in sunny California for NAM Nationals! I met girls from across the country, toured the famed streets of Hollywood, spent a magical day in the happiest place on Earth, ate a Thanksgiving dinner fit for a queen, and had the time of my life representing our beautiful state of Iowa on the National stage.
I would like to thank Breanne, Ryan, and the entire NAM staff past and present, for creating such an amazing program for girls; it has truly changed my life. To my sister queens, you are all beautiful inside and out and I know that our friendships are ones that will last for years to come. Thank you to my family, for always supporting me in all I do. Grandpa Tom, you’re the best escort a girl could ask for and Grandma Shirley, thank you for always calming my nerves and making me feel beautiful. Mom, you are my rock. None of this would have been possible without you. You are, hands down, the best pageant mom around, I love you so much! To the contestants, never take one moment for granted and remember you can do anything you set your mind to!
For the last time I am your 2015 Miss Iowa,
Larissa Henecke

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa Teen, Rebecca Chia's Farewell

Persistence pays off, and in my case, it really did. After 5 long years, I couldn't believe I finally captured the title of 2015 Miss Iowa Teen. I had such an amazing year and was honored to represent Iowa.
During my reign, I participated in volunteer events, parades, and spent a weekend with my sister queens in Des Moines. As if meeting my 8 sisters weren't enough, I went to nationals and met about 50 more.
At nationals, I was honored to receive 1st Runner Up in Actress and 4th Runner Up in Top Model. I'm so grateful for this amazing opportunity but I'm mostly grateful for the people who made this year possible.
Mom & Dad: Thank you for all your support. I truly appreciate all that you do. This dream was just as important to you as it was for me. I love you so much.

To the Ewing Team: It's been an honor to be a queen for Team Ewing. Thank you for such a wonderful year!

To my amazing sister queens: I love every single one of you girls so so much. I truly have the best sister queens in the world. I will miss you girls the most.

To the contestants: No matter what your dream is, never give up on it. It took me 5 years to finally achieve my dream. Persistence, determination, and believing in yourself really do pay off in the end.
For the last time, I am your 2015 Miss Iowa Teen,
Rebecca Chia

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Teen, Madison Foley's Farewell

National American Miss has taught me many things such as believing in myself, how to shine on stage, and most importantly... I LOOK GOOD! I started my journey with NAM five years ago in the Pre-Teen division and never thought I would take away so many amazing experiences and so many amazing friends that I will forever cherish.
My year as the 2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Teen started out right away as I attended many other state pageants as visiting royalty. I was so privileged to visit Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to help out with the pageant and meet all the awesome State Queens and State Finalists. That wasn't the only thing keeping me busy though. I headed to Des Moines with all my sister queens to meet the governor, for a photo shoot, to be interviewed by a newscast called Great Day, and visit the Blank Children hospital to meet the patients and donate a bunch of toys and supplies. I was also in a bunch of small town and big city parades such as The Tulip Festival Parade, River Cade, Hull Days, Spencer, and the Iowa State Fair Parade. 
Months flew by in a flash and before I knew it I was on a plan flying out to California for the National Pageant. The week was busy but full of memories. I met so many amazing girls that I will never forget. I did so many things that I had never done before like visit an ocean and go to Disney Land and it was all a blast! Even though I didn't win the title of a National Queen, I left Nationals with cherished friendships and experiences that I will be forever thankful for! I just going to throw a quick shout out to the 2015 Jr. Teen Queens. Even months after nationals we have kept our iPhone group chat alive which I think is awesome!

One of my favorite parts of the royal life was the Open Calls and Pageant Preps. Meeting all the upcoming state finalists and preparing them for the state pageant was so fun and reminded me of when I visited my state Open Call and Pageant Prep. Thinking of that made me super thankful for all my opportunities I have had in my life. 
I want to kick off my thank you's with Breanne and Ryan Ewing and all of the NAM staff! Thank you so much for being so amazing and structured and teaching girls that they can accomplish things that are in their wildest dreams. Thank you to all my sister queens for being the best unrelated sisters. Lily, Sydney, Addie, Kaylee, Anna, Kenna, Rebecca, and Larissa: you are all so amazing, beautiful, and you will accomplish great things one day, that I am sure of. Next, I want to thank Springboard, more specifically Robin and Emerie. Without you two, not only would I not look as good and professional as I do during the pageants, I would not have been able to get as far as I have. You gals are amazing and I want to give you guys a big virtual hug! 

Now, I want to throw a huge thank you to my family. Mom and Dad: I wouldn't have been able to accomplish anything, pageant related and not, without you guys and I am so thankful for that. Skyler and Kenzie, you have been so supportive of me and I just want to thank you guys. I love all of you and once again, thank you! 
To all the state finalists: you have already made it to the state pageants so you are the top in your state. Even if you don't leave the pageant with a crown just think of all the things you have accomplished throughout that weekend and think of all the new friendships you have made. 

