Well the time has finally come. It is still a little surreal I am checking into Miss Minnesota week tomorrow. TOMORROW. It is a pretty amazing feeling when dreams come true. I have been diligently preparing for months, and I cannot wait to see what the next week holds.
So you may be wondering what my final thoughts are before I depart for this crazy exciting adventure. Here are what my hopes are for next week:
1. Live in the moment – This experience is not one everybody gets the chance to have. I am so fortunate to have been chosen as Miss Chain of Lakes so I could have this opportunity. I am going to enjoy every second of the next 7 days!
2. Do my best – I am prepared. I am ready. All I can do is the best I can do, and as long as I do that, I will be happy and proud of my performance.
3. Be myself – When you are surrounded by so many amazing people, it is easy to get caught up and try to be like them (because they are so inspiring). But throughout the week, I am going to stay true to myself and show the judges, audience, and contestants who I really am.
The fact that I am going to Miss Minnesota is a huge accomplishment, so anything extra I gain from this week is just a bonus! :) I, Allie Koes, am competing for the chance to represent our state on the Miss America stage. WOW.
I have felt so loved and supported lately, especially in these past few months, and I am so thankful for that. So thank you all 💕
Work hard. Stay humble. Be kind y’all.
Your Miss Chain of Lakes 2017
FYI: Updates will be posted on my Facebook page, Miss Chain of Lakes 2017 – Allie Koes, during the week!
As per usual, I have many more updates coming your way! Miss Chain of Lakes has been very active the last few months, especially with promoting my platform. Read all about it below!
#TheKindnessChallenge—I made a Facebook page now to post weekly Kindness Challenges that I start and I want others to participate in! It’s “Miss Chain of Lakes 2017 – Allie Koes,” so give it a follow and join in the movement of kindness by clicking here: www.facebook.com/MissChainofLakes2017AllieKoes/
Ms. Thimjon’s Class— I had the opportunity to go back to my first grade teacher’s class and speak with her fifth graders! Because March is National Reading Month, I read a few kindness stories to them from a kindness edition of Chicken Soup for the Soul, and then we did TWO kindness projects together. I brought a variety of thank-you notes and each student wrote one for someone, and afterwards, we went outside and scattered 100 pennies on the playground for the younger students to find during recess.
One thing I love about my platform, #TheKindnessChallenge, is that anyone can participate, and all of us have the ability to do kind acts to make this world a better place! Also, because they were doing kind things for others, I did a kind thing for them by bringing candy :)
Mr. Theissen’s, Mrs. Loch’s, and Mrs. Gaddini’s Class—These three classes were so much fun! I read Cara’s Kindness, a super cute children’s book about passing on kindness, then we talked a little about the importance of being kind. After, I had colorful poster board for each of the classes that said “We are a kind class.” Each student traced their hand on a piece of construction paper, cut it out, decorated it, and then glued it on the board which was hung in their classrooms to remind them to always offer their helping hands to others!!
Mrs. Przybylski’s Class—I was so excited to make an appearance at my fourth grade teacher’s second grade class! The students were such a great audience that asked so many questions! I read a few kindness stories to them, one being Have you Filled a Bucket Today? (which is one of my favorites!), and brought a bucket full of kindness ideas. Each student chose a random act of kindness from the bucket, read it aloud, and if they accepted #TheKindnessChallenge and said they were going to complete it that day, I gave them a piece of candy! It was a joy to spend time with them!
Chain of Lakes Rotary Presentation— I gave a presentation to the Chain of Lakes Rotary one early Wednesday morning! It was a great group that gave me such helpful feedback. Nothing makes me happier than sharing all my platform work with others and inspiring people to join my mission of kindness!
Speaking at Totino Grace and Collection for Gillette Children’s—In front of the entire school of about 1,000 people, I had the opportunity to speak Monday morning during convocation. WOW. It is so crazy to think I graduated from TG four years ago, and I have accomplished so much since then. I gave my first motivational speech about kindness, spoke about the drive I was organizing through the school for Gillette, and also challenged each audience member to perform a random act of kindness that day.
Miss America Serves Day—Service is my favorite part of the crown, so of course I celebrated this MAO holiday! On #MissAmericaServes Day, I delivered all the game, book, art supply, and stuffed animal donations that I collected as part of #TheKindnessChallenge Week 3 to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. There is no better way to spend the day than doing good for others! Thanks to Mary Dengerud, the Respect Life Group, and the TG community for donating and making miracles happen #ForTheKids!
