Miss Kankakee Valley and Miss South Bend Pageants Held Sunday

Samantha Rife, Kethleen Raab, Katlynn Surfus, Tom Berg and Megan Smaltz

The 10th Annual Miss Kankakee Valley and Miss South Bend Scholarship Pageants were held in Knox Saturday afternoon.

The winners from the competition will now go on to the Miss Outstanding Teen and Miss Indiana Pageants in Zionsville next summer.

Announced as Miss Kankakee Valley this year was Samantha Rife, of Star City. Samantha attends Ball State University, where she is majoring in telecommunications and also is a member of the women’s track team. Samantha has also applied for another competition.

“I’ve applied to be on America’s Next Top Model,” she said. “I flew to L.A. a couple of weeks ago and I tried out and right now I’m just waiting to see the results. We’ll see how that goes.”

Announced as the Miss Kankakee Valley Outstanding Teen was Knox High School student Katlynn Surfus.

“I was definitely not expecting this at all,” said Surfus. “I thought I had it picked out in my head who was getting it and I’m so surprised! I’m so happy!”

The outgoing Miss Outstanding Teen is also a Knox High School student, Taylor Quella, who told the crowd about the amazing experience she had representing our area in Zionsville. Quella said was difficult ending her reign.

“It’s been a rough day letting go of all this and I want to jump back in it again. I”m going to try and win local again this year.”

The pageant was organized by Christy Messer, who herself was a Miss Indiana Pageant contestant.

Miss Indiana Jackie Jerlecki and WKVI's Tom Berg

“I have to say our Judges Chair just said this was closest, point-wise, competition that we’ve had in probably the last 10 years,” commented Messer. “It’s been wonderful. I’m excited to see what state brings us.”

In conjunction with the pageant is a Tiny Miss and Little Miss competition. Winning the Tiny Miss was Kayley Kilgore of South Bend, and winning the Little Miss was Kaytlayne Poorman of Ft. Wayne.

The Emcee was WKVI’s Tom Berg. In attendance was the current Miss Indiana Jackie Jerlecki of Goshen.

Photo provided by Peggy Bohac.