GENEROUS PAGEANT CONTRIBUTORS FOR 2022
Without the support and generosity of the following individuals, the Miss Czech-Slovak US Pageant would not exist. This colorful and entertaining national ethnic event stems from donations and sponsorships. This year we celebrate the 35th pageant and anticipate a strong and exciting competition. We have seven (7) outstanding contestants vying to be Miss Czech-Slovak US 2022-23. In addition, to the numerous hours volunteered by the pageant committee, the following donors have generously contributed to the Miss Czech-Slovak US pageant.
This year the pageant is thankful for the generosity of a variety of sponsors. The young lady crowned Miss Czech-Slovak US 2022-23 will win a scholarship of $2000 sponsored by the Czech Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago. A $250 educational scholarship will be presented to the contestant crowned the national queen in memory of John C. and Alice T. Rokusek, sponsored by Dr. Cecilia Rokusek.
The Miss Czech-Slovak US 1st Runner-Up will receive a scholarship of $1500, sponsored by the Czech Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago. The Miss Czech-Slovak US 2nd Runner-Up will receive a scholarship of $1000 sponsored by the Tim and Lisa “Karpisek” Messman of Unionville, MO in memory of Lillie Vesely, Richard Karpisek, and Kathy Kubicek.
The pageant contestants stay at the historic Hotel Wilber for three days. Each room sponsor contributes $250 towards the cost of the pageant weekend housing. This year’s rooms are supported by: T.J. Sokol Hall, Czech Language Foundation, Miss Czech-Slovak Minnesota Board of Directors, the Nebraska Czechs, Inc., Czech Heritage Society of Texas, the Oklahoma Czechs Inc., the Wharton County Czech Heritage Society of Texas, the Miss Missouri Czech-Slovak Organization, Wilber Care Center, KJZT Family Life, Tabor Chamber of Commerce and the Czech Slavnosti.
The pageant would also like to thank the following award sponsors. The late John and Lois Fiala of Lincoln, NE sponsor the Grand Talent Award which includes a $750 scholarship and Bohemian Crystal and a $500 scholarship and Bohemian Crystal for the Talent Runner-Up. Tim and Lisa “Karpisek” Messman of Unionville, MO support the Kroj category awards in memory of Lillie Vesely, Richard Karpisek, and Kathy Kubicek. Kroj awards include individuals awards for Accuracy and Knowledge which receive a $500 scholarship and garnets and awards for Family Story and Poise which will receive a $250 scholarship. A special Czech/Slovak gift will be presented to the Oratory Winner donated by Dr. Cecilia Rokusek, Slovak Honorary Consul of Florida, in memory of her mother Alicia “Fiala” Rokusek. The oratory winner will receive also receive a $250 cash scholarship donated by Candyce Vana Ingwersen. The John & Lois Fiala Spirit Award recognizes the contestant who best exemplifies the spirit of the Czech/Slovak Heritage. A $250 cash scholarship and Bohemian Crystal will be presented to this award winner sponsored by John S. Fiala on behalf of John and Lois’ grandchildren Adele, Lisa, John S, and Chris Fiala. TJ Sokol Hall of Wilber donates a $100 cash prize and Bohemian Crystal to the contestant with the best Sokol Routine Talent along with a $75 cash prize and Bohemian Crystal for the Sokol Runner-Up Award. Doris Ourecky of Wilber generously donated $1000 to the pageant.
The pageant would like to thank Candyce Vana Ingwersen, Esq. (1988 Nebraska Czech-Slovak Queen) and the Vana Family for her donation of $1,000 to the Miss Czech-Slovak US Pageant and Alumnae Association. Ms. Ingwersen dedicates her gift in memory of Emil and Betty (Sukovaty) Vana. A portion of Ms. Ingewesen’s donation supports the Oratory Award.
Gruntorad-Stastny Heritage Award: This award gives a $450 prize award and Bohemian Crystal to the contestant with the most significant involvement in their heritage. This award is sponsored by Jerry & Donna McNeil of Chatham, Ontario Canada, Jim & Caralee Gruntorad, Eldridge, IA, and Bob & Eulalia Dory, Colorado Springs, CO.
The Czech Alaska Society, and Olga and Peter Ptak, sponsor the Miss Congeniality Award a providing a scholarship and Bohemian Crystal.
Kathy Podsedink, Texas State Pageant Director, and Julius Kramaric, Pivovar Waco supported the Cultural Preservation Award. This award gives a $250 scholarship and Bohemian crystal.
A special thank you to the following businesses and organizations for their support of the general pageant fund. Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International donated $500, Security 1st Bank of Beatrice/Clatonia has generously donated $350, Maryann Sivak donated $250, First State Bank of Wilber donated $100, BetterLife donated $100, and Western United Mutual Insurance of Wilber donated $50. Food Mesto of Wilber donated $50 towards providing refreshments for the contestants.
The pageant committee would like to thank the following sponsors for their in-kind support. The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Lincoln Crete for housing the judges. Bradley Kalkwarf with Kalkwarf & Smith Law Offices, LLC for serving as the pageant’s legal counsel.
We are excited to recognize our "Little Sisters" who are escorts for the pageant contestants during the weekend. They are introduced during the pageant ceremonies and listed in the pageant program. The contestants and pageant committee attend a special breakfast sponsored in memory of Richard Mares on Sunday morning at St. Wenceslas Church. We would like to thank the Nebraska Czechs of Wilber for the use of the Outdoor Theater and gracious hospitality during the pageant weekend. The Czech Slavnosti provides generous print coverage for the Miss Czech-Slovak US Pageant throughout the year.
The pageant committee consists of National Pageant Director Alexandria Cerveny Sandall and pageant committee members: Brenda Cerveny, Ellie Cerveny, Debbie Koslowski, and Julia Ourecky. Other people who share their time and talents include Roger Chrans and Andrea Volf, who audit the scores. Annette Vanek Wallace and MaryElizabeth Lackey who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the pageant. Kurt Kiesel, Russ Rezny, John S. Fiala and Izzy serve as stage support. Lauren Gerik, Miss Czech Slovak US 2021-2022, Hayley Piroutek Miss Czech-Slovak US 1st Runner Up 2021-2022, and Addison Hejl Miss Czech-Slovak US 2nd Runner Up 2021-2022 will serve as hostesses to the contestants at the Wilber Hotel.
Everyone is invited to a post-pageant party at the Sokol Hall directly following the crowning ceremony on Sunday evening. A special thank you to Teri Shestak and Laura Barlow for hosting this post-party event.
All of the above-mentioned individuals and organizations are partners in America’s most colorful, exciting, and entertaining ethnic pageant.
We hope all will join us for the 2023 Miss Czech-Slovak US pageant on August 5-6 at 7 pm at Wilber’s beautiful outdoor theater.