By Beth Gohs
Out of 85 contestants to compete in the Miss Michigan USA Beauty Pageant, one of your own Boyne City natives, Sarah Gerberding, placed as first runner up on Sept. 27.
The Miss Michigan USA pageant is a separate beauty pageant than the USA Beauty Pageant; it is the organization of Donald Trump and continues onto Miss Universe.
“I took some time off and I graduated from Central Michigan University,” said Gerberding, who grew up in Boyne City. “I was living in Chicago modeling working for agencies and I worked as a choreographer. I decided to come back this year and compete for the Miss Michigan USA and I got first runner up.”
Sarah’s father is Wayne Gerberding, who works for the Charlevoix County Transit, and her mother is Kathie Gerberding, both of Boyne City.
The Donald Trump Miss Universe organization has onstage interviews, a swimwear showing and an evening gown display. Gerberding said there was no onstage talent portion.
According to the official miss universe website, there are preliminary pageants in each state but is not necessary to compete in any other pageants before the Miss Michigan Pageant.
“Ultimately, I want to represent our state as Miss Michigan USA and ultimately represent the country as Miss USA,” Gerberding said.
The winner of Miss USA moves to New York City for the year with Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA. They are paid to work for Donald Trump to help with charities and make appearances.
“I also want to work as a choreographer for the Miss Universe organization. I currently work as a choreographer for the prelim Pageant,” said Gerberding. “I put together the opening number dances and I put the show together with doing all the walking patterns. But if I’m competing that will open up doors networking.”
She added, “I ultimately want to run the national and international pageant working as a choreographer, so it’s a career.”
Gerberding said she became interested in beauty pageants in middle school, watching contestants show off their gowns when the pageants were on TV.
“I loved fashion and evening wear and I actually designed my own gown for this pageant—for Miss Michigan USA,” she said. “So I love being able to showcase my personal style and showcase my design.”
Gerberding’s past performances include:
• Miss Michigan Teen USA 2009 & 2010 1st Runner Up
• Miss Captivating 2010~National Winner
• America’s Perfect Teen 2011~National Winner
• Miss Michigan USA 2015 1st Runner Up
Gerberding majored in Entrepreneurship and minored in Dance at CMU and hopes she can find connections through the pageants and begin her career in choreography.
“I’m very business savvy and I love fashion, so my dream job is to be Miss USA working for Donald Trump through the Miss Universe Organization,” said Gerberding.
She added, “I want to work at the national and international level for the Miss Universe Organization.”
Almost 200 countries enter a contestant to represent their country and Miss USA and Miss Universe is broadcast by NBC Universal.