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Miss Park Rapids Pageant was a success

Kudos to the organizers of the Miss Park Rapids Pageant. Saturday's event exceeded expectations and has set up organizers for a successful pageant in future years. This was not a "beauty" pageant in a conventional sense. The girls were beautiful ...

Kudos to the organizers of the Miss Park Rapids Pageant.

Saturday's event exceeded expectations and has set up organizers for a successful pageant in future years.

This was not a "beauty" pageant in a conventional sense. The girls were beautiful in their evening gowns and hairstyles, yet this wasn't the focus.

The 22 girls participating in the pageant learned confidence by speaking on stage in front of hundreds of people. For some, it was likely the first opportunity they've had with public speaking.

It's not easy getting up in front of 10 people, let alone 200, to speak and give a passion statement. We applaud these girls.

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The girls participating in the Miss Park Rapids and Miss Teen Park Rapids categories had a private interview Saturday afternoon, which counted for 40 percent of the score and a passion statement that counted for 25 percent of the score. Evening wear was 25 percent of the score and active wear was 10 percent.

As former Miss Moorhead and emcee Savana Snyder pointed out, participants put in most of the work outside the pageant. Preparing for the pageant and following up throughout the next year by participating in the community are important aspects of the pageant.

A royalty reception before the main event included special women guests from the community who are in leadership roles. It was good for the young pageant participants to see what they could become someday.

What was most impressive about this year's pageant was how the community stepped up to make the event successful.

A scholarship was given to Miss Park Rapids and savings bonds were given to winners of the other groups. This wouldn't have been possible without sponsors and donations.

Kristine Walsh, pageant organizer and owner of Park Avenue School of Cosmetology, rallied the community to come together for the event.

Her students got practice doing makeovers and hair styling for the pageant. Photographer Joel Maxwell took time for a photo shoot with the participants and Snyder, as former Miss Moorhead, offered advice as a former pageant participant.

Business Professionals of America students and the desktop publishing class under the direction of Angie Kuehn completed the pageant programs.

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Without the help of these community members, the pageant wouldn't have happened.

Plans are already under way for a Miss Park Rapids Pageant in 2011. We're confident that next year's will be even bigger and better than this year's because of the community.

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