HJ/EDJuly 31, 2006

Betsy Simons named Miss Congeniality at Aquatennial

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

Sometimes, it’s not winning the grand prize that makes an event in one’s life special.

For former Miss Winsted Betsy Simons, that is exactly what happened during her recent trip to the Minneapolis Aquatennial – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Simons was named Miss Congeniality while representing Winsted at the “Ten Best Days of Summer” competing for the title of Queen of the Lakes.

“It’s an honor for me that the other girls saw me like that,” Simons said. “They saw me at my worst and my best . . . for them to look at me like that means more to me than a crown ever would.”

The title of Miss Congeniality is not judged by contest judges, but rather the girls, themselves, that Simons competed with. Simons tied with Miss Lino Lakes for the honor.

“They have never had a tie before,” Simons said. With her title comes just that – a title – she does not have to make appearances anymore throughout the year as she did when she was Miss Winsted.

That gives her plenty of time to focus on her studies at Crown College, where she is currently majoring in business administration, with a minor in marketing. Simons has been working at Community Bank Winsted for four years, and said she hopes to continue working in the banking industry after college.

Simons is a 2005 graduate of Dassel-Cokato High School, and said she was glad to have the support of her friends, former Miss Dassel Kendra Neu, and former Miss Cokato Mickenzi Danielson, at the Aquatennial. She said she knew a lot of the girls who she competed with from seeing them at different events throughout her reign, but said she had a great time getting to know others.

“I made some amazing friends that week,” she said. Simons did note that when all 49 girls were in the same room, she could tell the small town girls from the bigger city girls.

“It’s an interesting mirror of everyone’s personality,” she said.

While at Aquatennial, Simons took part in a welcome reception, the Torchlight Parade, a commodore’s party, and a community luncheon, among other events. Coronation took place July 21 at Ted Mann Hall at the University of Minnesota.

Now that she is back home from Aquatennial, she is planning on hosting this year’s coronation for the Winsted Ambassadors Aug. 13 at the Winsted Summer Festival, and down the road after college, she said she could see herself serving on the Winsted Ambassador committee.

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