Sunday to serve as spokesperson and advocate for people with disabilities
Ms. Wheelchair Kansas
TOPEKA – An Overbrook woman was crowned as the 2015 Ms. Wheelchair Kansas during a ceremony held March 15, at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, in Topeka.
Carrie Sunday, of Overbrook, received her crown after participating in four judging sessions and other activities throughout the three-day event held March 13-15.
The weekend concluded with a formal crowning, when Sunday was chosen as the new titleholder, and fellow contestants Keara Hockman, of Wichita, and Jessica Soderlund, of Oakley, were recognized for their accomplishments. The first Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas was also announced at the ceremony. Delaney Murphy, of Ottawa, will work alongside Sunday in the coming year to empower Kansans with this new title.
The crowning ceremony was attended by more than 150 family, friends, and community members. The event consisted of platform speeches by each of the three contestants, and two on-stage questions. The audience enjoyed a slide show of memories from the weekend; a keynote speech from Tiffany Nickel, Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2010; a tribute to longtime committee member Rebecca Branam; and a farewell from the 2014 MWKS titleholder, Bridgid Schwilling, of Leavenworth.
As the new titleholder, Sunday wants to make a mark on this world and encourage people with disabilities to live life to the fullest. Sunday, who sustained a spinal cord injury in 2003, is a wife and mother of a toddler. She is also a speaker, volunteer, employee, artist, and advocate. She lives in Overbrook and works as the quality systems coordinator for Innovia Films, Inc. She is also in the beginning stages of opening her own photography business. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Media from Washburn University.
Sunday is dedicated to making her community a supportive place for all members and has been a volunteer with the Silverbackks group for two years. She wants to encourage people with disabilities to take every opportunity to be happy and live life on their own terms.
Sunday will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas in the coming year. She will strive to educate, advocate, and empower all people in our state. She will have the opportunity to travel throughout Kansas educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities, and share her platform of “Changing the Definition of Disabled” with Kansans of all ages. With this platform, she will work to break down stereotypes of people with disabilities. Sunday will ultimately represent Kansas in the Ms. Wheelchair America competition, held in Des Moines, Iowa, in July, where she will compete for the national title alongside 30 other women from varying states.
Delaney, the new Little Miss, is an enthusiastic 10-year-old from Ottawa who was born with spina bifida. She attends school at Garfield Elementary, is a member of Sacred Heart Church, and will be involved in the Miracle League Fields this summer. Delaney has been involved in a Make a Wish Walk and is a supporter of the Rodney White Children’s Foundation. She has also been a MWKS volunteer for many years. Delaney enjoys making a difference and, when she loves something, it shows inside and out!
Delaney will work alongside Sunday to show the capabilities of people with disabilities. She will empower people of all ages, especially young people in Kansas.
To schedule an appearance or presentation by the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas or Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas, contact Carrie Greenwood, state coordinator, at 785-267-5982 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, see www.mswheelchairkansas.org.