Miss South Dakota State Fair contestants, from left, Jennifer McKee, Huron, and Corona Arnett, Sioux Falls, are shown with Miss State Fair 2013 Jade Possail of Brookings; first runner-up Carrie Wintle of Huron, and Cecilia Knutson of White. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
The Miss South Dakota State Fair and Miss South Dakota State Fair Teen crowns were given to Jade Possail of Brookings and Kaci Johnson of Rapid City at the 2013 South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Both plan to use their platforms to instill character and confidence in the next generation.
Miss South Dakota State Fair 2013, Jade Possail, has been developing her platform, “Crave a Difference,” which focuses on preventing childhood obesity, for more than two years.
“The worst affect of childhood obesity, in my opinion, is the development of a negative self-esteem,” said Jade. “I have learned a few things throughout my life and one of them is that it takes a positive attitude and confidence to attain goals, and I want to instill those characteristics in our kids.“
Growing up, Possail was involved in 4-H. One of her favorite project areas was swine.
“My dad taught us how to take responsibility for our animals, and we all developed a strong work ethic from that experience,” she said. Another one of her favorite project areas was the 4-H fashion revue.
“The 4-H fashion revue was always an important project for my grandma and I,” said Possail. “My grandma taught me how to sew when I was eight and I have been sewing ever since. We shared many laughs, and like to think that we are professional seam-rippers!”
Along with her goal in preventing childhood obesity, Possail would like to share her passion for fashion, developed during her 4-H years, with younger generations. She considers it a way of showing personality and character.
“I love fashion, and the idea of expressing yourself through what you wear,” said Jade.
During her childhood, Possail was active in sports and never thought of herself as a “pageant girl.”
“One thing that I have learned through competing is that there is no such thing as a ‘pageant girl,’” said Possail. “All of the contestants are unique and passionate about changing our state for the better.”
Possail is now in her senior year at South Dakota State University and is pursuing a double major in advertising and apparel merchandising. She is continuing with her “Crave a Difference” platform through her South Dakota Superhero Strength Challenge for elementary school students and a nutrition curriculum she is working on.
Meanwhile, Miss South Dakota State Fair Teen, 15 year old Kaci Johnson, aims to boost confidence and self-esteem in children through the Clothe-A-Child program which provides back-to-school clothing to children in need.
She explained how she was introduced to the program.
“I was at church with my mom and they were announcing it,” said Kaci. “It’s kind of a church-based program.”
For the talent section of the pageant, Johnson performed the Jazz dance “Puttin on the Ritz.”
“I’ve been dancing since I was four years old and jazz was my favorite,” said Kaci. “I can have a lot of attitude and expression with it. I can express myself better.”
As for challenges during the pageant, Kaci couldn’t think of any.
“I’ve done pageants before, so there wasn’t anything I wasn’t expecting, but it was just a great group of girls, that’s what I enjoyed,” said Johnson.
“There are obviously many challenges, but like my grandpa always said, ‘anything can be solved with some hope and duct tape,’” said Jade.
Finally, Possail gave some advice for aspiring future Misses out there.
“Talk to people,” she said. “Do not be afraid of striking up a conversation with a stranger. Most of the opportunities I have been given have come to me because I wasn’t scared of putting myself out there. Take chances, be confident in who you are, and most importantly, learn how to write a thank-you note.”
Other winners in the Miss State Fair division were Cecilia Knutson of White, Miss Congeniality, and Corina Arnett of Sioux Falls, who received the Rookie Award.
In the Miss South Dakota State Fair Teen pageant, Grace Rickenbach was named Miss Congeniality, and Johanna Jensen of Badger won the interview portion.
For the complete article see the 09-08-2013 issue.
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