Kill Crowned Queen

ST. MARYS — Memorial High School graduate Mallory Kill, daughter of Mike and Carrie Kill, was crowned SummerFest Queen Sunday, in one of the signature events of that kicks off festival week.

“This is actually really important to me,” Kill said after the crowning.

Kill said she’s following in the footsteps of her mother, who competed in pageants as a young woman.

“(My mom) said just smile the whole time, and don’t be nervous,” Kill said. “She just got me happy for it.”

Kill said she was surprised to win the pageant because she was sure her friend Molly Menker, who won first runner-up, would take the crown.

“I didn’t think it was me,” Kill said. “I told her, ‘When you get crowned you better hug me before you walk up there.’”

She added that when they called Menker as runner-up she realized she’d won, and she was ready to cry.

Kill said she wanted to act as role model for St. Marys.

Every contestant had moments to show her poise and confidence as she walked the stage in a casual wear competition, formal wear modelling and an interview portion. The interview portion allowed the women to speak to their goals and values.

Kill, who was first contestant in the category, answered a question about how she handles negative peer pressure.

“I have encountered negative peer pressure all throughout high school, but I have overcome it by setting high morals for myself and staying true to what I believe in,” she said.

Rayonna Sherman, daughter of Holly Sherman and Juan Evans, was asked her biggest weakness.

“My biggest weakness is I’m too kindhearted and I put others before myself,” she said.

Madison Taylor, daughter of Christa and Curt Taylor, was asked how she would use the opportunity of being the queen, should she win the title.

“If I were to be crowned I would use my influence to be a positive and respectful role model to my peers and in involving more in the community,” she said.

Laura Klopfenstein, daughter of James and Jeanne Klopfenstein, won second runner-up, after answering what set her apart from the other contestants in the pageant.

“I believe my ability to be a positive role model, and my desire and determination to win this pageant sets me apart from the other contestants,” she said. She will major in nursing at college next year.

Sierra Braun, daughter of Jason and Jill Lovelace, was asked what she would change about herself or her life.

“I would not change anything about myself or my life because I am the person I am today because of it, and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.

Rachel Smith, daughter of Greg and Suzanne Smith, was asked how she measured success.

“I measure success by setting goals and working hard to achieve them,” she said.

Kalei Heitkamp, daughter of Kendra Weaver and Andy Heitkamp, was asked what the qualities of an influential teacher are.

“I believe the qualities of an influential teacher are to always have a positive attitude toward their student and to also be a good role model for the school,” she said.

Menker, daughter of Rob and Jane Menker, was asked how she was a role model for underclassman.

“I believe I’m a role model for underclassman by keeping a positive attitude and being confident in everything I do,” she said.

Olivia Mielke, daughter of Steve and MaryBeth Mielke, was asked what about herself she was still working on.

“I am still learning and working on being more confident in myself and my abilities,” she said.

She won third runner-up.

Hannah Ellis, daughter of Nate and Tamar Ellis, was asked how she knew she was respected by her peers.

“I believe I am respected by my peers because they support the decisions I make and are always there for me,” she said.

The competition was broken up by entertainment sections provided by dancer Anna Madison, singer Victoria Knapke, dancer Brooke Martin and dancer Angie Boley.

For those who didn’t make the pageant or would like to see more local ladies compete, Little Miss SummerFest will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Performing Arts Center at Memorial High School.