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Piper Sondreal crowned Miss Middle River 2019

Miss Middle River royalty from left to right are: Grace Brandon; Ashley Benke, second runner-up; Miss Middle River 2019, Piper Sondreal; Tessani Peterson, first runner-up; and Sarah Stanelle. (photo by Emily Wicklund)

Shown with Miss Middle River Piper Sondreal during the Goose Fest parade on September 28 are Bella Gerardy (left) and Sophie Sundberg (right). (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

“I entered the contest because I’ve been watching the pageant since I was little. I always saw myself participating but never obtaining the crown!” the new Miss Middle River 2019 Piper Sondreal, who was sponsored by Honker Flats, said with a big smile.

She has attended the GMR school since she was in kindergarten. This year, as a member of the senior class, Piper also is involved in cheerleading, Robotics, and theatre.

The daughter of David and Leslie Sondreal of rural Middle River, she is a sister of Paris, a ninth grader, and Deacon, a second grader.

A lot of practice and hard work were in store for the five candidates vying for the winners crown.

Piper commented, “We practiced interviews for four weeks with different community members who came in to help. We practiced talent as we could … we all practiced at the same time even if some couldn’t make it. I had to be sure and get some sleep on Friday night, the night before the pageant, because the contestants were up super early the morning of to get ready. It was a lot of fun – we had a blast!”

The one-shoulder, floor-length, dandelion yellow gown she wore in the pageant gown competition wasn’t her first choice to wear.

“The zipper broke on the one I was going to wear so I had to grab my gown I had worn to the prom instead!” she laughed.

For the talent portion, she chose to sing, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” by Barbara Streisand, using a CD background, karaoke style.

And the reason for selecting this song?

“It’s one that I sang a lot in the shower – it helped showcase the stronger vocal part,” she replied.

Piper’s platform speech was entitled “Full STEAM Ahead”.

“It focused on the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics education,” she said. “When I would talk about it, I said I was most inspired by being involved in STEAM activities such as First Robotics and math league. I have participated in both (activities) for four years.

Expressions of surprise, joy, and happiness swept over the crowd as Miss Middle River 2018, Aubre Berg, crowned the winning contestant, Piper Sondreal.

“I was very surprised … I hadn’t expected to win at all. I was hoping I would win one category but not all of them!” she exclaimed. “It was a full sweep!”

Other Miss Middle River contestants included: Grace Brandon, daughter of Beth and Tony Brandon, sponsored by Melby Properties; Ashley Benke, daughter of Dawn and Jeff Benke, sponsored by Midwest Seeding; Tessani Peterson, daughter of Robbi Peterson and Kim Hanson, sponsored by Peterson Farms, all of Middle River, and Sarah Stanelle, daughter of Deb and Dave Stanelle, Greenbush, sponsored by Middle River Community Theatre.

First runner-up winner was Tessani Peterson with Ashley Benke, second runner-up. Ashley was also chosen Miss Congeniality.

Congratulations to you, Piper Sondreal, as you begin your new reign as Middle River 2019. May it be a fulfilling and heartwarming experience.

To see the complete story, read the October 9 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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