by Dennis Dalman
Sauk Rapids has three new young female ambassadors – Nikki Bukowski, Kelsey Christensen and Tana Hendrickson. Each was honored with a $1,000 from the Sauk Rapids Lions Club.
Christensen was also awarded honors for “Congeniality” and for “Poise and Personality” after her appearance in the evening-gown competition.
The three were crowned in a colorful ceremony June 25 during the third annual Sauk Rapids Ambassador Pageant in the Performing Arts Center at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.
They were crowned by the exiting ambassadors – Chelsey Haffner, Kaitlin Janson and Kayla Keller, who represented the city the latter half of last year and the first half of this one.
Bukowski, the daughter of Julie and Michael Bukowski, was sponsored in the ambassador competition by the law firm of Kern and Rueter, P.A. She is involved in speech, Future Farmers of America, Project for Teens, Link Leader, Students Against Drunk Driving and 4-H. She is a national competitor in Culinary Management.
Christensen, daughter of Amy Christensen, was sponsored by Fairview Gardens. She is a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, High School Student Council and DECA. In her first year in that organization, she and her colleagues made it to national competition. She is an avid gymnast and was captain of the school’s gymnastics team.
Henrickson, daughter of Trish and Tom Hendrickson, was sponsored by McKay’s Dodge. She is involved as a Link Leader, swimming, choir and Project 4 Teens, as well as being a member of the National Honor Society and DECA, for which she competed nationally this past year. Hendrickson is also active in her church and enjoys volunteering.
All are seniors this fall at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School.
The three ambassadors were chosen by the judges among six contestants, the others being Patricia Cazalvilla Torres, Marissa Leeb and Sydney Miller.
Emceed by Johnny Taco and Jamie Quinn of Wild Country 99 Radio, the ambassador pageant featured many guest speakers, including Sauk Rapids City Council member Kurt Hunstiger; Dave Recker, Minneapolis Aquatennial Commodore; Morgan Scheiller, Aquatennial princess; and Judge Robert Raupp of the Sauk Rapids Lions. The show opened with a crowd-pleasing dance by all six ambassador candidates to a medley of tunes from the musical Grease.
The six ambassador candidates had a long preparation for their final competition at the pageant. Previously, they took part in educational sessions every week on leadership, involvement and life skills. They also were required to write an essay and take part in community-service projects. On pageant night, each had to answer a question randomly chosen from a fish bowl, followed by the evening-gown event. Those were two of the criteria by which they were judged. The other three categories had been judged earlier.
The Sauk Rapids Ambassadors represent their city throughout the year in parades, county fairs, events far and wide and many events that benefit the City of Sauk Rapids or other good causes.