Six girls vie for the titles of Miss West Duluth and Miss West Duluth PrincessSo who will wear the crown? The 24th annual Miss West Duluth pageant will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, on the Spirit Valley Days stage outside of Mr. D’s. This event is open to the public and free for all to attend.
So who will wear the crown? The 24th annual Miss West Duluth pageant will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1, on the Spirit Valley Days stage outside of Mr. D’s. This event is open to the public and free for all to attend.
Miss West Duluth 2011, Aurora Vautrin, and Miss West Duluth Princess 2011, Heather Townsend, are awaiting the crowning of their successors. It was a busy year as they represented West Duluth in numerous parades. They also spent time volunteering at Boo at the Zoo, the Fairy Princess Ball, a Fundraiser for the Erick Peter Person Children’s Cancer Center fund, and the Making Strides against Breast Cancer 5K.
This year’s six contestants are all
between the ages of 15-18, live in the
Denfeld school district and have a GPA
of 2.5 or higher.
The contestants are judged on an essay on why they should be selected Miss West Duluth and a personal interview with the judges. The night of the pageant, they are judged on written commentaries, how a casual and formal outfit represents their personality, and their life goals. Then each girl must answer a spontaneous question about issues pertaining to the West Duluth community.
This year’s four judges are Sara Bittinger, Miss West Duluth Princess 2004, Janelle Jablonski, owner of Retreat Salon, Cathy Kates from B105 and Laura Peterson from Mix 108.
Sponsors include Bethany’s Closet and West Duluth Sewing and Design, who are providing the evening gowns for each contestant. Duo Tones, now at its new location (5602 Grand Ave., Suite 2) again has offered salon services to make each of the contestants look even more fabulous. And planners give thanks to Sammy’s Pizza for welcoming the contestants and their families for a celebratory banquet following the Parade.
The contestants are:
Erickson is an incoming sophomore at Denfeld, where she is a member of the cheer squad and plays the bass clarinet in pep band. She has lived in Duluth all her life and says she always looks forward to Spirit Valley Days, especially the parade.
She has been a dancer for much of her life, spending a lot of time in dance competitions. While she no longer competes, Erickson says she feels that cheer squad reminds her of the dancing.
Erickson says she would be honored to be selected as a new representative of West Duluth. She says she loves meeting new people and always strives to help others in need, and is a strong believer in treating others the way she would want to be treated.
Gellerstedt is a rising senior at Denfeld, where she is involved in activities including Link Crew, Exec Board and dance team, along with track and the prom committee. She says she loves West Duluth because it is the one place that makes her feel at home.
The person who is most important to her is her mother. Kasa says she has done so much for her and has always been there to support her, and is a strong and independent woman. That inspires Gellerstedt to stay strong and succeed in the things she tries for, such as the Miss West Duluth pageant.
Gellerstedt says she would love to be selected as the next Miss West Duluth because she can remember looking up to Misses West Duluth and Princess when she was a young girl. She says she believes in the importance of a role model and understands the impact her actions can have on others.
LaFont is an incoming senior at Denfeld, where she participates in Denfeld and, Key Club, Link Crew, Student Congress and the Duluth Speech Team. Speech is her favorite activity because she has made so many new friends and says she has seen firsthand how hard work is almost always rewarded after competing at national level tournaments.
LaFont’s love of West Duluth is something she attributes to her family. She is proud to say that she is a Denfeld Hunter and says she intends to be a part of the legacy that is West Duluth.
LaFont views the Miss West Duluth Pageant as another great challenge and an opportunity to continue growing. She says that confidence and love of her community are what makes her a great candidate for Miss West Duluth. To compete is to make a commitment, she says, and it is important to honor any and all commitments.
Krause is an incoming junior at Denfeld and is very excited to be a contestant for the Miss West Duluth pageant. She is active in the Denfeld Key Club and will be a returning member of the Denfeld Shoreliners dance team in the fall.
Krause enjoys singing, dancing and playing the French horn and strives to put heart and passion into everything she does. She is involved in youth leadership at her church as part of the Fish Force Team and frequently volunteers at Ruby’s Pantry. She says her volunteer activities are a very important part of her life.
Shania cites her passion for volunteering and love for the West Duluth community as her main reasons for wanting to be the next Miss West Duluth.
Schuldt is an incoming senior at Denfeld. Her two favorite activities are singing and dancing. She says that she was born to perform and is a varsity member of the Denfeld Shoreliners and participates in Denfeld’s Show Choir.
Schuldt says it is always important to give 100 percent to everything she does and hates to feel that she didn’t meet her full potential. She says she loves meeting new people and feels that her outgoing nature would help her represent West Duluth. She believes it is important to know people and avoid judgments. She says she loves West Duluth because of the strong sense of community and community pride exhibited by all, especially during Spirit Valley Days.
Thompson-Mullen is a recent Denfeld graduate and an incoming freshman at Lake Superior College. Her career goal is teach the Ojibwe language. Born and raised in West Duluth, she says she loves the area’s diversity and community involvement. She has experience volunteering with vacation Bible school and Grandma’s Marathon.
Thompson-Mullen stresses that her confidence and open mind are what make her a good candidate for Miss West Duluth. She is optimistic and says she always strives to be understanding of different points of view. Happiness and laughter are what keeps her going and are the two things that she says are most important in life.