Organizer plans Miss Council Bluffs pageant for August

Miss Iowa Mariah Cary of Burlington competed in the Miss America 2013 pageant on Jan. 12 in Las Vegas.

COUNCIL BLUFFS — A Council Bluffs man wants to give southwest Iowa women a better chance to be Miss Iowa.

Troy Fienhold-Haasis is working to organize a preliminary Miss Iowa pageant in southwest Iowa.

Fienhold-Haasis is the executive director of the Miss Council Bluffs Scholarship Program, a fledgling pageant whose winner will move on to the Miss Iowa competition.

Miss Iowa moves on to compete for the title of Miss America.

The Council Bluffs event will be one of only a few Iowa preliminaries west of Des Moines.

The event will be open to high school seniors age 17 and women ages 18 to 24. They will compete in a variety of categories, including interview, talent, evening wear, on-stage question and physical fitness in swimsuit portions, Fienhold-Haasis said.

All contestants also must have a community service platform, advocating for a cause.

“They often choose something that's meaningful to them, they get involved in the community and get the word out,” said Leslie Moore, who co-directs the Miss Iowa Scholarship Program with Amy McAreavy.

Added Fienhold-Haasis: “The program is a chance for women to get involved in their communities and make a positive impact.”

Fienhold-Haasis said he continues to look for board members for his organization. He hopes the first Miss Council Bluffs pageant will be held in August, and the winner would compete for Miss Iowa 2014. There also will be a Miss Council Bluffs Outstanding Teen scholarship pageant, a preliminary for the statewide and national event.

In 2012, the Miss America program awarded $45 million toward college scholarships, with the Miss Iowa program doling out more than $18,000. Moore said the state program had $530,020 in in-kind tuition scholarships available to contestants.

The 2012 Miss Iowa winner, Mariah Cary of Burlington, was the fourth runner-up at the recent Miss America competition.

“This is a wonderful organization with wonderful opportunities,” Fienhold-Haasis said when asked why he wanted to bring a competition to the city. “We want to make this something we can be proud of in Council Bluffs.”

There will be no fee to enter the Council Bluffs event, and the winner will receive scholarship money and other prizes.

For more information, visit the Miss Council Bluffs Scholarship Program Facebook page or go to

— World-Herald News Service

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