2011 Miss Park Rapids named Saturday night
Ashly Domeier has been named Miss Park Rapids 2011.
The 17-year-old Park Rapids Area High School junior said she is confident she will represent Park Rapids in a positive way.
Miss Teen Park Rapids is Jena Stewart, Little Miss Park Rapids 4-6 is Caitlin Wahl and Little Miss Park Rapids K-3 is Massie Lee.
In her passion speech Saturday at the Miss Park Rapids Pageant, Domeier lauded the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP). She is a founder of the program, which is about youth coming together to better the community.
"Today's youth, both young women and men, are consumed by unrealistic views that society portrays about what it is to be a teenager," she said in her passion speech. "Girls at a young age are taught that their beauty and self worth should be based upon unattainable and often unhealthy images.
"Boys, on the other hand, are molded around the perception that showing emotion is a sign of weakness and a real man treats a woman more as a possession than a person with their own thoughts and desires."
Society and media have bombarded youth with their own perception of what beauty is, she said. This often overlooks or downplays the importance of inner strength and a positive self image, Domeier said.
She has taken a positive step forward to combat these negative views and images.
Headwaters Intervention Center is focusing on a Youth Empowerment Program.
"Our group will focus on solving the immediate needs we see in our community, identifying our group's goals, learning to work together as a team and speaking clearly about our wants, needs and goals."
By educating youth through inspiration, Domeier said, "we will equip them with tools they need to be comfortable with who they are and who they want to be."
Domeier said those looking for more information about YEP can talk with her or call the Headwaters Intervention Center at 732-7413.
Domeier was sponsored by Rocky's Pizza, where she works. She is the daughter of Becci and Kevin Leonard.
The Miss Park Rapids Pageant included a farewell from Miss Park Rapids 2010, Melodee Englund.
She looks forward to working with this year's winners and passing along her experience.
In an interview before the pageant, Englund said, "it's been the most amazing experience of my life. I think it's really changed me as a person and how I look at the world."
Kristine Walsh, an organizer of the event, is also saying farewell to the pageant. After two years, she will be passing along the reigns to others.
She thanked the businesses who sponsored the 32 girls who participated in the pageant.
Others who helped organize the pageant include Joel Maxwell, who did photo shoots for the girls, and Savannah Snyder, former Miss Moorhead.
Park Avenue School of Cosmetology students participated in the pageant by doing makeovers for the participants.
The pageant itself is not promoted as a beauty contest but about building confidence and learning about public speaking. A scholarship was awarded to the winner of the pageant in the Miss Park Rapids category.
Competitors participated in the photo shoot, judges' interview, evening gown, active wear and a two minute passion speech. They also participated in the opening number.