Miss Butler County and Miss Augusta Crowned

“There she is,” in the iconic words immortalized by Bert Parks, “the dream of a million girls who are more than pretty.”  

From left to right: Augusta’s Teen Candidate Emmie Johnston, Miss Augusta 2022 Anna Holman, Miss Kansas 2021 Taylor Clark, Miss Butler County 2022 Sierra Marie Bonn, Butler County’s Teen Candidate Grace Isch.

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. 

.Miss Butler County 2020-21 Allie Gier crowns her successor Miss Butler County 2022 Sierra Marie Bonn. Gier served two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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. 

Augusta’s Teen Candidate Emmie Johnston, left, and Butler County’s Teen Candidate Grace Isch, right.

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. 

Larry Strong, center, with Miss Butler County Sierra Marie Bonn, left, and Miss Augusta Anna Holman, right.

“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

Back to School Basket Winner

Ms. Jamie Ball, a Fifth Grade teacher at Grandview Elementary in El Dorado, is the winner of the “Back to School Teacher Survival Gift Basket.”

She won the gift basket through an online nomination and voting process that doubled as a scholarship fundraiser for the Miss Kansas Scholarship Foundation. 

Sierra Marie Bonn, is Miss Southwest and a candidate for the job of Miss Kansas. She conceived of the fundraiser as a way to recognize and honor teachers during a unique and stressful time. 

“Our teachers are heading into a brand new school year, and I wanted to find a way to show them love and support,” Bonn said.

The Back To School Survival Basket is valued at $100. All funds raised benefit the Miss Kansas Summer Scholarship Campaign.

Ball is currently a Fifth Grade teacher at Grandview Elementary in El Dorado, and has been teaching for a total of nine years with two of those years as a Fourth Grade teacher. She previously taught at Skelly Elementary. 

One of her favorite aspects of her job is serving as a sponsor for the Ambassador Living as Leaders (A.L.L.) program at Grandview. 

Student leaders have to opportunity to participate in extracurricular community service projects 

community service projects like picking up trash at local parks.  

Upon accepting the basket, Ball said “I appreciate it and all the votes. It’s very humbling and very appreciated.”

Miss El Dorado to be Held Virtually

The Miss El Dorado Ambassador Program (formerly Miss Frontier Western Celebration) is gearing up to help El Dorado celebrate its 150th birthday. 

Miss Frontier 2019, Naomi Galindo, right, appeared at a City Commission meeting with City Clerk, Tabitha Sharp, left.

A mentorship program designed to facilitate personal growth in the areas of community service, education, and talent development, the program added an additional category for young men last year and they plan to continue expanding the ambassador program to all, regardless of gender.

Boys and girls old enough to walk across the stage, and some younger, begin learning self-confidence and public speaking skills in the program.  Additionally, they form friendships and learn to encourage and support one another to be their best.  

This year’s pageant will look a little different but as they say, the show must go on.

Applications are available online at www.MissElDoradoKS.com and provide further details.

The pageant will be held virtually this year and a traditional pageant is planned to be held next year. 

Miss Frontier Princess 2018, Riley Bump, right, at the Miss Kansas Sunflower Program in Pratt.

In addition to representing the community throughout its historic and celebratory year, all ambassadors will have the opportunity to participate in the Miss Kansas Organization’s Sunflower Program. This program is a mentoring program for children ages 5-12 (as of May 31, 2021) who have an interest in learning about citizenship, leadership and volunteerism.

3 Local Girls to Miss Kansas

The Miss Kansas Scholarship Competition is being held in Pratt, Kansas, this week. Three local girls are participating in it and vying for the job of a lifetime – Miss Kansas 2019.

Bailey Smith, Miss Frontier; Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Augusta; and Suzannah Bowden, Miss Emerald City have each had the honor of serving their community and raising awareness of issues important to them.  We asked them a couple of questions as they were preparing for this week.

Bailey Smith, Miss Frontier

Sierra Marie Bonn, Miss Augusta

Suzannah Bowden, Miss Emerald City

What was the first pageant you entered and why did you decide to enter it?

Bailey: The first pageant I entered in was the Miss Frontier pageant in El Dorado, Kansas. When I was in 6th grade I went to watch the pageant and after it was done I looked to my grandma and told her I want to dress up and look like a princess! So the next year I competed and have competed ever since. I have grown to love pageants because it has benefited me in so many ways! It’s has helped me to get out of my comfort zone and speak in front of people, I have also been able to find my confidence, I have been able to raise awareness for Improving Mental Health for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics, and finally I have been able to create an amazing sisterhood with most of the girls and you can find that sisterhood anywhere else!

Sierra: The first pageant I entered was the Miss Frontier Pageant as a Teen contestant.  I decided to compete for the scholarships but most importantly, I wanted to serve my community.

Suzannah: My first pageant was Miss Frontier in 2017. I truly entered it because I wanted to say I had done a pageant. I also wanted to gain some sort of confidence and elegance from it. Oh boy did I gain more! I have completely strayed from stage fright, found my voice, and grown into the woman I am today. I found my elegance and confidence and that is why I continue to compete. Pageantry is a great platform to stand on to empower all women to find their elegance.

What is your social initiative?

Bailey: Improving Mental Health for Newly Diagnosed Diabetics: Don’t Sugar Coat It, Rise Above it.

Sierra: “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” is an initiative to promote STEAM education, engagement, and empowerment for young women. As an engineer I recognize the gender disparity in STEAM fields and want to make a positive difference.

Suzannah: My social initiative is RISE. Radiate. Inspire. Serve. Engage. This platform promotes the personal growth and progression of others throughout their community engagement.

What has been the highlight of your year?

Bailey: My highlight of the year was going to visit the CMN Hospital and getting to learning and see all of the amazing things they do for the kids

Sierra: I have been able to go into classrooms, camps, and college campuses across the country sharing “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!”  and have had the privilege of representing Augusta in its historic 150th year and I am so excited to make Augusta proud on the Miss Kansas stage!

Suzannah: The highlight of my year was landing my original dream job! I work with Rise Up For Youth as their community outreach VISTA. I promote the achievements of the students we touch daily! Now I have bigger goals!

What are you look forward to during your week at Miss Kansas?

Bailey: I’m looking forward to getting to spend the whole week with all of the girls and getting to know them and creating friendships

Sierra: I have had the privilege of representing Augusta in its historic 150th year and I am so excited to make Augusta proud on the Miss Kansas stage!

Suzannah: I cannot wait to be in the community of Pratt, KS! They are so kind and welcoming with open arms! The sisterhood built during this week is another big thing that I am looking forward to! I am also, so excited to be able to grow more with this experience, but also show Kansas how much I have grown throughout my year!

Miss Kansas Competition will hold Preliminaries on Thursday and Friday evenings with the top 11 Finalists competing on Saturday night.  The top 10 are selected by the judges and one girl is selected as the “People’s Choice” through online voting. The final competition will be live-streamed online