TOPEKA, Kan. – The 2015 Ms. Wheelchair Kansas, Carrie Sunday, recently attended the Ms. Wheelchair America event to compete for the national title.
Sunday, of Overbrook, joined with 24 other women vying for the opportunity to represent women who are wheelchair mobile in the United States. This annual event was held July 27-Aug. 2, at the Marriott in downtown Des Moines, Iowa. After an intense week of competition, networking, and empowerment, Sunday came away with many great memories, a new family of friends, and a new found commitment to advocate and educate people in our state.
Sunday is the 12th woman to represent the state of Kansas at the national competition since the creation of the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program in 2004.
While in Des Moines, Sunday participated in three personal interview sessions where she was scored based on her accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. She also gave a speech on her chosen platform, “Changing the Definition of Disabled”, and heard from speakers on a variety of topics related to leadership and advocacy.
She was also able to enjoy some fun activities – the 25 titleholders visited the Science Center, enjoyed two themed nights of activities and dancing, and participated in a Zumba! session led by Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2005, JoAnne Fluke.
The week culminated in the crowning ceremony, which was held Aug. 1, when Dr. Alette Coble-Temple, of California, was named Ms. Wheelchair America 2016. The other top four contestants were announced as follows: First runner-up, Lauren Compere, Mississippi; second runner-up, Sara Gaver, Florida; third runner-up, Kimberly Gaskins, Maryland; and fourth runner-up, Leslie Peoples, Georgia.
Sunday was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Kansas in March 2015. Since receiving her title, she has worked to fulfill the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas mission, which is to educate, advocate, and empower all people on a state level. She has been traveling and meeting Kansans of all ages, speaking to groups, and participating in local events. Some of her notable appearances have included speaking at the Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas Conference, participating in the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Parade, attending the Families Together Statewide Conference, cheering on the athletes at the Challenge Games in Derby, and throwing out the first pitch at the KC Diamond Softball Tournament in Topeka.
Sunday has also been mentoring Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas 2015, Delaney Murphy, throughout her year and both titleholders have been able to attend various events together. Delaney and her family were even able to make the trip to Iowa to cheer on Sunday at the national crowning ceremony.
Sunday is currently scheduling more appearances and will continue traveling across the state to spread her message of challenging stereotypes and celebrating the accomplishments of people with disabilities.
For more information, contact Carrie Greenwood, Ms. Wheelchair Kansas state coordinator, at 785-267-5982 or email@example.com. More information can also be found on the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas web site at www.mswheelchairkansas.org.
To see photos of Sunday’s experience at nationals, view the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas Facebook page, or view her blog at https://carriesundaymswheelchairkansas.wordpress.com.
Information thanks to Carrie Greenwood, Ms. Wheelchair Kansas state coordinator.