Miss Illinois To Judge Little Miss Peanut Pageant

It’s not too late for your 5-7 year old daughter to enter the Crystal Lake Kiwanis Club’s Little Miss Peanut contest on September 27th. (Details below.)

Do you have a vivacious daughter or granddaughter?

I don’t know all the judges, but State Rep. Mike Tryon is scheduled to ask the little girls questions, and other judges include and Miss Illinois for 2007, Ashley Hatsfield.

Hatsfield spoke to Wednesday’s Kiwanis luncheon at the Colonial Café.

This 24-year old is articulate, educated and good looking.

Did I mention vivacious?

She has her master’s degree in communication disorders from the University of Mississippi and is 9 months of supervised practice away from becoming a licensed language pathologist. Her undergraduate college years probably explain why her southern accent is more pronounced than it would be had she attended Southern Illinois University for her schooling.

Winning the Miss Illinois contest brought her a four-year scholarship to SIU, where she wants to earn a Ph.D. in her field. The scholarship envisioned an undergrad, but the university has allowed her to use it for grad school.

If she wins the Miss America contest in Las Vegas next January, she’ll get $40,000 more. Hatsfield is thinking about following in the footsteps of the former Miss Illinois who just graduated from Harvard Law School.

Miss Illinois is from Anna, Illinois, in far southeastern Illinois.

“Do they have flights out of Southern Illinois?” Kiwanis President Mike Torchalski jokingly asked her.

She made the sound of a propeller plane and replied,

”Just a little bitty plane.

“I’m just getting oriented to the Chicago area.”

Contestants have to select a platform and hers is breast cancer awareness. It’s in memory of her grandmother who died in her 70’s of the disease when Hatfield was “a little girl.”

“She hadn’t done early detection,” she added.

Miss Illinois also goes to schools to speak on character education. She rattled off the “six pillars” faster than I could write them down…or maybe I was taking pictures.

Fortunately, they are on a handout:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship

“Don’t follow the crowd,” is her basic message to students.

“If you give 110% of what you’re passionate about, someone will recognize you for it.”

A third emphasis is Miss America’s new “partnership” with the Children’s Miracle Network, which has affiliates in Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital and facilities in Peoria and Springfield.

She visits hospitals to “meet with patients to see if we can raise their spirits.”

Helping her and her driver is a GPS navigation system.

“When I first heard it, I thought it sounded like someone who smoked forever,” she said.

Leaving the meeting, she was on her way to a school in DuPage County.

Anyone wanting to enter a young lady in the Little Miss Peanut contest should contact Tina Hill at 815-347-4222 or email her at tinarenee78@hotmail.com.

The 6:30 event will be held at the Home State Bank located at the intersection of Route 14 and South Main Street in Crystal Lake. The public is invited.

One Kiwanian’s bank offered a $50 United States Savings Bond as one of the prizes.

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Ashley Hatsfield, the 2007 Miss Illinois, appears along in the first and third photographs. She is to the right of Crystal Lake Kiwanis President Mike Torchalski in the bottom picture. Little Miss Peanut 2006, Erika Dacanay, appears in the 4th of July Parade car being driven by Kathy Gosset.

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