ALLIANCE — Saturday, March 11, was a typical late winter day outside, a strong breeze making the afternoon a little chilly despite the sunshine. Conditions inside were more ideal for about 20 area girls taking part in 2017 Miracle Day With The Queens.
Miss Alliance, Kaelia Nelson, a Hemingford High graduate and daughter of Mark and Shardel Nelson of Alliance, organized the event at Grandview Elementary, which included some of the types of activities associated with pageants. Nelson said they have always had “princess for a day” events. “I wanted to take it a step farther,” she said, “(The girls) have the experience we get to have throughout our year.”
The miracle aspect of the day also refers to its role in raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network, the charity selected by the Miss Nebraska organization. Nelson said they raised a total of $857 for Omaha Children’s Hospital, more than triple the $250 titleholders are asked to raise.
As the girls (ranging from pre-kindergarten to fourth grade) arrived they heard an introduction, had pictures taken and split into groups. Next they looked at Lu La Roe clothing, which would be modeled later, helped make blankets, did a craft, learned a dance, shopped, then had time to prepare for a pubic fashion show on the school stage.
The queens were four area titleholders that Nelson reached out to with a group message while planning the day.
Speaking before the final events Saturday, Nelson said the girls, “have been really excited.” She said they asked about the crowns, about wearing the dresses, being on stage and modeling clothes while often commenting about how pretty the queens were.
“I’ve never really done anything to this extent (an all day event),” Nelson said, noting she goes to college at the other end of the state. “It has been a lot of over the phone putting it together.”
Nelson expressed her appreciation for the vendors who participated, volunteers and parents and the screen printers who created t-shirts to sell with the message: Stomping The Stigma — Creating Conversations About Mental Illness.”