Annual Easter Act of Kindness--Holidays are a wonderful occasion to spread kindness! I spent Easter working then delivering some Easter goodies to the residents at my grandma's assisted living facility! Each year, I make an Easter basket and bring it to a different care facility for the elderly. The joy on their faces is priceless every year 😊💕🐥 A little kindness goes a long way!
Orientation Weekend—Everything is official! Paperwork is turned in, my headshot is submitted, I got my roommate for Miss MN week (Katlyn – Miss Heartland!), and I chose my spot in the contestant order. I am contestant #23 (my lucky number), so I will be competing in Lifestyle & Fitness and Evening Wear on Wednesday (June 14), Talent and On-Stage Question on Thursday (June 15), and finals are on Saturday! I CAN’T WAIT!!
Also, official headshots are now on the Miss Minnesota website! See them here: www.missminnesota.org/contestants.html
My Princess—I finally had the chance to meet my fantastic princess, Riley, and her mom, Stephanie, last week! Riley is so sweet and has tons of energy! I know we will have so much fun during Miss Minnesota week!
Graduation—In December of 2016, I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in Health & Wellness, a Spanish minor, and an Applied Business Certificate at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Even though I had already graduated, I wanted to participate in commencement in spring. Now I finally feel like a graduate! 3.5 years of challenging courses, great memories, and life lessons to carry with me into the future. I am so proud to be a Gopher Grad! #Classof2016
Next stop…graduate school!
We are in the home stretch now. 30 days until I leave for Miss Minnesota week. Wow. Thanks to my family and friends for all the support thus far. I am loving every minute of this experience!
Hello everyone! I hope life is treating you well and that you are enjoying the warm (and early spring?) weather we are having! Here is what your Miss Chain of Lakes has been up to lately.
New Year, New Job—I started out 2017 at a brand new place of employment. I am still a CNA, still working in memory care, and still learning so many valuable life lessons while spending a lot of time with wonderful residents. I love getting up, going to work, and putting smiles on the faces of my residents, even though some days that means waking up at 4 am!
Living out my platform—Kindness doesn’t take a vacation. Before heading to the airport to catch our flight home from our family trip to California, I walked the San Diego streets handing out bottled water to homeless people. If you have ever been to California, one of the first things you notice is the considerable number of homeless people everywhere. It turns out that roughly 20% of the U.S. homeless population lives in California. After driving through downtown Los Angeles and around the Pacific Coast, I decided to act instead of just being a bystander in the situation.
It was a simple act, but it still made an impact on each person I encountered. Even if you cannot save the world, you can help in some way, so go out and do it!
The Red Affair—I had a great time volunteering at The Red Affair fundraiser hosted by Jungle Red Salon! It was a fun event for a great cause. Proceeds were donated to Avenues, a non-profit that provides housing and support services to homeless youth in our community. Through these services, Avenues helps youth make a successful transition into young adulthood.
Job Shadowing—I love to take advantage of all opportunities I can find to get out in my desired field. This time, I shadowed in pediatric bone marrow transplantation. What a truly eye-opening experience to do rounds on brave, courageous children with an incredibly intelligent and compassionate team of health care professionals.
Miss St. Croix Valley/River Valley Pageant—I love attending local pageants as a titleholder because I get to meet more of the Miss Minnesota class and welcome the new members! Another highlight of that night was that I helped in the crowning of MY NEW TEEN:)
My Teen—Team Chain of Lakes is now complete! My new teen queen, Eden, and I have done so much together in just the short amount of time we have known each other. How did I get so lucky to have such an awesome sister queen? I cannot wait for our year together and to cheer her on at state.
Miss MN Wardrobe—I am truly grateful for the wonderfully generous sponsorship Aubony Bridal provides the Miss Minnesota contestants. Thanks to Pam, I found the perfect wardrobe for the Miss Minnesota stage. Want to see my beautiful gowns??? Well, you will just have to wait until Miss MN week to see! ;)
JDRF Walk—I had such a great morning with part of the Miss Minnesota class at the Mall of America supporting our Miss Minnesota’s Outstanding Teen and JDRF at the JDRF walk to end T1D. JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. I love participating in events that raise awareness for important causes, especially T1D because it is so near and dear to my heart. I walked for my mom and the millions of others battling this devastating disease. #CrownsToCureT1D #AWorldWithoutT1D #MissMNServes #TypeOneToTypeNone
IHOP National Pancake Day—March 7 was National Pancake Day at IHOP which means you received a free stack of pancakes in exchange for "putting your money where the miracles are" by donating to Children's Miracle Network! Eden and I went to IHOP together, greeted guests, thanked them for donations, and enjoyed some delicious pancakes :) Thank you to all across the nation who donated to make miracles happen for CMN kids <3
Well, Miss Minnesota week is officially less than 100 days away! Every day, I wake up thankful for my health, my loved ones, and this opportunity I was given to represent my community and change the world. I am not taking any second of this for granted.
