Miss Victoria Court makes its first community service appearance
By BY ERIN PRADIA - EPRADIA@VICAD.COM
Sept. 11, 2011 at 4:11 a.m.
Miss Victoria: Kelsey Thomas
Platform: Animal welfare
"I have always had a soft spot in my heart for animals and I knew that animal welfare would let me embrace my love for all animals."
Collects: Rings from James Avery
Favorite color: Cherry blossom pink
Favorite food: Home-cooked ribs
Hobbies: Donating blood, hunting, fishing and baking dessert.
Junior Miss: Emilia Ureste
Platform: Hugs for Happiness, reaching out to children in hospitals.
"I really just want to be able to help the community and help little kids who aren't able to help themselves."
Collects: Marbles and pictures
Favorite color: Yellow
Favorite food: Artichokes
Hobbies: Journaling and shopping
Young Miss: Jillian Nicole Brooks
Platform: "I'm just excited to be able to help people. I don't have to go to bed hungry and I don't want other children to have to suffer either."
Favorite colors: Pink, green and blue
Favorite food: Beef jerky, plain Hershey chips with almonds.
Hobbies: Dancing and volleyball
Little Miss: Taylor Bearden
Platform: Bully Busters, addressing bullying in schools.
"Because it's not very nice to be bullied from other kids who are mean to other people, so you have to say 'don't bully me' because that's not nice."
Collects: Pretty rocks
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite food: Macaroni
Hobbies: Scrapbooking with Nana and making art
The Miss Victoria Court of 2011 made its first public appearance volunteering at the Dorothy O'Connor Pet Adoption Center fundraiser last week.
The Miss Victoria Court joined students from St. Joseph and West High School in greeting attendees at a fundraiser dinner Thursday.
"The fundraiser is to complete our educational building," said Sally Kuecker, executive director at the adoption center.
Kuecker said among other educational purposes, the educational building will be used for camp canine, for children to learn to teach dogs obedience and agility skills. Children work with their own animals, or to improve the standard of life of a shelter dog.
Previously, the center would rent facilities for these classes. Once the center is complete, the public will be invited to learn to train their dogs for a minimal fee.
"I am very honored as always to have the Miss Victoria court help us out with this fundraiser," Kuecker said.
Junior Miss Emilia Ureste, 15, of Victoria, said she is happy with the turn out for this event and she is looking forward to doing other community service projects throughout the year.
"Now is when all the pageantry starts coming together," Emilia said.
Miss Victoria 2011 Kelsey Thomas, 17, of Victoria, said it is a honor to have little girls wave at members of the court as they come into the event.
"We are just regular girls who went and tried out, and now we are treated like royalty," Kelsey said.
This first community service project addresses the platform chosen by Kelsey as Miss Victoria.
"This being my platform, it is a great way to get started," Kelsey said.
She said she has always had an interest in animal welfare.
"I had tons of pets. From a ferret to a hedgehog. I had them all," Kelsey said. "At one point, we had three Great Danes and three Chihuahuas, while also having the ferret."
Kelsey said when she gets older, she wants to own five dogs and one cat.
"My favorite pet is probably a dog. And my favorite dog is a Great Dane," Kelsey said. "Me and my parents have probably owned four Great Danes at some point of my life. They all seemed to have such a loving side, which you wouldn't think, because they are so big. But they are definitely my favorite."
When she was 4 or 5, Kelsey participated in the Little Miss Victoria pageant.
Kelsey enjoys baking desserts with her father, hunting and fishing with her family and donating blood.
About four months before the 2011 Miss Victoria Pageant, Kelsey decided to participate in the pageant when she was discussing ways to give to her community with her mother.
"She had known that the Miss Victoria Pageant is based on community service and just doing good for the community in many ways," Kelsey said. "So we had decided to sign of the pageant with intentions of maybe being able to be a part of the community in a rewarding way."
Kelsey said she enjoyed developing confidence and making memories through the course of the pageant.
Kelsey said she plans to enjoy her title as Miss Victoria, and maybe compete for Miss Texas in the future.
"I am so excited to start all the events that are ahead of me and my court," Kelsey said. "It is such an honor to represent Victoria and I hope to serve every duty I have with one goal in mind - to spread smiles all across Victoria."