Sixty-seven years of talent, lamour, and pageantry have preceded the annual Miss Winona Scholarship Pageant, which will be staged Thursday night. The Pageant began in 1946, two years before the inaugural Steamboat Days, a celebration to honor the rivermen who captained the historic Mississippi River vessels.
For six decades, the pageant was a part of Steamboat Days, and the royalty graced the thrones of the elaborately decorated parade floats.
This year, the summer celebration commemorating the bygone days of steamboats has come and gone. And, for the first time, the Miss Winona Scholarship Pageant is on its own. The reigning Miss Winona is a goodwill ambassador for the City of Winona and a spokesperson for the platform she has chosen. Her duties consist of appearing and speaking at community events, parades, and other statewide functions throughout her reigning year.
The Miss Winona Scholarship Pageant is the longest running local pageant in the state of Minnesota, and has given more than $125,000 in scholarships to contestants to help further their higher education. Since Vivian Glende was crowned the very first Miss Winona in 1946, seven Miss Winonas have gone on to win the title of Miss Minnesota—Jeanne Reince, 1954; Marie Miller, 1956; Mary Nelson, 1976; Eileen VanDriest, 1994; Sherry Johnson, 1996; Jennifer Ostergaard, 1997; and Megan West, 1998.
This year, eight local women are vying for the prestigious title of Miss Winona, and the opportunity to compete in the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant. Each contestant has prepared a speech on an issue she has chosen, and will perform a routine, monologue, or song for the talent aspect of the competition.
Stephanie Kostuck is a recent Winona State University graduate with a degree in Elementary Education. For the talent portion of the pageant, Kostuck will be singing “The Last of Me.” Her platform will be a speech encouraging others to stand up to bullying.
Chelsea Nesbit is a junior at Winona State University where she is majoring in Exercise Science. For the talent portion of the pageant, Nesbit will be performing a monologue entitled “A Place Called Heaven.” Her platform will be a speech promoting positive self image in young women.
Laura Lake is a senior at Winona State University where she is majoring in Public Administration and Political Science, and minoring in music. For the talent portion of the pageant, Lake will perform a violin piece entitled “Meditation”. Her platform speech is “Advocacy Through the Women’s Resource Center of Winona.”
Jenna Magadanz is a sophomore at Winona State University where she is majoring in Exercise Science. For the talent portion of the pageant, Magadanz will perform a jazz dance routine. Her platform is to promote organ donation.
Brooke Pozanc is a freshman at St. Mary’s University where she is majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Education. For the talent portion of the pageant, Pozanc will perform a flag routine. Her platform speech is “Water Safety Is The Key; It’s Up To You and Me.”
April Glasspoole is a junior at Winona State University where she is majoring in Nursing. For the talent portion of the pageant, Glasspoole will perform “Elphaba’s Monologue.” Her platform is “Girl Scouts: Creating Confidence.”
Serica Rowley is a senior at St. Mary’s University where she is majoring in Social Science Education. For the talent portion of the pageant, Rowley will perform an Irish dance. Her platform is to promote volunteerism.
Samara Storovich is a sophomore at Southeast Technical College where she is majoring in Business and Management. For the talent portion of the pageant, Storovich will be singing “Maybe This Time.” Her speech is “Planting A Seed To A Better Future.”
Date: Thursday, September 13
Time: Doors at 6:30 p.m.; Event starts at 7 p.m.
Place: Winona Senior High School
Cost: Advanced tickets are available for $10 at Audio Designs in the Winona Mall, La Boutique downtown, and Winona National Bank downtown. Tickets at the door are $12.
See candidate photos page 2A