The Miss Kansas Premiere event was held Aug. 9 at the V.J. Wilkins Family Center for the Arts at the Burford Theatre in downtown Ark City.

This year’s Miss Kansas, Hannah Klaassen, chose her hometown for her premiere, which doubled as a fundraiser dinner.

Her parents, Dr. Paul and Lisa Klaassen, kicked off the night by thanking those in attendance and saying grace over the meal.

Guests at the event enjoyed dinner and a cash bar before viewing a live show filled with local talent.

In addition, there were silent auction items, including jewelry, art and more — the proceeds from which went to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The Miss America Organization’s chosen platform, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is an American nonprofit organization that raises money for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues.

Pageantry and reminiscence

The premiere started with a video highlighting the recent Miss Kansas pageant in Pratt.

Attendees were able to view the pageant from the inside with clips from rehearsals that took place during the week prior to the pageant.

This was followed by the introduction of the night’s mistress of ceremonies, Kristen Boxman.

Klaassen and Boxman grew up together, performing in music theater. Boxman reminisced about their days on stage together, saying she always was cast as the “bad girl” on stage and Klaassen’s older sister always had been the villain.

“Hannah (Klaassen) was always the orphan,” Boxman joked.

Talented performances

The night’s entertainment began with Klaassen performing “I Got Sun in the Morning,” from “Annie Get Your Gun.”

She sang the piece while accompanied by Cowley College music instructor Steve Butler.

Photo by Jeni McGee

The youngest performer of the night was Alice Paton, the daughter of Andy and Melissa Paton.

Alice, who is a first-grader, performed “A Million Dreams” with Winfield High School music teacher Matt Berthot. The duo also were accompanied by Butler.

“Talent doesn’t come in just one size,” Boxman said.

Paton’s grandparents, Dr. Nick and Christie Rogers and Mark and Deb Paton, also were in attendance.

Other entertainment for the event included:

  • a dance performance from Corinne Brewer, Miss Metro Wichita;
  • a vocal and ukulele performance by Candace Sweetwood, Miss Ark Valley;
  • “My Girl,” performed by Butler; and
  • a duet performed by Elise Brewer and Page Butler.

Klaassen caps it off

The night wrapped up with a recording of Klaassen’s being crowned Miss Kansas and a final performance from the pageant queen.

She gave a sneak peak of her talent for the upcoming Miss America Pageant.

“I’m just in awe of all the many, many people who have so generously given of their time, talents, facilities, abilities and resources to help it all come together,” Klaassen posted on Facebook prior to the event.

Some of the individuals who helped to put the event together were thanked on stage, including the individuals who helped behind the scenes.

The venue was donated for the event, but all of the proceeds from the cash bar went to Burford Theatre Arts.

All of the food also was donated, and the remainder of the event proceeds from ticket sales went to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

This amount totaled nearly $7,800, it was announced, although some cash donations had yet to be counted.

In addition to the premiere, Klaassen also appeared at the Arkansas City Police Department’s DARE Camp on Aug. 9.

She will make more than 400 additional appearances this year as Miss Kansas.

Klaassen’s next public appearance will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Aug. 12 at Ark City Dance, located at 215 N. Summit St. in downtown Arkansas City.

She will be presented with a ceremonial key to the City of Arkansas City at 3 p.m. during the event.