Pageant winner to be grand marshal

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, June 1, 2011

By Jill Jensen, staff writer

GLENVILLE — When Prior Lake’s Jennifer Monson comes to Glenville a week from Saturday, it will not be merely another visit to family in her mother’s hometown.

Monson, 17, was crowned Miss Teen Minnesota International 2011 in March. She will act as grand marshal for the Glenville Days Parade on June 11 and emcee for the Mr. and Ms. Glenville pageants taking place afterward.

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“I thought it’d be great to kind of get more publicity for Glenville and do something fun with my family,” said Monson, who said she has already visited Glenville-Emmons High School to promote her anti-tobacco platform.

Jennifer Monson

Emmy Stilley, co-chairwoman for the Glenville Days Parade, said she asked Monson if she would be interested in helping out because she “stands for something” and has familial ties to the community.

While she said she expects Monson’s presence will draw crowds, Stilley said she hopes Monson will talk about her platform.

“We just kind of wanted to show her off to the local community,” Stilley said.

As Miss Teen Minnesota International, Monson adopted a platform titled Keeping Kids Tobacco Free, which, if she wins the title of Miss Teen International in July, she will promote around the world.

She said she chose to travel around Minnesota educating kids about the dangers of tobacco usage dangers of tobacco usage because her grandmother died of lung cancer caused by a smoking habit she developed as a teenager.

Monson said she decided to compete in the Miss Teen Minnesota International pageant because it requires contestants to choose a service platform they are passionate about.

“When I heard the international system is more of a brains-and-heart pageant than a beauty system, it caught my attention,” Monson, who only began competing in pageants in November 2010 after a shoulder injury prevented her from playing sports like karate and volleyball, said.

Carolyn, Jennifer’s mother who also home-schools her, said this trip will be the first time her family has attended Glenville Days in years. She said they had already planned to come down for the 2011 event before her daughter was asked to participate, but it was “neat how it all worked out.”

Carolyn said her daughter’s duties as Miss Teen Minnesota International vary from giving speeches to helping charities; she is not just a “parade girl.”

“There’s a lot more to it than I ever thought there was,” Carolyn said. “I have so much more respect for pageants and pageant girls than I ever have before.”

While Monson cannot say yes to every event she is invited to, she said she chose to do the parade because Glenville holds a special place in her mother’s heart.

“I just wanted to do something for her while I had this title,” Monson said.

The Glenville Days Parade gets rolling at 10 a.m. June 11.