WILLISTON — It was the end of one journey for and the beginning of another for Delanie Wiedrich.
The native of Hazen, ND and a student at Minnesota State University-Mankato took first place and $17,500 in scholarship money with the win.
First-runner up was Faye Stromberg of Fargo, while second runner-up was Reyna Bergstrom, Miss State Capitol from Horace and Concordia College.
Wiedrich’s talent was Broadway vocal and she sang her way through the talent portion with a rendition of Adele’s “Someone Like You.”
The platform of Miss Grand Forks was “Beyond the B Word,” which focused on anit-bullying strategies.
Stromberg’s talent was piano, on which she played “Arabesque” by Debussey.
Chenise Nesler, Miss Red River Valley from Fargo, was third runner-up and Abigail Mattson, Miss Kittsona from Grand Forks was fourth runner-up.
On hand to crown the winner was 2014 Miss North Dakota winner Jacky Arness.
“Every single one of you can wear this crown,” Arness said at Saturday morning’s rehearsal. “Every one of you. But for one of you your whole life will change tonight, it will change in a single moment.”
Those words reverberated with Wiedrich as she stepped up to take on the title of 2015 Miss America Miss North Dakota.
Wiedrich will go on to compete against other young women in the Miss America pageant on September 13 at Atlantic City, New Jersey.
For her, and the 23 other North Dakotans, who had qualified through regional events, it capped a finale to a whirlwind week in Williston.
Twenty-four strangers gathered at Frontier Hall at WIlliston State College on Monday morning, all anxious and eager to embark on this journey. And what a journey it was.
The 2015 contestants of the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Pageant endured hours of rehearsals, appearances and spontaneous laughter.
The 24 girls of all different backgrounds, life stories and aspirations came together for the experience of a lifetime.
Kalen Sakima, a dancer brought in by longtime producer Jack Dyville, said, “I have worked alongside the women in the Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant and the Miss New York Scholarship Pageant and the young women that competed tonight have such a different personality. These girls are so warm, they genuinely want to get to know each other and be together”
It’s a bond not framed only from the constant companionship of one another but out of a mutual respect and shared passion.
“All of the girls are very inspiring,” Macy Christianson, 2014 Miss Norsk Hostfest winner said. “It’s great to see what each and every one of them are doing in their community, and I look to each and every one of them as role models.”
From the Miss America Outstanding Teen, princesses, between the state title holders, and past Miss North Dakota winners, the women that have shaped this organization all share a camaraderie of sisterhood that is driven home the more that you talk to them.
“Many of the girls that I was with in Miss America I still talk to at least once a day,” said 2011 Miss North Dakota, Ariana Walker-Kinnischtzke. “We became friends over the pageant but became sisters throughout life.”