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Miss Morris, Miss Midwest among 15 vying for Miss Minnesota crown

A full week of events began Monday for the 15 contestants competing for the title of Miss Minnesota 2008.

The contestants include Bethany Tickle, of Morris, and Kelsey Malecha, of Apple Valley.

Tickle was named Miss Morris and Malecha was named Miss Midwest during contests in July 2007 in Morris.

Miss Minnesota contestants will be making appearances throughout the City of Eden Prairie and around the metro area this week.

Monday's appearances include an evening Bowling Pizza Party in Eden Prairie. Contestants are also being filmed for the competition on Saturday evening.

There are 15 contestants from around the state of Minnesota competing for the title of Miss Minnesota 2008. The winner of the competition will participate in the Miss America competition in January 2009.

Jennifer Hudspeth, Miss Minnesota 2007 will crown her successor during the final competition on Saturday, June 14 at the Eden Prairie Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are available for both Friday night preliminary competition and the final competition on Saturday night on line at

Tickets will also be available at the box office.

The Miss Minnesota Scholarship program is a franchise of the Miss America Scholarship Organization.

Here are profiles for Tickle and Malecha:

Bethany Tickle

Age: 20

Hometown: Morris

Education: Minnesota State University Moorhead, sophomore - Speech Language Pathology; Morris Area High School

Platform: Reading is Fun

Scholastic/Career Ambition: Obtain a Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology; To be able to help people, especially children, speak with confidence and speak/communicate to their best ability.

Talent: Dramatic Vocal-"Les Poissons"

Accomplishments: "Pheasants Forever" state poster contest runner up for two consecutive years; Named "Most Dedicated Swimmer" for three years; Received "Best Research Paper" award at state science fair; Named "Outstanding Choir Member" for three years; Received senior class's "Choral Music Award;" Have lettered in swimming and choir; Have received superior ratings at choir contests for four consecutive years for solo and ensemble performances; Received "Outstanding" and "Starred" performances at One-Act play competitions

Interesting Facts: Cancer survivor for six years; Love all animals, especially my Shih-tzu Suki; Can do an interesting "butt walk;" Can put feet behind head; Have large scar on right leg

Kelsey Malecha

Age: 23

Hometown: Apple Valley

Education: University of Saint Thomas, 2007 Graduate - Bachelor of Science in Real Estate Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication; Apple Valley High School - 2003

Platform Issue: Financial $marts: Give Yourself Credit

Scholastic/Career Ambition: Obtain Member of Appraisal Institute (MAI) Designation - A 10-Year Program; Become an Appraisal Institute Instructor and a Financial Educator

Talent: Tap Dance - "There's No Business Like Show Business"

Accomplishments: Creator of and "Five Steps to Achieve Financial $marts" Seminar; Toured with "Sammy the Saver Rabbit" during Financial Literacy Month; Representative on Capitol Hill for Financial Literacy Day; Financial Literacy Speaker at Minnesota Business Educators Conference; Speaker in: 42 classrooms, seven Rotary Clubs, 12 corporate and non-profit events; Two-time All-Conference Dancer Award; Defeated my dad in tennis!

Interesting Facts: Studied Theology in Hawaii; Danced at a New York Giants game; Judged Best Prep Idol Scholarship Contest; Full-blooded Czech ancestry; Co-piloted a float-plane; Experienced deep-sea fishing.