Be kind to one another,
Hello everyone! Happy holidays!
Recently, my life has consisted of college, work, volunteering, and platform work. But as of last Monday, I officially completed my undergraduate degree, meaning I finally have some free time to update you all on what I have been doing the past few months. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the read :)
Speaking at Saint Joseph’s & Tie-Blanket Donation Drive— I am so proud of this project. As I have mentioned, I was a camp counselor at Camp Odayin last summer. One night, almost a hundred tie-blankets were brought out and each of the campers got to choose one. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to organize a tie-blanket drive myself and help bring that much joy to children who have been through a lot. I went to Saint Joseph of the Lakes parish with my idea, and they helped me make it happen (shout out to Steve & Kelly)! I wrote a message that was put in the bulletin for a month, spoke in front of hundreds of people one night during faith formation, prepared all the fleece at my house with some help (shout out to my mom!), and then tied the blankets with 70 faith formation kids. Some of the donated fleece was too small to make kid-sized blankets, so I decided to cut the fleece into mini blankets and donate them to the Animal Humane Society. I could not have been more pleased with the results, and I have a good feeling that all the hard work and kindness of those involved brought a smile to many children of Gillette and Children’s Hospital!!
Princess Party—For this event, Blaine City Hall was transformed into a princess castle complete with pink balloons, treats, games, balloon animals, a dance floor, and of course the main attraction of Elsa, Belle, and Cinderella. I was in charge of escorting little princesses to the stage to get their pictures taken with the Disney princesses, and it was the cutest thing to watch all their faces light up. For events, I am usually the only one wearing a crown, but at this event, almost all of the 225 princesses were wearing one!
Girls on the Run—Earlier in the year, I signed up to be a Girls on the Run coach for the fall season at a Blaine elementary school. Girls on the Run is an after-school program that aims to empower 3rd-5th grade girls, helps them learn life skills, and promotes a healthy lifestyle. Each week, I would help lead activities and run laps with the girls. At the end of the season in November, we (along with the girls and coaches from all the other schools around the Twin Cities) ran a 5K together to celebrate the season at Lake Harriet. It was freezing that morning, but it was definitely a fun (and healthy) way to end the season!
My Birthday—Well, I’m feeling 22! I started off my birthday morning by getting my free Caribou (obviously) and then I dropped off the blanket donations at Gillette and Children’s hospitals! After, I went shopping at MOA, so all in all, a pretty great day. Thanks again for all the birthday posts, messages, and texts! Much love.
Miss Waseca/South Central—Katherine and I attended the Miss Waseca/South Central pageant a few weeks ago. What a show and hilarious emcees! Congrats to the new members of the Miss Minnesota Class of 2017!
Speaking at Aurora Charter School—As I have mentioned before, I spent every Tuesday morning this semester volunteering in first grade at Aurora. On my final day in the classroom, instead of showing up as Maestra Allie, I surprised the kids and showed up as Miss Chain of Lakes! I gave a presentation in Spanish about my platform and the importance of kindness. I also had them do a kindness project and write a thank-you to someone. To end, the class surprised ME and presented me with THE SWEETEST gift. Each student drew me a picture and wrote me a note, and Maestra made the pages into a book! Working with kids is so rewarding.
Salvation Army Bell Ringing—Princess Lauryn and I had so much fun ringing for the Salvation Army. While it was a little chilly (okay, it was cold), we braved the weather for a good cause. People were so generous, and we even received a $50 bill in our kettle!
Photoshoot—Saying I had a great time is an understatement. Special thanks to Paula Preston Photography and Jungle Red Salon for their sponsorship. I felt so amazing and CANNOT WAIT to show everyone my official Miss Minnesota head shot!!! But for now, it must remain a secret:)
Toys for Tots Involvement—For this holiday season, I wanted to utilize my platform and show that kindness really does cause a chain reaction. I signed up my dad’s business to be a Toys for Tots drop-off site and have collection bin, and I also decided to put a donation bin in the front entryway of our house. When family came over for the holidays, I requested that they each bring a toy to donate, and let’s just say they did! The boxes were filled. However, I didn’t want to stop there, so I signed up to volunteer at the warehouse after I dropped off the donations. That was an awesome experience. I met the wonderful Marines in charge of the Toys for Tots Twin Cities donations and helped sort hundreds and hundreds of toys to be brought to kids in need. My brother and mom came along, and it was a really great way to spend time together and benefit the greater community during this holiday season.
