19 compete for Miss Grand Forks titles

Nineteen women will compete for the Miss Grand Forks, Miss Empire and Miss Eastern Dakota crowns on Oct. 23 at Empire Arts Center, Grand Forks, in pageant competition that will lead to the Miss North Dakota and Miss America titles.

Nineteen women will compete for the Miss Grand Forks, Miss Empire and Miss Eastern Dakota crowns on Oct. 23 at Empire Arts Center, Grand Forks, in pageant competition that will lead to the Miss North Dakota and Miss America titles.

With 19 contestants, there's a great variety of talents and platforms, Caroline Brost, executive director of the Miss Grand Forks Scholarship Competition, said in a news release.

"We have four piano players, six vocalists, six dancers, a monologue, saxophone solo, and even food carving," Brost said.

Organizers are planning two big production numbers featuring talent from throughout North Dakota, including vocalist David Adams of Grand Forks performing with Little Miss North Dakota. Erin Porter of the North Dakota Ballet Company will dance.

General admission tickets to the Miss Grand Forks Scholarship Pageant will be $10 at the door, and doors will open at 6 p.m. Candidates, their talent and platforms are:


- Nikki Anderson, Grand Forks, dance, Living Inspired.

- Emily Burkland, Grand Forks, piano, Music Education.

- Stephanie Erickson, Fargo, piano, Mentoring.

- Allison Gunderson, Grand Forks, food fun, Living Healthy.

- Laura Harmon, Grand Forks, vocal, Going Green.

- Katie Harper, Fargo, comedic monologue, Voting.

- Allison Hocking, Grand Forks, dance, Violence Prevention.

- Alexis Hoffman, Fargo, dance, Make-A-Wish Foundation.


- Becca Leback, Bismarck, vocal, Eating Disorder Awareness.

- Abby McCauley, Grand Forks, vocal, MS Research/Awareness.

- Elizabeth McQuiston, Grand Forks, vocal, Girl Power.

- Carlie Meehan, New Rockford, N.D., piano, Healthy Kids.

- Whitney Nelson, St. Thomas, N.D., tenor saxophone, Teen Volunteering.

- Becky Parker, Williston, N.D., vocal, Music Education.

- Tevia Reese, Mayville, N.D., dance, Bullying Prevention.

- Kimmie Stokes, Grand Forks, vocal, Going Green.


- Tracy Weigel, Bismarck, dance, Achieving Goals.

- Kate Wilson, Grand Forks, clogging, Volunteering.

- Megan Yahna, Mayville, N.D., vocal, Leadership.

Emcee for the evening will be Mrs. North Dakota International Shelly Gompf of Fargo. Other guests will include Little Miss North Dakota Josy Gompf, Fargo; Miss Pre-Teen North Dakota Reghan Lucy, Williston, N.D.; Junior Miss North Dakota Abby Wolfe, Williston, N.D.; and the 2011 Outstanding Teens, young women eligible to advance to the teen titles of Miss North Dakota.

The pageant will feature Beth Dennison, Miss North Dakota 2011, and the reigning Miss Grand Forks, who won the state title in June.

Winners of Miss Grand Forks, Miss Empire and Miss Eastern Dakota will receive prizes including a custom evening gown designed by Caroline Hayden; a photo shoot with Reeves Photography; product and gift certificates from Salon Seva and Premier Jewelry, a discount on personal training from Marie Strinden; flowers from the Rose Flower Shop; a gift basket from the Miss Grand Forks committee and 2011 sponsors; a silent auction item to take to the state pageant from Bay Window Quilt Shop; and a $100 education scholarship.

The three local title-holders will advance to the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Pageant in Williston in June. The winner of the Miss North Dakota Pageant will represent the state of North Dakota at the Miss America Pageant. Dennison currently is preparing to represent North Dakota in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas in January.

Judges for the Oct. 23 competition will be Carolyn Glimm, Jolene Mikkelson and Becca Grandstrand of Grand Forks; Hillery Mork, Fargo; and Kristie Jacobsen, Crookston. The Miss Grand Forks committee includes Brost; Aly Wilhelmi, Grand Forks, director of scholarships; and Kayla Mattfeld, Fargo, treasurer.


Brost said local competition organizers were incorporating the Children's Miracle Network and Miss America's role in raising funds for CMN Hospitals throughout the country. The local organization is a not-for-profit group. There is no entry fee to compete but each contestant must raise a minimum donation of $100 for the Children's Miracle Network.

"We decided to go a step further and create a Miracle Maker Award for the contestant who raises the most money before Oct. 23," she said. "A crystal award will be presented by a very special little girl from the Grand Forks Community, a local 'miracle child,' on stage before the crowning ceremony.

Reach Tobin at (701) 780-1134; (800) 477-6572, ext. 134; or send e-mail to .

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