Elizabeth Wise was able to get in one last ribbon cutting before she hangs up her Miss Minden sash Saturday night.
The 19-year-old freshman at University of Louisiana at Lafayette breezed into Minden Thursday on a cold front among snow flurries just in time to assist in the grand reopening of KASO/KBEF Radio before rushing off to Miss Minden practice.
"It was always a childhood dream to be Miss Minden," Wise said. "You don't realize how important it is until you have to give it away to the next deserving girl. You kind of become a protector of the crown."
Her first official duty as Miss Minden was to serve on the television panel for the St. Jude Auction - just a week after she won the crown.
"I had no idea what I was doing - they just said ring the bell," Wise said. "I did a meet and greet and worked the concession stand - and got nacho cheese on my sash."
During her reign Wise worked to bring awareness to ALS/Lou Gehrig's disease. The young woman who was literally born to dance watched her dancer grandmother lose her fight with the disease.
"I'm a dancer, she's a dancer - to see someone who is so aware of how important movement is, to see how hard it is for that to be taken away," Wise said.
She also promoted literacy, reading to students at Glenbrook School and at the Webster Parish Library.
Though she enjoyed competing for Miss Louisiana and hopes to again, she will save that grueling task for after finishing school.
"You have to look camera ready all the time - at 6 a.m., you have to be up, makeup and heels on," Wise said. "Then you don't get back until 11 (p.m.) and everyone stays up to talk and you don't go to sleep until 1 (a.m.)."
And then there's the strict diet to be able to rock a swimsuit under the bright lights of a stage.
"After swimsuit at Miss Louisiana, they had Johnny's Pizza," she said. "I ate eight slices. And after Miss Minden this Saturday, I'm eating pizza."
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