2018-02-07 / Front Page

Miss Sanilacs move on to state pageants


Carly Petersen, 21, of Brooklyn, and Kristen Kruzel, 14, of Luna Pier, are Miss Sanilac County 2018 and Miss Sanilac Outstanding Teen 2018. 
Photo by Margaret Whitmer Carly Petersen, 21, of Brooklyn, and Kristen Kruzel, 14, of Luna Pier, are Miss Sanilac County 2018 and Miss Sanilac Outstanding Teen 2018. Photo by Margaret Whitmer LEXINGTON — Two contestants who live outside of Sanilac County have been crowned in the Miss Sanilac County and Miss Sanilac County Outstanding Teen pageant.

The new Miss Sanilac County is Carly Petersen, 21, of Brooklyn, MI.

Kristen Kruzel, 14, of Luna Pier, MI, is the new Miss Outstanding Teen for 2018.

The pair will next compete in the Miss Michigan pageants this summer in Muskegon.

Cherokee Johnson, of Peck, last year’s Miss Outstanding Teen, passed her crown to Kruzel at the annual pageant, which was held Feb. 3 in the Lexington Village Theater.

Johnson said her reign during the past year was better than she could have imagined.

“You really grow as a person. I learned a lot about people and about myself,” she said. “I enjoyed meeting new people and bonding with Tara – my Miss.”

Johnson referred to Tara Althaus, of Chelsea, the winner of the 2017 Miss Sanilac County Pageant.

Kruzel said she is looking forward to an amazing year as Miss Outstanding Teen.

Her talent for the pageant was tap dancing and her platform is spina bifida awareness in honor of her sister, who has the condition.

Petersen’s talent was singing. She sang “Someday” from the musical The Wedding Singer. Her platform is the Music and Memory program, which is shown to help treat patients with Alzheimer’s.

She said she plans to visit facilities that treat Alzheimer’s patients, introduce them to the program and perhaps help volunteers become certified in the program.

Heather Kendrick, Miss Michigan 2017, of Marysville, co-hosted the program along with Mike Wilson, the longest serving pageant board member and pastor of Mooretown Brethren in Christ Church of Sandusky.

The Sanilac pageant is part of the Miss Michigan and Miss America organizations and was opened to contestants statewide this year because of the limited number of local applicants, Wilson said.

All of the contestants for Miss Sanilac County were: Madison Polewach, Sandusky; Jennifer Whipple, Kalamazoo; Jenna Holt, Davidson; Allison Adams, Coopersville; Jaymie Ziegler, Novi; Gabrielle Flynn, Yale; Emily Birgy, Fife Lake; Petersen; Kayla Valdez, Holly; Grace Newlin, Farmington Hills; Emilee Madison, Mt. Pleasant; Melissa Curtis, Clinton; and Kayla Pingel, Farmington.

The Miss Teen contestants were: Maddison Winiarski, Sandusky; Alyssa Woodbeck, Sandusky; Shelby Tracy, Sandusky; Lauren Mott, Sandusky (second runner-up); Stella Mae Drozdowicz, St Clair Shores; Mary Bush, Wayland; Jessica Noack, Davidson; Marissa Carson, Highland; Kruzel; and Maria Fields, Grosse Point.

The pageant board, in addition to Wilson, is comprised of Jamie Foster, partner in A Chance to Change Drug and Alcohol Testing; Samantha Orchard; college student and former Sanilac County Outstanding Teen, Miss Iosco County Outstanding Teen and Miss Tip of the Mitt Outstanding Teen; Megan Shaw, Mary Kay Sales director; and Kayla Sesi, former Miss Port Huron and owner of Libby Beauty Boutique in Port Huron.

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