Monday, October 11, 2010

"I am the Queen of the World"

Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I have grown rather conceited over the past four months since becoming Miss Minnesota, please read on as you’ll see the title of this blog is not my words or thoughts…I promise! But, it is a great line so I just had to include it!

Last week, I visited Small Blessings Preschool in Detroit Lakes. I began by reading my favorite book, "The Giving Tree," and then I read their favorite book about a king who wouldn't get out of the bathtub (children’s literature has such interesting premises, but it certainly captures the attention of these little ones!). After storytime, the teacher asked the kids what I was the queen of. They were quick to shout back, "The whole world!" I laughed and gave them a second guess by providing the clue that I am the queen of the state where we live. So they replied with, "Detroit Lakes!" (Considering they are preschoolers and that is the town we were in, that was close enough!) The giggles and awe from that moment transferred to the piano performance I gave as they couldn’t believe how fast my fingers were going. I really enjoyed this appearance because it reminded me of sweet innocence and to not always take myself too seriously. Oh... and that it is also okay to believe that I am the "Queen of the World" for a day! :)

From the simple yet important inspiration provided by the preschoolers to the deep inspiration I receive from my concert tour, it was such an honor to bring the Night of Inspiration Concert into another community. Last week, the Maplewood community hosted a Night of Inspiration at Redeeming Love Church. One of the nominees, Stacie McBride-Cox, is a great friend and mentor of mine. Stacie has not only inspired me throughout the years, but so many others with the strength she has shown in overcoming her sister's tragic murder. She has shaped many young women into confident and well spoken individuals in the Miss America system, and has certainly played a major role in helping me prepare for the job of Miss Minnesota and Miss America.

The concert also showcased other touching stories like Emily, a sweet girl from Gillette Children’s Hospital, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 13 months old. Although her speech is affected by her condition, she communicates well, which certainly provided great inspiration for all of us. She is such a trooper! Another story was the Mayer Family who lost all three of their daughters in a car accident as the girls drove to their brother’s wedding. While I am not a parent and thus cannot fully understand or even imagine how that could feel, it hurts my heart to even think about it. Debbie Mayer has become a symbol of hope with her strength and has a whole platform and website in honor of her daughters:

Be sure to check out the complete stories at; they will be posted in the near future! All of the unsung heroes recognized at the concert had such powerful stories of strength, which I believe provided life perspective and a blessed feeling. These concerts never cease to amaze me from the constant inspiration I feel to the incredible talent that is showcased providing continued motivation to keep using our God-given gifts. I am so excited for my next Night of Inspiration concert taking place this Friday in Cambridge!

On a short note, I also had the opportunity to speak and perform for the sisters and almuni of the Sigma Alpha Iota Chapter. SAI is a sorority for musicians so I felt very much at home and welcomed as a fellow musician.

Finally, we added another title holder just yesterday who will compete for Miss Minnesota 2011...Miss North Metro, Bethany Beniek! Congratulations to her! She has worked incredibly hard and I know she will represent the North Metro with passion and drive. Congratulations also to Bailey Wachholz, the new North Metro Outstanding Teen! She truly is an outstanding teen who has shown incredible devotion to her platform of Alzheimer’s Awareness! Next up…Miss Twin Cities on Oct. 23rd. This was my local title heading into Miss Minnesota this year. I can't believe how the time has flown by! It is remarkable to think how much has changed since this time last year when I was preparing to compete for Miss Twin Cities. At that time, I could only wish and hope that I would have the opportunity to represent our great state and to compete for Miss America…it is still so surreal to be experiencing that dream!

I hope you are all enjoying this beautiful fall with our summer-like weather! I always love driving to appearances with the beautiful view of colored leaves on trees; it is simply breathtaking. Less than breath-taking, however, is the flu bug that can accompany this season (I just recovered from the flu myself), so stay well this season! I am sending healthy wishes your way!

Kathryn Knuttila
Miss Minnesota 2010

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