Brown is crowned Miss Coon Rapids

Kayla Brown was crowned 2014 Miss Coon Rapids and Brianna Smith won the 2014 Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen title at the annual Miss Coon Rapids Scholarship Pageant Saturday night at Coon Rapids High School auditorium.

Newly-crowned 2014 Miss Coon Rapids Kayla Brown (center) with Miss Minnesota 2013 Rebecca Yeh (left) and 2013 Miss Coon Rapids Emily Kallis.

Newly-crowned 2014 Miss Coon Rapids Kayla Brown (center) with Miss Minnesota 2013 Rebecca Yeh (left) and 2013 Miss Coon Rapids Emily Kallis.

Both young women now advance to state competition next year – Brown to the Miss Minnesota Pageant in June and Smith to the Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen Pageant in April – and both have the chance to qualify for national pageants.

There were nine contestants in the Miss Coon Rapids Pageant and five in the outstanding teen event.

As qualifiers for state and national competition, both pageants were open to young women who live or go to school in Minnesota ages between 17 and 24 for Miss Coon Rapids and 13 to 17 for Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen.

Competition areas in the Miss Coon Rapids Pageant were talent 35 percent, private interview with platform 25 percent, evening wear 20 percent, lifestyle and fitness in a swimsuit 15 percent and on-stage question 5 percent.

For the teen pageant talent counted for 35 percent, private interview with platform 30 percent, personal appearance and poise in evening wear 15 percent, lifestyle and fitness in sportswear 10 percent and scholastic achievement and on-stage question both 5 percent.

“I am beyond words ecstatic,” Brown said after receiving her crown as Miss Coon Rapids 2014 from her predecessor Miss Coon Rapids 2013 Emily Kallis.

Brown grew up in Moorhead, graduated from Moorhead High School in 2008 and is a junior at Concordia College, Moorhead, where she is majoring in elementary education and is currently student teaching at an elementary school in West Fargo, N.D.

While in high school, Brown was a member of the Key Club student service organization, but she has been figure skating since she was seven years old, skated competitively and spent three years performing with the Disney on Ice skating show.

In fact, her talent presentation was a roller skating routine, for which she used her figure skating experience, according to Brown.

She taught herself to roller skate after competing in the 2013 Miss Minnesota Pageant as Miss Northern Lakes and deciding to change her talent presentation, Brown said.

Brown’s platform focuses on increasing involvement in community service, especially among young people, she said.

She wants to use her experience as a Key Club member in high school to take her message to local service organizations and schools, Brown said.

“I want to see children grow up in a lifestyle of volunteering,” she said.

Brown has been commuting between Moorhead and Coon Rapids, a three and a half hour drive, for pageant rehearsals and other pre-pageant activities.

“I am getting very used to driving it,” Brown said.

Smith, who is a junior at Minnetonka High School, said it “feels spectacular” to win the Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen title.

She was crowned by 2013 Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen Kathryn Kueppers.

Smith is “specially proud and excited,” she said.

Smith’s talent presentation was a ribbon dance to the music from “Pirates.”

It was a “very intense” dance in which she was able to meld her training in both dance and gymnastics, according to Smith.

Smith’s platform is titled “Special Needs; Bright Futures.”

Her goal is that students who are fortunate to have their health develop bonds with kids who have disability to make sure they are able to experience, grow and develop “the same way,” Smith said.

As Miss Coon Rapids 2014, Brown won a $500 scholarship, crown with custom made box, sash, crown pin, Miss Coon Rapids stationary, 200 autograph cards, 50 photo buttons, Swarovski necklace and earring set $300 value) from Gould Jewelry in Anoka, $250 donation to the Children’s Miracle Network for the Miss Minnesota competition, $500 clothing allowance for the state pageant, photo allowance, six free pageant consulting sessions from Cheri Kennedy – The Image Group, $350 discount on platinum gown from The Pageant Shop by Michaels-Sarah Moses and two complimentary sessions to Adam Spiker Personal Training.

First runner-up Amanda Moder, whose talent presentation was dance, was awarded a $300 cash scholarship and flower bouquet.

Other awards presented at the pageant included a North Star Lions Club community service scholarship of $150 to Makenzi Kovar and a $50 cash award to Grace Christenson for being named Miss Congeniality.

For winning the Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen title, Smith won a $500 cash scholarship, crown with custom made box, sash, crown pin, stationary, 200 autograph cards, 50 photo buttons, Swarovski earring and necklace set ($300 value) from Gould Jewelry in Anoka, $250 donation to the Children’s Miracle Network for the state pageant, $100 clothing allowance and a photo allowance for the Miss Minnesota Outstanding Teen Pageant, six free pageant consulting sessions from Cheri Kennedy – The Image Group and a $350 discount on a platinum gown from The Pageant Shop by Michaels-Sarah Moses.

First runner-up, Mia Pagnac, whose talent presentation was playing the cello, won a $100 cash scholarship and a flower bouquet.

Kallie Jo Ascheman won the $100 North Star Lions Club community service scholarship, while Leah Mau earned the $50 Miss Congeniality award.

Emcees for the event with Jerry Koch, a member of the Coon Rapids City Council, and Megan Torgerson Vitko, a former Miss Coon Rapids and Miss Minnesota, who also did the choreography for the pageant.

Judges were Cathy Yseth, Bruce Krause, Brad Sattin, Joanne Stoltenberg and Patty Sagert, with Brooks Staples and Yvonne Kleis.

Stage crew members were Jim Peterson, Tom Marcotte and Terry Fuchs with Marcie Carlson was in charge of crown decorations.

Lighting was by Julie Carlson, spotlights by Ron Ehlert and sound director was Jeff Comfort.

Pageant hostesses were Sue Leggate, Connie Weinman, Marcie Carlson, Bonnie Paul and Michelle Johnson.

Security was handled by Will Erickson, Monte Mahowald, Fred Tuckner, Paul Chouinard, John Wolf and Tim Novak.

Members of the pageant committee are Theresa Leggate, executive pageant director; Zayanne Held, president; Becky Orrock, vice president; John Leggate, treasurer; Michelle Johnson, secretary; Megan Ehlert, production director; Megan and Laurie Ehlert, Miss Coon Rapids Outstanding Teen co-directors; Michelle Kirchner, ways and means director; and Teda Staricha, coordinator.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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