Bishop crowned its newest ambassadors at the second annual Miss Bishop and Miss Teen Bishop Pageant held Saturday at Bishop Union High School.
The five volunteer judges selected Chelsea Smart to serve as Miss Bishop and Callie Rose Kruse to serve as Miss Teen Bishop for the next 12 months.
As queens, the two Miss Bishop winners will head a number of community service efforts locally, serve as ambassadors at out-of-the-area events and make guest appearances at events such as the Bishop Christmas parade and community Easter egg hunts.
During this year’s Miss Bishop and Miss Teen Bishop Pageant, five contestants vied for the two titles, competing in public speaking, evening gown and a private interview competition.
Pageant Director Kristina Roberts, herself a previous pageant winner and model, said judges critique the contestants on their poise and confidence, among other things.
“Poise and comfort (level) are important, but it is also important to be a good role model,” Roberts said. “You are a representative of Bishop, someone that people are going to look up to.”
Roberts said that the city has strived to remove the title of “beauty queen” from the pageant, because it is about much more than physical looks. “It’s not a beauty contest,” Roberts said. “We truly strive and put a lot of effort into making it about the community and finding the best role model.”
This year’s contestants included Smart and Kruse, along with Miss Bishop contestant Nina Potter and Miss Teen Bishop contestants Kelsea Mae Martinez and Rosalind Cardenas.
Roberts said the contestants really begin working towards the pageant a month before hand, attending classes to learn what it takes to become a good role model and what the judges will be looking for at the event, and in the interview portion of the contest, which is held about a week before the pageant.
The five judges for this year’s event included Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter (who judged the interview portion of the contest, but was unable to lend his services for the remainder of the competition), Sierra Resort Property Management owner and broker Maggie Larson, The Inyo Register Publisher Dion Agee (who stepped in for Carter), former Whiskey Creek Events Planner Karen Cudney and Bishop City Councilmember and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Ellis.
Smart said Saturday that if she could sum herself up in three words, those words would be “witty, compassionate and determined.” Her platform in her bid for the title of Miss City of Bishop was “overall equality.”
“Everyone deserves the chance to prove themselves, no matter their background, race, religion or sexual orientation,” Smart said in her Miss City of Bishop biography. “No one person should be judged for being different, and opportunity and equality should be freedoms offered to everyone, not just those existing in the norm.”
For Smart, winning the title of Miss City of Bishop proves that she can do anything she puts her mind to. She said Saturday, before winning the title, that she believes she can be a good role model to community members because she is determined. “I have huge bars set for myself, and getting over them has made me who I am. My message is: never give up, no matter the obstacle – whether it’s a small bump in the road, or something as big as a close friend or relative telling you that you’ll never make it. Never stop trying. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, and it doesn’t matter what life has thrown at you, just trust me when I say, ‘You can’t stop trying.’”
Kruse, 16, is a student and a member of the volleyball team at Bishop Union High School and said that as Miss Teen City of Bishop, she would like to promote anti-bullying activities and serve as a role model for local students.
“I stand tall for anti-bullying, individuality, self-expression and many other important things,” Kruse said. “From being bullied myself and having gone through my family members being completely put down, demoralizing and having heard and dealt with excruciating situations in which one should not have to be put through, I am already sort of a ‘go-to’ person that people go to for any problems they may have …”
As Miss Teen City of Bishop, Kruse said she would do everything possible to set a good example and be a good role model. “I love to help people, and so I would want to help teens and young people with anything and do a prevention assembly or just a support group that we can talk and help each other,” Kruse said.
Kruse said three words that she would use to describe herself are “positive, driven and outgoing.”
Roberts said Kruse and Smart will officially step into their role as Miss City of Bishop and Miss Teen City of Bishop at the Bishop Christmas Tree Lighting and Street of Lights event and the Bishop Christmas parade.