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New Miss Park Rapids crowned Saturday after a decade hiatus

Melodie Englund, 16, was crowned Miss Park Rapids Saturday night. More than 200 people attended the pageant. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 4
Denia Brown accepts the crown from pageant organizer Kristine Walsh in the Miss Teen Park Rapids category, which had five participants. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)2 / 4
Sarah Gorder, crowned Little Miss Park Rapids 4 through 6, introduces herself to the audience. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)3 / 4
Little Miss Park Rapids K through 3 Madysen Sanders was crowned for her category. A random drawing took place for the crown in the younger categories. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)4 / 4

Melodie Englund was crowned Miss Park Rapids at the Miss Park Rapids Pageant Saturday night.

Denia Brown was crowned Miss Teen Park Rapids, Sarah Gorder was crowned Little Miss Park Rapids grades 4 to 6 and Madysen Sanders was crowned Little Miss Park Rapids grades kindergarten to 3.

Nearly 200 people attended the event at Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium. Miss Park Rapids and Miss Teen Park Rapids contestants competed in four categories: judges' interview, community passion speech, active wear and evening gown.

Englund was the sole Miss Park Rapids candidate this year while the Miss Teen Park Rapids category had five participants.

Little Miss participants enjoyed being part of the opening number, active wear and party dress categories. Winners in these categories were drawn randomly.

A scholarship was awarded to Englund, the winner of the pageant in the Miss Park Rapids category for sophomores and juniors.

Miss Park Rapids Melodie Englund, 16, is the daughter of Tim and Julie Englund. Her passion statement was:

"I should be the next Miss Park Rapids because I can be a great role model and contribution to our community. My passion is about SCAR (Self-Confidence and Respect). Liking and getting to know yourself is very important to me. Having people being themselves and respecting others being themselves is definitely my passion."

Miss Teen Park Rapids Denia Brown, 13, is the daughter of Christina Andrus. Her passion statement was:

"I am very proud to be part of our community and hope to make Park Rapids proud to have me as their next Miss Teen Park Rapids. Even though I am very young, I am very aware of the way our beautiful town gets with all of the trash from events, the amount of tourists that we receive and everyday damage.

"Tourists help our community financially and they play a valuable role in our town. But, at the same time, our beautiful land is becoming filled with trash, and something needs to be done. As a volunteer at our local Humane Society, I also help with abandoned dogs by taking them out for walks. It has become more noticeable to me that our curbs and bushes are full of trash, beer and pop bottles. I would like to see our community come together and have a monthly designated clean-up day and form a community clean-up group.

"Whether or not I'm elected the new Miss Teen Park Rapids I am willing to become a leader to form and maintain this new force with appropriate adult support and sponsors. We can do this! Help us keep our town clean and beautiful! As the new Miss Teen Park Rapids, I plan to make a difference."

Little Miss 4-6 Sarah Gorder, 11, is the daughter of Darren and Tammy Gorder. She is in the fifth grade and her hobbies include spending time with family and friends and playing sports.

Little Miss K-3 Madysen Sanders, 8, is the daughter of Rebecca and Michael Sanders. She is in second grade and her hobbies include cake decorating, dancing, donating clothes to charity, learning to hunt, playing with friends, fishing and swimming.

Before the pageant, participants had a photo shoot with Joel Maxwell and Park Avenue School of Cosmetology students provided makeovers and hair styling.

The 2011 pageant is already in the works with expanded participation opportunities. If you would like to be part of the Pageant in 2011 as a participant or a volunteer, please call Kristine Walsh, Park Avenue School of Cosmetology, at 732-2962.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561