By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN When three young women are crowned Delano Royal Ambassadors at the city’s annual Fourth of July Celebration, they are presented with a sense of volunteerism, community involvement, and community spirit.
“I am honored to be representing the community of Delano and promoting what a wonderful town I live in,” said ambassador Kelsie Nelson.
Nelson said one of the most important things she has learned is that community goes so much further than where she is living.
“We have had the opportunity to volunteer for crisis nursery, Golden LivingCenter, and look forward to helping out with a 5k run in Buffalo,” Nelson said.
Fellow ambassador Anna Wischmann said her favorite thing about being an ambassador, so far, is being able to celebrate other communities’ celebrations with them and other fellow royalty.
“It’s been such a blast getting to know all these girls,” Wischmann said.
Nelson said she has enjoyed spending time with children in various communities while she is representing Delano.
“Knowing that I can make a young kid smile just because I waved to them in a parade makes me smile in return, both inside and out,” Nelson said. “What a reward.”
Emma Kopp, also a Delano Royal Ambassador, said she also enjoys meeting so many people.
“I never thought I would be able to remember all the names of people from in and out of town, but somehow, I do,” Kopp said. “Being an ambassador has taught me a lot already, one of the most important things being gratitude, and being able to strike up a conversation and keep it going. Communication is so important. It’s nice to be able to talk with just about anyone with the skills I have learned so far.”
Wischmann agreed, and said, “being an ambassador is so much more than what I thought it would be. It has been such an amazing experience, so far.
She said the royal ambassadors have learned how to present themselves better, and the art of conversation.
“It has become easier to speak in public,” Wischmann agreed. “We have grown to meet so many wonderful people through this organization and are in the process of making many great lifelong friends. Memories have been made and it’s an experience we will never forget.”
“We’re so blessed to have this opportunity,” Kopp said. “I love the girls so much and I’m so happy to call them ‘sisters.’”
The Delano Royalty Organization consists of many volunteers working to foster leadership in the young women of Delano and enable them to promote the businesses and community of Delano.
As a Delano Royalty candidate or ambassador, young women will improve public speaking and leadership skills by promoting Delano at other community festivals around Minnesota. Ambassadors will get to know their community, and add experience to their resumé.
Candidates and royalty volunteer and make appearances at many events around Delano. In addition to these opportunities given to the royalty, the Delano Ambassadors will attend the Minneapolis Winter Carnival and the Minneapolis Aquatennial as a candidate for the Queen of the Lakes.
“I took on this program not knowing what to expect, and have been very pleased with the amount of positive support and encouragement we have received,” said Delano Royalty Organization Chairperson Lesley Stoddard, who recently completed her first year of chairing the program.
“I believe the program has made tremendous strides this past year and that is because of the support from the community and the tremendous committee we have running the organization,” Stoddard added.
Little Miss program added recently
Within the past few years, a Little Miss and junior ambassador program has also taken place within the royalty organization.
This year, Delano has two Little Miss representatives Grace Elsen and Sydney Trautman. The Little Miss program is for girls in the first grade entering second grade.
“My favorite thing has been the parades,” Elsen said. “Especially the Delano and Rockford parades. I really like being with Sydney, the other Little Miss; and the big girls, Anna, Emma and Kelsie.
Elsen said it is different than she thought it would be because she thought it would be just a couple of parades, but it’s been a lot more, and has been fun.
“Going to Taste of Delano and the Wright County Fair was fun, too,” Elsen said. “I like telling ambassadors from other towns that I am from Delano.”
Trautman said that, so far, her favorite part of being a Little Miss has been riding on the float and being able to spend time with the other ambassadors.
“We have a lot of fun together,” Trautman said. “And I get to meet ambassadors from other towns.”
Trautman said she also enjoyed participating in the Relay for Life at Central Park in late July.
“I am learning more about our town and I get to go to different places that I have never been before,” Trautman said. “I like the events that I get to help other people. It’s fun to make other people smile, too.”
A scholarship program
The Delano Royalty Organization is a scholarship program, with all ambassadors receiving scholarships at the end of their reign.
“I look forward to continuing to promote this program as a scholarship program, and to instill the sense of volunteerism in our ambassadors,” Stoddard said.
Planning is currently underway for the Delano Royalty Organization’s third-annual bazaar, set for Saturday, Nov. 10 from 3 to 7:30 p.m. at the Delano High School gymnasium.
“We are still looking for vendors and event sponsors,” Stoddard said. “This is our biggest fundraiser.”
Other upcoming events include:
• Partylite fundraiser, beginning Sunday, Sept. 23
• Present wrapping/bake sale during the Old Fashioned Christmas in Downtown Delano
• Prom dress sale Jan. 19, 2013 at Angela Kalthoff Photography
• Pie fundraiser with Dobo’s around Easter 2013
• Thirty-One fundraiser in May 2013.
The ambassadors will also be participating in the Polar Plunge March 2, 2013 at Lake Calhoun, and will be at the Fall Heritage Festival Saturday, Sept. 22.
“It’s also not too early to start thinking about candidates for next year,” Stoddard said. “If you or your daughter is interested in candidate information, please contact us.”
The Delano Royalty Organization may be reached by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook, or by calling (763) 238-0390.