All invited to 19th annual crowning of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas – Osage County Online | Osage County News

All invited to 19th annual crowning of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas

The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas crowning ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, 2024, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lawrence, Kan. The ceremony will be open to the public and free of charge. The ceremony will include platform speech presentations by the contestants; a keynote speech from Long Beach City Councilwoman and Ms. Wheelchair California 2012, Mary Zendejas; farewell from the current titleholders; and crowning of the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. McKenzi Davis, with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

The two contestants participating in the 2024 MWKS competition are Tamara Blackwell, of Bel Aire, Kan., and Bridget King, Topeka, Kan. The contestants will participate in a variety of activities March 22-24 to prepare for Sunday’s crowning. The contestants will be scored during four events: two personal interview sessions, a platform speech presentation, and on-stage questions. Judges will evaluate the participants based on their accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. The contestants will take part in a variety of informative sessions on such topics as empowerment, advocacy, and working with the media. They will also participate in a “Read with Ms. Wheelchair” event for children at the Raven Bookstore in downtown Lawrence at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 23, Children of all ages are invited to attend.

The mission of the MWKS program is to annually select one woman, who is wheelchair mobile, who will successfully advocate, educate, and empower all people on a state level. This is not a beauty contest, but rather a competition to select the most articulate, accomplished delegate who will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas. The crowned titleholder will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities. She will share her voice and platform with the community through presentations, public appearances, and interaction with the media. Her reign will ultimately lead up to an opportunity to attend the national competition in August, where she will represent Kansas and compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America.

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas will also be announcing the new Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. The Little Miss program gives the younger generation of 5-12 year olds the opportunity to educate, meet people, share their voice, and learn from adult role models. Olivia Woodard of Goddard, the current Little Miss, will pass her title onto the next young role model at this year’s ceremony.

Ms. Wheelchair America was created in 1972, and this is the 20th year that Kansas will be represented at the national competition. The reigning titleholder, Daija Coleman, of Atchison, Kan., has worked in the past year to empower Kansans and spread her platform of “Why Not Us? Why Not Now? Be An Advocate in Your Community.” She will say farewell at the crowning ceremony and will pass her crown on to the 2024 titleholder.

For more information, contact Carrie Greenwood, president and CEO, at 785-633-7255,, or see

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