Manti girl wins Miss Heart of Utah pageant
Passion for platform is personal for newly-crowned queen
RICHFIELD—Bailey Simons of Manti has a passion for a special kind of giving, and that passion was a big factor in her being crowned Miss Heart of Utah at the Sevier Valley Center on Saturday, Sept. 17.
“Bailey will be a fantastic representative for the Heart of Utah,” Dani Hallows, pageant director, said. “She is an accomplished pianist and she is truly passionate about her platform, organ donation. ”
Miss Heart of Utah, now in its second year, is a preliminary pageant in the Miss America series and is open to young women in nine counties, including Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, Emery, Carbon, Beaver, Juab, Piute and Millard who have previously participated in a local pageant.
While the Miss Sanpete pageant in Sanpete County is affiliated with Miss Utah and Miss America, some of the nine counties do not have affiliated pageants, Hallows explains.
The Miss Heart of Utah offers an additional chance for a Sanpete County girl, and chances young women in counties that don’t have affiliated pageants, to get on the Miss America track.
Having been named Miss Heart of Utah, Simons will move on to compete in Miss Utah next June. Kaytie Nielson of Fairview, Miss Sanpete County for 2016, will also compete for Miss Utah.
Simons participated in the Miss Manti Scholarship Pageant in 2015 and was chosen as third attendant to Miss Sanpete in August.
“I have been in the pageant world a little over a year now, but participating in them isn’t about the title necessarily, it’s what you are willing to do to make a difference,” Simons said. “I decided to run for one specific reason, to implement my platform, which is “Save Lives, Change Lives: Organ Donation.”
Simons says she chose her platform after her older brother, Brady, was killed in a tragic car accident at 19. He was a registered donor and was able to donate five organs and his corneas.
“I have noticed that people don’t truly understand the importance or the impact organ donation has on us,” Simons said. “That’s why I want to make a difference, to show them that by simply registering, you are making a difference. It may not be right now, but it will come. I never knew that my brother [Brady] would impact and save as many lives as he did.
“Letters from recipients let me know the powerful impact Brady’s decision had on others,” Simons said. “I want to make a difference not only in my life, but in all those who are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. They need people like me and you to help them out. They can’t do it alone and neither can we.”
Simons, who is the daughter of David and Allison Simons of Manti, graduated from Manti High with a 4.0 GPA. She was very active in athletics and academics.
She played high school basketball, golf, softball, track and tennis, and took state in tennis in second doubles. She was also a Manti High Sterling Scholar last year in social sciences.
She is now attending Snow college and says she wants to become a biochemical/ biomedical engineer.
“She gets asked to participate in a lot of scholarship pageants but she debated and decided to do Miss Heart of Utah and she is so happy she did it,” her mother, Allison Simons, said. “The judges saw something special in her and her passion for her platform.
“There is a lot of good that comes out of doing these pageants, in that it helps with your self confidence, interview skills and to show your passion for your platform.. she has made a lot of friendships and has a fun time.”
Simon’s first attendant in the Miss Heart of Utah pageant is Keaten Mickelsen of Salina and her second attendant is Marissa Richardson of Nephi.