Iowa is glad that Kayla Helget came out of retirement - after an eight-year hiatus from competing in beauty pageants.
At the ripe old age of 26 - the youngest age at which she could compete - on the last weekend of February Helget won the title of Ms. Iowa US in competition in Minneapolis, along with contestants from North Dakota and Minnesota competing to represent their respective states.
It was actually former Avera Holy Family Hospital physician's assistant Ashlea McLeod who put the bug into the ear of Helget's employer at Fifth Street Salon, Bernie Duitsman, to have Helget compete for the title.
Kayla Helget, Ms. Iowa US, was honored at a reception Thursday night at Fifth Street Salon. Joining her were her employer, Bernie Duitsman, and co-worker, Mary Christensen.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann
So she did.
While some of the other contestants had competed in contests at lower levels, Helget competed at large. The competition was based on a 15-minute interview, swimsuit and evening gown competition and an on-stage question.
In the interview, Helget was asked to state her platform which included the reason she had entered and what she would do if chosen.
Helget's platform was to promote Special Olympics, and during the year she'll make at least one appearance a month around Iowa promoting that cause.
Summers, she'll be promoting Relay for Life - a cause for the pageant nationally. That should make the odds pretty good that she'll be found at the Emmet County Relay for Life in June.
Helget's reign continues for an entire year, until next February. She'll compete at the national level July 2-9 in Washington, D.C. If she should win Ms. US, then she'll travel around the country.
Helget's parents are Tim and Diane Helget and she has a son, Braxton; brother, Lucas; nephew, Owen; and niece, Adysen. Her grandparents are Cliff and Jean Peta of Estherville and Mary Helget of Cleghorn.
Fifth Street Salon hosted an open house reception for Helget Thursday night.