GENEROUS PAGEANT CONTRIBUTORS FOR 2021
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 34th pageant and anticipate a strong and exciting competition. We have eight (8) outstanding contestants vying to be Miss Czech-Slovak US 2021-22. 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 2021-22 will win a cash scholarship of $2000 sponsored by Lisa “Karpisek” Messman and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago. A $250 educational scholarship award will be presented to the contestant crowned the national queen in memory of John C. and Alice T. Rokusek, sponsored by Dr. Cecelia Rokusek.
The Miss Czech-Slovak US 1st Runner-Up will receive a scholarship of $1500, sponsored by BetterLife (formerly Western Fraternal Life of Cedar Rapid, IA), 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 Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Chicago.
The pageant contestants stay at the historic Wilber Hotel for three days. Each sponsor contributes $250 towards the cost of a room. This year’s rooms are provided by: T.J. Sokol Hall, Doris Ourecky, 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, Czech Heritage Foundation of Cedar Rapids 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 donated $2000 to the pageant in memory of Lillie Vesely, Richard Karpisek, and Kathy Kubicek. A portion of this donation supports the Kroj award winners. Both the Americanized and Authentic Kroj awards winners receive a $500 scholarship and Bohemian Crystal. A special Czech/Slovak gift will be presented to the Oratory Winner donated by Dr. Cecelia Rokusek, Slovak Honorary Consul of Florida, in memory of her mother Alicia “Fiala” Rokusek. The oratory winner will receive also receive a $250 cash prize 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 fund.
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 new Cultural Preservation Award. This award gives a $150 scholarship and Bohemian crystal.
A special thank you to the following businesses and organizations for their support of the general pageant fund. Security 1st Bank of Beatrice/Clatonia has generously donated $350, First State Bank of Wilber donated $100, Western United Mutual Insurance of Wilber, and the Phillips Czech Slovak Festival Committee donated $50. Jane and Dennis Schroeder in memory of Walter and Helen Baer, Camille Klasek, and Bernard Klasek. Food Mesto of Wilber donated $50 towards providing snacks 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 leads as the Master of Ceremonies for the pageant. Kurt Kiesel, Russ Rezny, and John S. Fiala serve as stage support. Anna Tombazzi, Miss Czech Slovak US 2019-2020, Jerusha Brown Miss Czech-Slovak US 1st Runner Up 2019-2020, and Acacia Angelo Miss Czech-Slovak US 2nd Runner Up 2019-2020 will serve as hostesses to the contestants at the Wilber Hotel.
We hope all will join us for the 2021 Miss Czech-Slovak US pageant on August 7-8 at 7 pm at Wilber’s beautiful outdoor theater. 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.