The Nisswa Youth Scholarship Organization will host the 45th annual Miss Nisswa Scholarship Pageant and the 26th annual Little Miss Nisswa program at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 3, in the Grand Ballroom at the Gull Lake Center of Grand View Lodge in Nisswa.

Tickets are $5 at the door.

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Reigning Miss Nisswa Hannah Gatton will crown one of nine area junior or senior girls competing for the 2017 title: Kyra Blaukat, Sydney Darkow, Ashley Embree, Kayla Geike, Morena Hammer, Kalli Rose Hedlund, Quinn Kratochvil, Breanna Rhodes and Karlie Trottier.

Emcee will be Bailey Wachholz, Miss Southwest 2017.

Before the pageant, a panel of three judges will interview Miss Nisswa contestants.

Essays submitted will also be judged earlier, and winners of both interview and essay will be announced at the pageant. During the event, contestants will be judged in business casual, evening gown and an onstage question.

The scholarship pageant will include dance performances by both the Miss Nisswa and Little Miss Nisswa participants. Little Miss Nisswa Tiana Herron will crown three Little Miss Nisswa participants to represent Nisswa in the non-competitive portion of the program.

All scholarships and prizes awarded are provided by monetary contributions or in-kind gifts from local businesses and individuals.

This year the audience can participate in the "Nisswa Votes" portion of the pageant and give one Miss Nisswa and one Little Miss Nisswa participant the votes needed to win a basket full of prizes.

Kyra Blaukat

Parents: Bob and Lori Blaukat

School: Senior at Pequot Lakes High School

Activities/interests: Yearbook staff, Interact Club, Link Crew, church youth group, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), basketball, volleyball. Volunteers at soup kitchen, Senior Class Care, third- and fourth-grade at Eagle View Elementary School. Works at Little People Learning Center. Enjoys painting, music and traveling.

Future plans: I plan to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth to major in unified early childhood studies. This program will license me to teach ages birth through third grade so I will be able to have my own class of elementary students.

Sydney Darkow

Parents: Bruce and Vicky Darkow

School: Senior at Brainerd High School

Activities/interests: Student Council, A Cappella Choir, National Honor Society, Alpine ski team. Volunteers at animal shelter, teaches ski lessons, coaches small club team of ski racers at Mount Ski Gull.

Future plans: Next fall I will attend The College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph to pursue a degree in accounting.

Ashley Embree

Parents: Brent and Katie Embree

School: Junior at Pequot Lakes High School

Activities/interests: Pequot Lakes Revolution dance team, church youth group, Interact Club. Assisted with Kinship Partners and Day of Caring. Enjoys being on the lake with friends and family and taking photos of nature.

Future plans: After high school I plan to attend a four-year college, preferably Bethel University, and receive a psychology degree. I would like to be a family therapist or an adoption counselor.

Kayla Geike

Parents: Richard and Jane Geike

School: Senior at Pequot Lakes High School

Activities/interests: Tennis, volunteer with Nisswa Fire Department fundraisers. Likes hunting, outdoor activities, being with family and friends and participating in the many summer activities in our area.

Future plans: I will be attending Bemidji State University to study nursing, and then I plan to move back to the Nisswa area.

Morena Hammer

Parents: Don and Mary Hammer

School: Senior at Pequot Lakes High School

Activities/interests: 4-H, head chairman of Crow Wing County Youth Leadership Club. Participates in statewide and regional leadership conferences, volunteers in community. Enjoys reading, kayaking, biking, fine arts, martial arts. Employed by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as a student worker.

Future plans: I will attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth to achieve a Bachelor of Science degree in geological sciences and a minor in hydrology. I will pursue a Master of Science in paleoclimatology.

Kalli Rose Hedlund

Parent: Tamara Hedlund

School: Junior at Connections Academy Online

Activities/interests: Volunteers at church, junior counselor at Camp Shamineau. Attended mission trips to New Orleans and Minneapolis. Favorite outside activity is soccer. Likes playing guitar, drums and keyboard.

Future plans: Attend college and major in business and minor in music. Plans for after college include starting a wedding planning business.

Quinn Kratochvil

Parents: Andrew and Shannon Kratochvil

School: Senior at Pequot Lakes High School

Activities/interests: Interact Club, Link Crew, Spanish Club. Attended Girls State. Volunteers at Relay for Life, Day of Caring, church youth group. Summer volleyball, basketball camp assistant, youth volleyball coach. Enjoys spending time with friends.

Future plans: I will be attending Concordia-Moorhead next fall and plan to pursue a degree in physical therapy. I will also be wearing maroon and gold playing volleyball as a Cobber.

Breanna Rhodes

Parent: Melisa Chambers

School: Junior at Pequot Lakes High School

Activities/interests: Interact Club, community theater, choir ensembles, One Act, 4-H. Volunteer at HART animal shelter. Interests consist of photography, makeup, writing, the arts, animals and psychology.

Future plans: I plan on becoming a psychiatric nurse practitioner and travel the world to help others in need.

Karlie Trottier

Parents: Patrick and Deanne Trottier

School: Junior at Pequot Lakes High School

Activities/interests: Member of Pequot Lakes dance team, Interact Club, softball team. Volunteers in community with youth group, Just For Kix, youth softball clinics. Enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, music and photography.

Future plans: I plan to attend a four-year college after high school, with hopes of combining my love of writing, photography and travel into a career.