Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2012 Pageant

At the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2012 pageant after a year of hard work and advocacy as Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011!

Me giving my farewell speech at the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2012 pageant

Monday, April 2 was the Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2012 pageant. There were five amazing contestants and each of them had a platform that they gave a speech on. The contestants came in early for hair and makeup, had their 15 min. interviews, and then after their platform speech they were asked one final question before the winner was announced. I gave a farewell speech and showed a slide show that comprised pictures of things I did throughout the past year.

The contestants
This year's pageant was a little different compared to last year and they incorporated a few new things. Since Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota is a nonprofit organization, they do fundraising to help get the title holder to nationals and events throughout her reign. At the 2012 pageant they had a dinner in which people could purchase tickets for, a silent auction, and a raffle; companies could also sponsor tables

My year as Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2011 was filled with events, speeches and some great opportunities that I wouldn't have done otherwise had I not won. I took my first plane ride since my accident to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the national competition where I received forth runner-up.

I got the chance to inspire and motivate others by speaking to all ages and attending events with my crown and sash. I've also changed a lot (in a good way) over the past 12 months. My wardrobe went from sweatshirts and sweatpants to jeans, sweaters, and business attire. Since nationals in August, I figured out that I could stay up in my wheelchair past 5 PM. Now I don't get back into bed until at least 7:30 PM if not later. This makes my life more enriched and flexible because I'm not bound to a certain routine anymore.
It was a little sad knowing that my year was up, but I was pleased to pass the title over and give someone else a chance to experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I was able to. Like I said before, I enjoyed every minute and the end was bittersweet. I will never forget the things I did and the people I touched throughout my reign.

The first runner-up went to Paula Gleisberg. Her speech was great and I'm very proud of her! I've known Paula since high school and we've been friends ever since. Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2012 is Jen Onsum, who is an amazing young woman and I know will do our state proud! Her platform is "Activity is enriching."

Paula Gleisberg, first runner-up

Jen Onsum, Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2012
From her biography-"Jen Onsum is an active and determined 31-year-old from Brooklyn Park. Living with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Jen hasn’t let her disability stop her from her achieving whatever her mind is set on achieving. She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Journalism / Public Relations. After working in PR for a few years, Jen decided to follow her true passion of healthcare and is completing a degree in Health Information through M State. Jen enjoys volunteering with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, traveling, dancing and playing PowerHockey."

I've posted some pictures of the event. Thank you to everyone who supported and helped me throughout this journey… I truly appreciate it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jenni. Congratulations on your past year as Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota. You made us all proud! God Bless!