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Miss I-500 competes in Global United, donates 5K to Ronald McDonald

Miss I-500 Pageant crowns compete in Global United Pageant to help raise more than $5K plus wish list donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities

The Global United 2023 Live International Pageant was held in Minneapolis, Minn. Wednesday, July 19-22 to include the ladies of Miss International 500 Pageant.

Live International Pageant contestants  raised more than $5,000 plus wish list items to support families in need at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

The RMHC nonprofit charity helps families with children undergoing medical treatment. Its mission aligns with the Global United Pageant's effort to spread childhood cancer awareness through community fundraising activities.

The girls of the I-500 were honored as special guests at this year's Live International Pageant to promote the largest snowmobile race in North America — The 55th Running I-500 Snowmobile Race on the world's only one-mile high-banked oval ice track.

They arrived to RMHC in Minneapolis with monetary donations, as well as two cars jam-packed full of wish list items to include toiletry products, Ramen Noodles, hot chocolate, and much more.

"They put a call out for hot chocolate because the Ronald McDonald House has the air on all of the time," Global United Pageant Lifetime Queen, Miss I-500 Pageant Director Amanda Kemp said. "Seniors get too warm and need the air conditioning on, but the children going through chemo treatments get very cold. They mix the hot chocolate with Ensure to get protein into these babies, and to keep them warm."  

Seven women and young ladies of the I-500 competed in the Live International Pageant last weekend.

I-500 crowns Stacy Bishop, Camela Kemp, and Jenesis Kemp came along to encourage four other girls from Chippewa County: Global United Pageant Junior Pre-teen Princess Elizabeth Dombrowski of Dafter, Global United Pageant Little Miss Second Runner-up Joanna Dombrowski of Dafter, Global United Pageant Pre-teen Runner-up Mariah Donnay of Brimley, and Global United Pageant Junior Miss Pre-teen Madaline Sanborn of MN.

Elizabeth Dombrowski also holds the titles of Little Miss I-500 Princess and Pre-teen Miss Chippewa County Fair.

"This child is either eight or nine-years-old, and she holds three titles," Kemp said. "She does justice to each of them, running circles around other girls in these pageants. She does so much community service. As a pageant director, I expect an hour of community service from them each month. Elizabeth does that within the first six days. You have never met a child like her."

It was her second year competing in a Global United Pageant. She started her pageant career as an I-500 contestant around the age of four.

Little sister, Joanna Dombrowski, is in her first years of elementary school. She seems to be following in big sister's foot-steps. She ran on the platform of "No farms, no food" to represent pig farming, inspired by her family's AA Bison farm in Dafter.

The Dombrowski sisters donated meat to make the tacos and sloppy joes that everyone enjoyed last weekend.

This was Donnay's first year competing in both the Miss I-500 Pageant and Global United Pageant, shining as bright as a star.

"During our annual slumber party, Mariah sat in the corner because she was too afraid to mingle," Kemp said. "She had been bullied at school. The girls of the I-500 were so welcoming and kind that she decided to partake. These girls genuinely respect and love one another."

Donnay is 11-years-old and there was no one to compete against in her age group. She had a choice to either join the nine and 10-year-olds, or jump up an age group.

"I told her, 'It is going to be hard because you have never competed before," Kemp said. To which she replied, 'Mrs. Kemp, I want to learn.' Mariah had an easy win, but she said, 'No.' She won First Runner-up to my daughter, Jenesis, who has been competing since she was three-years-old."

Donnay was on her own special mission to spread her anti-bullying message with the world.

"When I had her up on stage, I asked how she would prevent bullying," Kemp recalled. "She gave me an adult answer. I am paraphrasing, of course: 'First, I would let the adults know. Then, I would stand up for my friends, and let them know that they are safe. We would work through it together in order to assure they are always happy and safe.'"

In addition to her new title as Global United Pageant Junior Miss Pre-teen, Sanborn wears the crown of Darling Miss I-500. This fourth-generation snowmobile racer rides to the Sault from Minnesota each year to compete in I-500 kids racing and pageantry.

Sanborn even won the Kids I-500 Snowmobile Race this year, right before hopping into a gown to win Darling Miss I-500.

"Her great-grandma was Mrs. 'Ma' Bosek, one of the original I-500 founders," Kemp said. "She was everyone's mom. That is how she got her name."

Arlene Adelle "Olsen" Bosek  died on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 at the age of 79. But in Sault Ste. Marie, Ma's legacy lives on.

Miss Sanborn takes after her great-grandmother in heart, passion, and volunteerism. She has collected numerous donations for the children of RMHC.

As a result, she won the Global United trophy for most donations collected.

"Madaline made toys as part of a 4-H project," Kemp said. "She brought two storage totes filled with little wooden robot dolls for the kids of the Ronald McDonald House to play with."

The four I-500 adults who competed in the Global United Live International Pageant were Amy Dombrowski, mother of the Dombrowski princesses, Brenda Eagle-Ransom, and Ginger Meyers-Stratton.

These ladies call themselves the "Crazy Chicks from 906." They are known around the local area for their charitable work fighting cancer.

Eagle-Ransom's mother, Margaret Eagle, opted to compete online.

'If someone experiences stage fright and does not want to go to Minnesota to compete, they can compete online," Kemp explained.

The mother and daughter duo also help out at Hospice of the EUP, making food for its residents. They also assist Kemp in collecting used prom and formal wear dresses for a homecoming giveaway every year.

Dombrowski surrendered her Global United Pageant Queen title over the weekend.

"Amy works exceptionally hard," Kemp said. "She believes in, 'No farms, no food. She works very hard at that, and is very passionate about feeding the community. When not on the family bison farm (A&A Bison), raising sustainable meat, she is at Salvation Army raising for its soup kitchen. Amy understands there are parents who can't afford the newest name brand clothes. She makes Salvation Army a place kids want to shop at."

Dombrowski will go on to compete in the Global United Zoom Pageant this Sept.

Stratton is the Chippewa County Health Department Administrative Assistant and wife of Chippewa County Prosecutor Rob Stratton. She won the Global United Community Service Ambassador title.

The Stratton family volunteers in the I-500 kitchen throughout race week to keep its volunteers well-fed.

Robin Lawless opted out of the annual Global United Pageant this year, due to taking on a new job.  

"Robin is a current online queen," Kemp said. "She was the 2021 Global United Pageant Peoples Choice Ambassador. The audience donated the most amount of money toward her."

Lawless represents the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).

"She is one of the people convincing the Michigan senate to approve Oral Parity for Cancer Drugs Bill," Kemp said.

According to the Michigan Legislature, this bill would provide parity pertaining to anticancer medications: "If a policy offered anticancer medications as a covered benefit, cost-sharing would have to be the same whether the medication was an infused or injected drug or one taken by mouth."

As a former teacher, Kemp never thought she enter the world of pageantry, let alone join with her daughters. This all changed when she realized the difference they could make in the lives of families suffering from a cancer diagnosis.

She went on to earn the President's Volunteer Service Award under Barack Obama in 2016. 

The community service award was established in 2003 by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize the impact of volunteers across the country.

"They say to 'always be yourself,'" said Kemp. "That is only good advise if you know who yourself is."

Kemp sought out to help young women learn to be happy with themselves and follow their dreams of making the world a better place to live.