“There she is,” in the iconic words immortalized by Bert Parks, “the dream of a million girls who are more than pretty.”
Sierra Marie Bonn was crowned Miss Butler County and Anna Holman was crowned Miss Augusta during the annual Miss Augusta/Miss Butler County Scholarship Competition held at Augusta High School on Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Bonn, a resident of Butler County, an El Dorado High School alum and Miss El Dorado 2021. She served the community as Miss Augusta 2019.
She is a graduate of Wichita State University with an engineering technology degree. Bonn advocates for STEAM education through her SII “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
“‘Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!’ was founded to empower individuals of all ages to develop the critical thinking and collaboration skills needed to advance in their personal and professional lives,” said Bonn. “Additionally, the program works to resolve the inequity and underrepresentation in STEAM fields.”
Holman is a resident of Columbus, Kansas and she was Miss Augusta’s Outstanding Teen 2019. She is a Junior at Pittsburg State University and her educational focus is exercise science with a pre-physical therapy emphasis. She advocates for physical fitness and inclusion for people with disabilities through her social impact initiative, “Fitness for All.”
Six young women competed for the titles of Miss Augusta and Miss Butler County and the scholarship dollars that accompany those titles. The candidates were Maddie Livingston, Tyler Pollard, Payton Keller, Katie Brooks, Anna Holman and Sierra Marie Bonn.
“Both Sierra and Anna will receive a wonderful scholarship and wardrobe assistance for the Miss Kansas Competition in June 2022,” said Miss Augusta/Miss Butler County Executive Director Larry Strong.
Bonn won an additional $100 scholarship as the overall interview winner. The scholarships can be paid directly to the institution they are attending or towards student loan payments.
The phases of competition include a private interview with judges, a Social Impact Initiative (SII) pitch and on-stage question, talent performance and red carpet wear.
Two Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen (MKSOTeen) Candidates, Emmie Johnston and Grace Isch, made their first official appearance as well. Jonhston will represent Augusta and Isch will represent Butler County at the MKSOTeen Competition March 25-27, 2022 in Pratt, Kansas.
The Miss Augusta/Miss Butler County Scholarship Competition is a local competition within the Miss America Organization and Strong has been involved with the organization for 47 years.
“The first Miss Butler County Scholarship Pageant was held on September 3, 1975,” said Strong.
“In 2006, the Miss Augusta title was part of the White Eagle Festival,” said Strong. “In 2008, both the Miss Augusta and Miss Butler County titles merged to become an official local of the Miss Kansas Organization, Inc.”
Throughout his many years of involvement, Strong has a successful track record of helping young women with their personal and professional development.
As a volunteer, he works to fulfill the mission of the Miss America and Miss Kansas Organizations, to “prepare great women for the world and prepare the world for great women.”
This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the Miss America Organization. The Miss America Organization is a nationally recognized non-profit and serves as one of the largest providers of scholarship assistance to young women in the world.
Since 2010, Strong estimates that the Miss Augusta/Miss Butler County Organization has awarded over $35,000 in scholarships.
Strong said 6 women from the organization that have gone on to become Miss Kansas. They are Heather Lynn Clark, Michelle Walthers, Emily Deaver, Lauren Werhan, Hannah Wagner and the current Miss Kansas, Taylor Clark.
“Taylor was Miss Butler County’s Outstanding Teen 2017 and went on to win Miss Kansas’ Outstanding Teen 2017,” said Strong. “Taylor was Miss Augusta 2020 and she is the first teen titleholder to also become Miss Kansas.”
Additionally, he is proud of the many girls from Miss Augusta/Miss Butler County who have gone on to place in the Top 5 and Top Ten, as well as the numerous preliminary winners.
Bonn and Holman will both go on to compete at the state-level, in the Miss Kansas Scholarship Competition in June 2022. To learn more about the Miss Kansas and MKSOTeen programs, visit MissKansas.org
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