Although Lela Killion had never been in a pageant before, when the Miss Dodge City and Miss Cowboy Capital Pageant came around, she seized the opportunity.
“I realized how expensive [school] was and I thought 'Why not? What do I have to lose?'” Killion said.
Killion came away from the pageant with a Miss Cowboy Capital title.
Although Lela Killion had never been in a pageant before, when the Miss Dodge City and Miss Cowboy Capital Pageant came around, she seized the opportunity. “I realized how expensive [school] was and I thought 'Why not? What do I have to lose?'” Killion said. Killion came away from the pageant with a Miss Cowboy Capital title. Held on Jan. 4 in Dodge City, the Miss Dodge City and Miss Cowboy Capital pageant is a scholarship pageant where participants compete in a number of activities, including a swimwear competition, interview, evening wear, on-stage questions and talent. Through the pageant, $9,200 was raised in scholarship money for local college-bound students. There were a total of eight girls featured in the competition. Killion said the pageant went well. “It felt awesome to be there and feel so much love from the community,” she said. To prepare, Killion practice her walk and speech, exercised and ate healthy foods, and prayed. A senior at Dodge City High School, she took steps to compete at the same level as her older peers. “I had to act a lot older than I really am and I had to practice being comfortable in my own skin,” Killion said. “I thought, either way God's got it under control,” she added. For Killion, faith was a big part of what got her through the competition. A non-denominational Christian, Killion notes her faith as one of the primary reasons for her success. “It's really changed my life and I think that's the main reason I won Miss Cowboy Capital is so I can be a light to people and so God can work through me,” she said. Killion's platform was “Standing Strong In Purity.” She said she chose the platform because she felt it was important for youth to be educated on why it's important to stay pure, and that it's OK to make decisions that are different from those of one's peers. For her talent, Killion preached about overcoming life struggles and coming out as a better person. “I chose it because that's what I'm good at,” she said. “I like to have a special connection with a person especially when it draws them to God.” To prepare for Miss Kansas in June, Killion will have to change her talent and has decided to play the flute, something she has been doing since fifth grade. By winning Miss Cowboy Capital, Killion earned 16 credit hours to Dodge City Community College, which she plans to use this summer. She also received $1,000 in scholarship money. Killion has been accepted to Manhattan Christian College, which she plans to attend in the fall. “I really just want to be a role model for kids in the community,” Killion said. “I want them to know that they can do anything. It felt awesome to be supported and loved by them.”