Lastly, to my successor. This year will, no doubt, be one of the best of your life. It will fly by and before you will have time to blink you will be writing your farewell so remember to cherish all of it. Take lots and lots of pictures! How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard? -Winnie the Pooh 

For the last time, I am your 2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Teen
Madison Foley

Monday, March 28, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa Pre-Teen, Kaylee Van Den Berg's Farewell

This has been such an amazing year being the 2015 Miss Iowa Pre-Teen! I am so thankful for the experiences I have had, and want to thank my parents and family for their support and always being a big part of this adventure!
After I was crowned, I was in many parades during the summer with a few of the other Iowa Queens which was so fun! I worked and volunteered my time at the Sioux Center Hope Food Pantry. I was able to meet and help many families with their grocery needs and was very blessed to be a part of that organization.
During the end of the summer the Iowa Queens met up in Des Moines for a photo shoot, bonding time, we were interviewed on a local TV station, and visited the Children’s Hospital. We also met Terry Brandstad, the State Governor, and visited the Capital which was an amazing experience.
In November we had the honor of attending the nationals pageant in Anaheim, CA. My entire family was there to support me and we had such a fun week which included Disneyland, Hollywood, the beach, many Queen parties, and meeting all the State Queens from around the country. I made so many new friends and the entire experience was such a blessing and a memory I will always cherish.
In my life I strive to be a light in this world and be an inspiration to everyone that I meet. Being the 2015 Miss Iowa Pre-Teen has given me many new opportunities to meet and inspire other girls to be who they are and to love themselves completely. God has given each one of us gifts and I want every girl to find that gift and use it to better themselves and this world. And then to use that gift to be a light in this world and SHINE!!
I am your 2015 Miss Iowa Pre-Teen
Kaylee Van Den Berg

Sunday, March 27, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen, Sydney Busick's Farewell

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already been a whole year since I was crowned the 2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen! My year has been filled with so many blessings and amazing opportunities!
I have been able to volunteer my time at several of my community’s events. I’ve also been invited to appear as a special guest and presenter at the Clarke County Fair and 4th of July events while mentoring girls in my community and getting to participate in parades.
Some of the most special times were spent with my sister queens. I love you girls! Together we visited the Capitol and met the Governor and Lt Governor! We did a photo shoot in Des Moines and donated books and supplies to Blank Children’s Hospital, while we visited with some of the courageous patients there.
And who can forget going to NATIONALS! What an amazing experience! I met so many new friends from all over the country! Of course Disney and Hollywood was AWESOME! And I will never forget playing in the Pacific Ocean with my girls Lilly and Addison!
I have so many people to thank… to my sister Queens: Larissa, Rebecca, Kenna, Maddy, Anna, Kaylee, Addison and Lilly you will always be in my heart. I love you all and the time we get to spend together. To the Mays, Breanne and Ryan and all the NAM staff YOU GUYS ROCK! Thank you for this amazing opportunity! And of course a big thank you to my parents, grandparents, family and friends I couldn’t have done any of this without your love and support. Mom, thanks for helping me with…EVERYTHING! Dad, thank you for being here and being my special escort I love you both so much!
Finally to all you new contestants, I hope you are as blessed as I have been! Don’t forget to have fun with NAM, it will give back everything you put in and more. And remember….

A girl with dreams….A girl with confidence…. Is a girl that is unstoppable. 

With Love,
Your 2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen
Sydney Busick

Saturday, March 26, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa Princess, Lilly Glandon's Farewell

Who knew a letter in the mail could turn a shy little girl into a princess? That's the stuff fairy tales are made of, and that's what this year has been for me, my very own amazing fairy tale!