Graduation—Well, that’s a wrap! I am officially a graduate of the University of Minnesota with my Bachelor of Science, Spanish minor, and Applied Business Certificate. Wow, I am so proud and grateful to have had the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university. Sadly, my college does not host a big graduation ceremony, so I have to wait until May to walk and wear a cap and gown, but it will definitely be worth the wait!
That is all for now. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and that 2017 is your best year yet!
Wow, my schedule has filled up fast! Being a full-time student at the University of Minnesota, working as a CNA, and weekly volunteering is definitely keeping me busy.
Here are some recent events and highlights:
Blaine Triathlon—My first event wearing my crown & sash! This year, I signed up to volunteer at the annual Blaine Triathlon that is held right down the street from my house. My brother, Nicholas, volunteered with me, and we were in charge of timing race participants when they passed a certain checkpoint. It was so cool to watch hundreds of people participate in such a well-executed event. I even ran into my uncle who is our Blaine Police Chief!
Newspaper Article—An article about me was published in the newspaper! Needless to say, I was pretty excited to see it in print! If you would like, you can check out the article online here.
Aurora Charter School—Para mi clase de español este semestre, tuve que escoger una organización para hacer servicio comunitario cada semana fuera de la clase. Elegí Aurora, una escuela de inmersión para los niños latinos. Paso tiempo en el primer grado, ¡y los niños son tan lindos! Enseño a los chicos a leer y escribir en español, y
me llaman "Maestra Allie" :)
Miss Moorhead Pageant—This was the first local pageant I attended as a titleholder! It was quite a drive, but Katherine and I had a great time on our road trip! Congrats Abby on your title of Miss Moorhead.
Watching Miss America—After many years of watching the Miss America pageant on television, I can honestly say it was the coolest thing to watch it this year knowing that I am officially a part of the Miss America Organization. Our Miss Minnesota, Madeline, did such an awesome job representing our state, and I am so glad I have had the chance to get to know her. Congrats on being chosen as Miss Congeniality, it really is an amazing award to receive.
Miss Coon Rapids Pageant—This is where my pageant journey began! The only other time I have competed besides COL this year was at Coon Rapids two years ago, and I really enjoyed watching the production from the audience this time around. Congrats to Miss Coon Rapids!
Camp Odayin 5K—This summer, I stepped (way) out of my comfort zone and signed up to be a camp counselor for a week at Camp Odayin, for kids with heart disease. I have never camped, been to any camp, or ever desired to camp, but I loved the cause so I decided to do it for the kids. Little did I know that one week with Camp Odayin would change me and my outlook on life. I had never been so inspired. I have seen firsthand the positive impact this camp has on its campers, and when I saw Camp Odayin was hosting a 5K, I signed right up!
Despite the wind making the temperature feel below freezing, the 5K at Como Park was so much fun. It was so nice to see people from camp, including one of my Birch cabin campers! I had the opportunity to speak with many 5K runners, the Saint Paul Vulcans, and Dez from KS95 about my title and about my camp experience.
I have a few projects in the works, so keep an eye out for updates as there are many ways you can help me make a positive impact in the community!
Well, it’s official! It has been one week since I was crowned Miss COL, and the initial shock is finally starting to wear off. I have been secretly wishing to be part of the Miss America Organization for years, and now that wish has come true! On the day of the pageant, I was SO nervous, but at the same time, I was at peace with what God’s plan was for me. I was 100% myself with the judges during my interview, performed my heart out during the talent portion of the competition, and was proud of myself both on and off the stage. I was so honored to receive the Talent Award at the pageant, and when it came time to crown the new titleholder, I was only half listening because I honestly did not think it was going to be me! I have no words that describe what it felt like to hear Aja announce me as the new Miss COL. Those few minutes were quite the emotional whirlwind but will be a memory I never forget.
All I can say now is that I am ready to be titleholder, ready to be even more involved in my community, ready to promote my platform, ready to be an ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network, and ready to begin preparing for the MISS MINNESOTA stage!
I am new to the pageant world, so I cannot wait get to know the other titleholders, contestants, directors, and all those involved with the Miss America Organization. I have heard MAO is life changing, and I cannot wait to see the amazing things that will happen during my year. I have already began planning many things I want to accomplish, so Chain of Lakes area, be ready.
I am so humbled, proud, and excited to be your MISS CHAIN OF LAKES!
Miss Chain of Lakes 2017