Las Vegas, February 26th, 2011. The Showroom of the Suncoast Hotel and Casino was again the venue for the annual Mrs. Nevada America pageant, and it played to a raucus, packed house. Most of the people in the audience were there to support their favorite delegate, and over 100 of them were there to cheer for the eventual winner: Kristie Gulia Jelinski.
As these things always are, it was a night of transitions. The outgoing queen passed on the crown, and a torch passed from daughter to mother. And yes, you read that right. Earlier in the day 10 year old Morgan Jelinski had relinquished her title as Nevada Little Miss, and she was clearly the happiest person in the crowd when her mom brought a title back to the family.
The public service theme that underlies the Miss and Mrs. America pageant system was strongly in evidence among the contestants at this pageant. Winner Kristie has been supporting charity events that Morgan attended, and has been active in her own right as a Vice President of Project Teddy and founder of the “I Can Do Anything Program” that supports childhood achievement in education. First runner-up Crystal Thurman made a strong pitch during her interview for the I.M.Perfect organization that helps support special needs children and their families.
A special public service award was given to Francine Sanchez, voted by her peers into the Top Six of the pageant. Francine reminded the crowd that there are 40,000 children in Nevada with heart conditions, and that pediatric heart research is grossly under-funded in comparison to adult research.
Both the Mrs. Nevada Pageant organization and Kristie Gulia Jelinsky have embraced Project Teddy, founded by 2010 Mrs. Nevada America Dr. Susie Monahan. During her reign Amanda Kouretas made several appearances in support of Project Teddy, and now that Kristie is the new queen, that can only be expected to increase. During the pageant Susie Monahan presented the “Boy of the Year” award, with a trip to Disneyland for him and his family, to four-year old Trevor Perkins. Trevor, a pediatric cancer patient, favored the audience with a happy dance.
Additional awards were given out: Miss Congenialty went to Crystal Thurman, who also won the People’s Choice award for charitable donations from her supporters. And deputy pageant director and owner of Fit for the Crown, Brittney Cobb, received Pageantry Magazine’s Spirit Award for service in the spirit of pageantry.
At the end of the evening one of the pageant organizers said of Kristie, “We have found another Susie Monahan.” No higher praise could have been given.
The next step for Kristie Gulia Jelinski is to represent Nevada at the Mrs. America pageant in May of 2012.
Earlier in the day the princesses who will work with Mrs. Nevada America for the following year were selected. The winners were: Teen Nevada Princess 2012 Chelsea Williams, Pre-Teen Nevada Princess 2012 Jia Bleu, Young Miss Nevada Princess 2012 Nicola Timmons and Little Miss Nevada Princess 2012 Adajah Milam. Chelsie in particular will have her hands full filling the shoes of outgoing Teen Princess Tayler Schatteman, who set a new standard for that position both in support of events by Amanda Kouretas, and in creating and hosting her own charity event to support Project Teddy.
The slide show accompanying this article has a large number of pictures of the pageant.
I.M.Perfect Organization: http://i-m-perfect.org/home
Children’s Heart Foundation: http://chfn.org/
Project Teddy: http://projectteddy.org/
Suncoast Hotel and Casino: http://www.suncoastcasino.com/
Mrs. Nevada America pageant: http://www.mrsnevadaamerica.com/
Fit for the Crown: fitforthecrown.com