Miss Grand Forks crowned as Miss North Dakota 2011
Miss Grand Forks became Miss North Dakota on Saturday night and now will work on the Miss America thing. Beth Dennison, a UND nursing student from Hutchinson, Minn., was named Miss North Dakota 2011 at the pageant held Saturday in the high school...
Miss Grand Forks became Miss North Dakota on Saturday night and now will work on the Miss America thing.
Beth Dennison, a UND nursing student from Hutchinson, Minn., was named Miss North Dakota 2011 at the pageant held Saturday in the high school gym in Williston, N.D.
"It was amazing," said Dennison, who is 21, on Sunday from Williston. "It was very surprising because it was my first year competing in the system. And I had some really, really strong competition, so I'm kind of surprised, actually."
She takes over from Katie Ralston after winning Saturday night's scholarship pageant and besting Stephanie Tollefson, Miss Fargo, who was named first runner-up, according to the Williston Herald.
Finalists were Miss State Capitol Laura Harmon of Grand Forks, Miss Empire Stephanie Erickson of Grand Forks, Miss Fort Abercrombie Brittany Noltimier, Miss James River Valley Amy Frauenberg of LaMoure, Miss Eastern Dakota Emily Burkland of Grand Forks, Miss Oil Country Stephanie Richter of Williston, Miss Northern Lights Jaci Stofferahn of Fargo and Miss West Fargo Rosemary Sauvageau.
Dennison's talent was a modern dance performance to "Let It Be," by the Beatles.
She was named Miss Grand Forks in January.
Her parents and her three younger sisters were in Williston, cheering her on. "I think they were as shocked as I was," she said.
Her older sister is canoeing in the Boundary Waters wilderness of northeastern Minnesota. "So, she doesn't even know I've won yet," Dennison said. "But I'm really happy they are going to be involved with this for the next year. When Miss North Dakota is named, her family is also welcomed into the committee, and they are looking forward to helping me prepare for the Miss America pageant."
Her only required duty as Miss North Dakota is to represent the state at the Miss America Scholarship Pageant Jan. 15 in Las Vegas.
Today, she will do her first official act, speaking to the Rotary Club in Williston.
The Rotary Club provides a lot of financial support for the Miss North Dakota competition, she said.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the pageant was that organizers found motel rooms for all the contestants for the week they spent together in Williston, which typically is full with oil industry workers.
Dennison e-mailed people at UND on Sunday that she might have to take time off from classes, now that she won, to concentrate on getting ready for the Miss America pageant.
"I will be getting some things worked out, working on my platform issue," she said. "It's 'leading by example: a child's guide to becoming a volunteer.'"
Dennison plans to visit schools across the state to speak about the importance of volunteering, she said.
She's been a volunteer leader in her home parish, Holy Family Catholic Church in Silver Lake, Minn., at the Grand Forks Humane Society, and with Helping Hands at UND.
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