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Tuesday, June 18, 22:46:17Login ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 123[4]567 ]
Subject: Miss Michigan gets ready to pass on her crown

By Marla Miller
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Date Posted: 06/13/05 10:18:50pm

Kelli Talicska, reigning Miss Michigan, put 50,000 miles on her car in the past year driving to various appearances.

The 25-year-old Auburn native feels she has accomplished her goal to serve and inspire Michigan residents and advocate for children who have speech, language and hearing disorders. She will crown a new Miss Michigan -- a moment that is bound to be bittersweet -- during Saturday's finals at the Frauenthal Theater.

"This year has been one of the most amazing years of my life," she said in a phone interview to promote this year's pageant. "I've spent this year as a servant to Michigan. It's hard to walk away from something that's been such a huge part of your life."

Talicska said she never grew up competing in pageants. Rather, at age 20, she decided to enter the Miss Auburn/Midland Area pageant at the prodding of contest organizers. She placed second runner-up and the journey began. She won three different local pageants, finally winning the Miss Michigan Scholarship Pageant as a representative of Kalamazoo County.

"I started competing to earn money for college," she said. "Then it became an opportunity for me to speak out publicly on my values and on behalf of people who are speech, language and hearing impaired."

Talicska holds bachelor's and master's degrees in speech-language pathology from Western Michigan University and feels passionate about her chosen profession. She recently accepted a job as a speech-language pathologist in a private California clinic and plans to move to the West Coast in July with Miss America contestants from Kansas and Missouri.

"Miss America was a huge highlight," she said. "I made some great friends. They are all hardworking women who want to make a difference and have found a way to do that through the Miss American Organization."

Her platform, Speech, Language, and Hearing: Foundations for Life, took her to Lansing to help advance legislation that would require state licensing for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. Talicska also served on Gov. Jennifer Granholm's Council on Health and Physical Fitness and helped plan this year's Labor Day Bridge Run.

As Miss Michigan, she spoke to 13,000 students on behalf of Texas-based Acquire the Fire youth ministry, and promoted Right Decisions, Right Now and Character Building with Wodney Wat in Michigan's schools.

Other highlights included singing the national anthem at a Detroit Pistons-Indiana Pacers playoff game, appearing in America's Thanksgiving Day Parade, attending the International Auto Show, and speaking at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's national convention in Philadelphia.

Despite her travels, Talicska kept her home base in Muskegon, living with host parents Bob and Mary Kendall for most of the year. The couple said Talicska has become like a daughter to them. They have hosted the state winner for the last three years and still keep in touch the women.

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Re: Miss Michigan gets ready to pass on her crownAmy06/27/05 8:49:26am

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