BELDING — Kendra Wekenman is facing a busy year as a senior at Belding High School. The 17-year-old is involved in National Honor Society, basketball, yearbook, student council and works two part-time jobs.
After winning the title of Miss Belding 2012 at the Miss Belding Scholarship Pageant on Wednesday night, she is about to get even busier.
“As Miss Belding, Kendra will do around 12 parades this year throughout West Michigan, participate in reading to elementary students and in the Reading with Royalty event and the Fancy Nancy parties, Gus Macker, The Arts Council and Home for the Holidays,” pageant committee director Rebecca Bozung said.
A newcomer to the Belding pageant scene, Wekenman beat out challengers Hailey Willingham, 17, the daughter of Wade and Darla Willingham, who placed as first runner-up, and Miss Congeniality; and Isabelle Rytlewski, 16, the daughter of John and April Rytlewski, who was second runner-up.
Contestants were judged by a private interview, which counted as 35 percent of the total score; talent, another 35 percent; self-expression in evening gown and onstage question, for an additional 30 percent; and poise, appearance and confidence for the remaining 5 percent, according to emcee George Rousseau.
“The most difficult part was the on-stage question,” said Wekenman, “I was really nervous for that.”
The question was “What three qualities should a Miss Belding have, and why?”
“I think Miss Belding should have dedication. She should be dedicated and be on time. She should want to be there, and she should want to be involved with her community,” Wekenmen said. “She should have a pride in Belding and not complain about it, and she should have a pride in herself.
“Miss Belding is a role model to little girls who look up to you and you are a representative to your community,” she added.
Wekenman, the daughter of Jason and Candi Wekenman, found the talent phase, where she decorated cupcakes while describing the proper steps, the easiest.
“I was very comfortable doing it, it is something I do all the time, and it is fun,” she said.
Completing the 2012 court are Junior Miss Belding Autumn Graves, the daughter of Fred and Tonya Russells; and Junior Miss court member Alexis Cahill, the daughter of Mike Cahill and Anna Wagar; Young Miss Belding Anastasia Hintz, the daughter of Don and Cathy Hintz; and Young Miss court member Chloe Spencer, the daughter of Marty and Janelle Spencer. Hintz also won the 2012 top fundraiser award, and the Young and Junior Miss Congeniality awards.
The youngest members of the 2012 court are Kiddie King Camden Holt, the son of Jake and Starlene Holt; and Kiddie Queen Candance Idalski, the daughter of Ryan Idalski and Mary Maharry.