Schany Crowned Miss Shamrock
It was an evening filled with the bright smiles, amazing talent, and glittering dresses of five lovely young lasses vying for the title of Miss Shamrock 2010. Yet, it was also a night to remember and recognize all of the Miss Shamrocks who came before—from 1962 through to 2009.
When the evening came to an end, Blake Schany, the 17-year old daughter of Gary and Kari Schany of Emmetsburg, was chosen and crowned Miss Shamrock 2010. Blake is a senior at Emmetsburg High School.
“I would encourage young people to find their true identity in life by trying everything they can,” said Blake, during her on-stage question. “It can be sports, music, artistic interests, anything. You might not like it the first time, but you can find your identity in trying everything.”
First runner-up in the Miss Shamrock competition was Hillary Pico of Emmetsburg. Hillary is a junior at Emmetsburg High School and the 16-year old daughter of Renee Chism and Willie Pico of Emmetsburg. She was also named Miss Congeniality and was presented a gift from the family of the late Dick and Pat Higgins of Emmetsburg, Grand Marshall 2001.
Second runner-up was Mariah Andreasen of Emmetsburg. Mariah is a senior at Emmetsburg High School and the 18-year old daughter of Phil and Jane Andreasen of Emmetsburg.
The judges had a difficult task choosing the top three from the field of young ladies that also included Kelsey Hart and Margaret Seefus. Kelsey is the 18-year old daughter of Melissa Matthews and the late Thomas Hart of Terril. She is a senior at Graettinger/Terril High School. Margaret is a junior at Papillion-La Vista High School and the 16-year old daughter of Bob and Julie Seefus of La Vista Nebraska.
The five contestants were judged on their talent, their casual wear and formal wear, and an on-stage question, in addition to an interview with the judges. Judging the competition were Kevin Tlam, radio personality at Lite 104.9, Emmetsburg native Kelly Reeves, and Val Whitehead, Mrs. Iowa 2009. Each of the Miss Shamrock Contestants received scholarships from Iowa Lakes Community College, up to $500, which can be used at any Iowa Lakes campus.
Kelsey Hart sang a vocal solo, “God Help the Outcast,” from the Disney film “Hunchback of Notre Dame.” She was accompanied on the piano by Kim Kerr.
Margaret Seefus performed a professionally choreographed contemporary dance to “Wounded Soldier” by Bryan Adams for the talent portion of the program.
Blake Schany’s talent was artistic expression. As Blake spoke on how Jesus Christ is present through all of the joys and sorrows of life, she painted Christ’s portrait on a canvas.
Mariah Andreasen performed a self-choreographed jazz dance routine to Van Halen’s “Jump.”
Hillary Pico sang “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum as she accompanied herself on guitar for the talent portion of the program.
Serving as Miss Shamrock escorts were Matt Ballman, son of Dave and Sylvia Ballman; Philip Brown, son of Karen Brown and the late Butch Brown; and Joe Naig, son of Dallas and Lois Naig.
Special guests at the Miss Shamrock Pageant included U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, Irish Parliamentarian Ned O’Sullivan and wife Madeleine, and Miss Iowa 2009 Anne Michael Langguth. Miss Iowa performed “Yankee Doodle” on the violin and spoke briefly on her platform of “Good For You,” involving the promotion and support of wellness.
Several former Miss Shamrocks also made appearances on Friday evening, along with visiting title holders: Miss Kossuth-Winnebago Chandra Peterson, Miss Kossuth-Winnebago’s Outstanding Teen Brittany Bortvit, Li’l Miss Kossuth-Winnebago Lindsay Carter, Pocahontas County Fair Queen Nikki Seehusen, and Little Pocahontas County Fair Queen Autumn Marsh. Local title holders who made appearances include: Irish Miss Hannah Bird, Little Miss Shamrock Cayle Carter, Little Lassie Kayla Joyce, Emmetsburg High School Homecoming Queen Blake Schany, and Palo Alto County Fair Queen Amber Vonnahme.
Justine Wagner entertained the pageant-goers on the violin before taking her final walk as the 2009 Miss Shamrock. Wagner returned to the stage to crown the 2010 Miss Shamrock Blake Schany.
Rick Bird served as Master of Ceremonies. Co-directors of the pageant were Lori Riley and Beth Thompson.