I made tons of new friends, rode in parades, and I even got to meet my favorite singer, Matthew West! It made me the happiest girl on earth when he asked me for a hug and said he'd never met a real princess before.
Being a princess is about putting others before yourself. So I got busy donating the Community Involvement supplies to Headstart and the kids at the Wesley Center, where I helped serve meals to low-income families. I stayed involved with a local food pantry and The Oskaloosa Summer Lunch Program. I also collected donations and was blessed to be able to deliver a whole van load of supplies to a homeless shelter in Iowa City. 
But you can't have a fairy tale without dreams coming true, and that's where my sister queens come in. I think God picked all of you out just for me! Thank you for all of the Love and hugs, you are the best sisters in the whole world! I will never forget all of the fun we had meeting the Governor, being on live T.V., visiting the Children's Hospital, and of course our group photo shoot.
And then bippity, boppity bam! We were at Nationals is California, having a blast with our NAMily! From Disneyland, to me falling in the ocean, and my brother getting 2nd place in the dance contest. These are memories that will last a lifetime! I was even blessed with 4th runner-up for best Thank You Note, 2nd runner-up for Runway Modeling, and placed in the Top 10 to the Queen's Title!
Lots of love and hugs to NAM and Team Ewing for creating this magical place where dreams come true! Thank you Mommy and Daddy for always helping me face my fears and believing in me. I love you to the moon and back! To my big brother Joey, thank you for always pushing me to do my best. I know I can do anything if you got my back! And to my little brother Ford, your smile melts my heart and always keeps me going! This fairy tale never would have happened though without God giving me the courage to overcome being shy and filling my life with all of the amazing people that made my journey possible.

To all of you girls out there, you don't need a crown to tell you how amazing all of you are! We were made by the Hands that made the stars, and all of you are stars. So keep dreaming big princesses and light this world up!

With lots of love
I am your 2015 Miss Iowa Princess, Lilly Glandon

Friday, March 25, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa Pre-Teen Cover Girl, Anna Schenkel's Farewell

Wow--what a year! From the moment I was crowned Cover Girl last year my world began to change!
I began my reign by volunteering at the Minnesota State Pageant. In the past few years I have volunteered for my church, the MDA and the Salvation Army. But volunteering as queen was SO much fun!
I have to say my favorite thing to do was riding in the local and state fair parades with my sister queens! And then along came Nationals in California! I'm SO glad I went. What a great opportunity to grow and learn from those around me while having an amazing time!
 It's strange because my year was nothing like I expected. I never imagined meeting and getting close to so many girls. I've been incredibly lucky to make these amazing life-long friends! NAM, you've had a wonderful impact on my life and I'm forever grateful!
Anna Schenkel
2015 Miss Iowa Pre-Teen Cover Girl

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl, Addison Opheim's Farewell

Hi Everyone, I'm Addison Opheim, my friends call me Addi, you can too! I'm your 2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl and National Cover Model. It's been so much fun this past year with my fellow sisters. 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 met up with my sister queens in Des Moines and we donated books and school supplies to Blank Children's Hospital. We also got to meet our governor. We also collected goods for our soldiers and at "Operation Sweetness" I got to show them my crown and banner and tell them about my journey. The soldiers became our pen pals! I got to ride in many parades through out my area. One of them I met Kaylee and Maddi in Hull for a parade. It was a blast seeing all the little girls excited to see us.
Tragedy struck my family in July. I'm so thankful for all my sister queens and their families for coming to support my mom, my brother, and me. My daddy became my angel and my sisters came to be with me that day. Once your a NAM Sister you'll always be a sister! Starting the fall I did more fundraisers and gathered more goods to donate. My brother, Aidyn, and I worked at our fairground where we packaged meals in bags to send to Honduras. We were the youngest kids who helped out!
Next my journey was to head to Nationals! My brother, Aidyn, my mommy, and my uncle Joe 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 and my hard work paid off. I won the National Cover Model title!
I knew my daddy was watching over me and helped me along the way! 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
2015 Miss Iowa Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Girl
2015-16 National Jr. Pre-Teen Cover Model 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Nevada Royalty at Fundraiser for the Troops

2015 Miss Nevada Jr. Teen Cover Girl, Veronica Beauchamp, and 2015 Miss Nevada Jr. Pre-Teen, Kayla Walsh, participated in a fun fundraiser right before Nationals to benefit the troops. The fundraiser took place at King Putt's Mini Golf and Laser Tag and a portion of every round of mini golf and laser tag went back to Wounded Warriors and Welcome Home Troops.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Missouri Queens Send Cards to Troops Overseas

As the niece of two US Army soldiers, 2015 Miss Missouri Princess, Caroline Cook, mailed 80 homemade Christmas cards to "Operation Support Our Troops" to be included in Christmas stockings sent overseas to deployed soldiers. Her sister queen, 2015 Miss Missouri Teen, Faith Jordan, got children from her hometown involved too!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Utah Pre-Teen Throws First Pitch at Raptor's Game

2015 Miss Utah Pre-Teen, Katie Jameson ended her summer break with a busy weekend volunteering. On August 28th Katie was invited to appear at the Ogden Raptor's pro baseball game to throw the first pitch! Saturday the 29th she was invited to the Provo Town Center Mall to a pageant workshop where she talked about the National American Miss state pageant and taught girls about personal introductions and how to present themselves on stage. She also discussed how wonderful it is to be involved in pageants and develop confidence in themselves. What a great way to end the summer!