Woodbury has one ‘sweet’ princess
“Cupcakes, cookies, pies and tea. If you want something yummy just come visit me. I want to open up a bakery and make the world a sweeter place one tummy at a time. I’m Hailey Steele and I have all the right ingredients to be a super sweet national queen.”
Those are words Woodbury resident Hailey Steele, 7, will be uttering as part of her personal introduction next Thanksgiving when she heads to Walt Disney World to compete in the Miss American Coed (MAC) Miss American Princess pageant.
Hailey, who will be a second grader at Afton-Lakeland Elementary, was crowned the 2014 Miss Minnesota Princess during the state MAC pageant in March.
“I wanted to be in the pageant because I wanted to be Miss Minnesota and help other people,” Hailey said.
Hailey and her mom Julie shared the same reaction when Hailey’s name was read as this year’s 2014 Miss Minnesota Princess.
“I felt really happy, I almost burst out into tears,” Hailey said.
“I did the same,” Julie said.
According to Hailey’s biography, she is a straight-A student who likes swimming, hula hooping, baking, and doing arts and crafts.
Hailey wants to be a pastry chef and open her own bakery when she grows up, in addition to being a teacher.
“My bakery will be Hailey’s Yummy In Your Tummy Bakery,” she said.
MAC Pageants is a scholarship pageant system for girls and young women between the ages of 3 and 22 – princess, sweetheart, preteen, junior teen, teen and coed, and encourages and reinforces “the confidence and natural beauty that is within each girl,” according to the website.
MAC is a “natural pageant,” which means that makeup is not allowed for contestants under the age of 13.
“They don’t allow anything fake,” Hailey’s mother Julie said.
Judging is divided into three primary areas: one-third for poise and appearance in evening wear, one-third for personal introduction and appearance in interview wear and one-third for self-confidence, poise and personality in personal interview.
Contestants can also compete in additional optional contests. Hailey also placed first in talent for hula hoop dancing, academic achievement and community service.
For the community service contest, Hailey has made and sold over 700 beaded bracelets in order to raise money for the Give Kids the World village in Florida, which is where children stay when they travel to Walt Disney World as part of the Make a Wish Foundation.
“Mom helps me tie the knots,” Hailey said.
Hailey said she was inspired to help after she took a trip to Disney World and wanted to help other kids be able to do the same.
The money she raises will be used by the hotel to put on a weekly “Christmas” party and for unlimited trips to the hotel ice-cream palace.
“The community service is great because not as many kids are into that these days,” Julie said. “It’s made (Hailey) a lot more appreciative for what she has.”
At the national pageant, Hailey will still compete in the community service and academic achievement contests, but she will trade in the talent contest for scrapbooking and family art project.
Reigning Miss Minnesota
As the reigning Miss Minnesota Princess, Hailey will make a variety of appearances around the state and will participate in different events and activities, including Woodbury Days and the Washington County Fair.
“It’s exciting not knowing what this year is going to be,” Julie said. “She’s going to have such an opportunity this year to do things she normally wouldn’t be able to do."
Through the MAC pageant, Julie said Hailey has grown in confidence, her interview skills are better and she’s not as afraid to talk in front of others.
“When she gets on stage she’s just so confident and happy,” she said.
In preparation for the national Miss American Princess pageant, Hailey said she has been practicing her introduction.
“I hope I win,” she said. “I want to be the Miss American Princess.”
Visit www.gofundme.com/9sq980 for more information on Hailey Steele or to contribute to her community service project.