Meet Elise Elmblad, UW-P student & Miss Racine
University of Wisconsin-Parkside student Elise Elmblad remembers Jan. 5 as an emotional rollercoaster: a morning spent mourning a family friend; an evening spent being crowned Miss Racine.
"I honestly felt every emotion possible that day," Elmblad said. "That morning, I had to attend the funeral of a family friend who lost her battle with cancer. She was 24."
From that emotional low, Elmblad would later shed tears of joy when she was selected Miss Racine during an evening ceremony at Starbuck Middle School. The title was an important step to a goal she has been pursuing for two years.
"I competed in the Miss Kenosha Pageant the past two years," Elmblad said, adding that she conquered her natural shyness in order to vie for the title. "I've always been a really shy girl, so I really had to overcome that in order to go up on stage."
The "shy girl" aced the lengthy interview process, the evening gown, and fitness/ swimwear portions of the competition before impressing judges with "Think of Me" from "Phantom of the Opera" in the talent contest. Voice lessons and appearances in 15 musical productions gave her confidence for this part of the evening. (Elise sang the National Anthem before the Saturday, Feb. 2, basketball games against the University of Indianapolis, wowing the Alumni Day crowd.)
Since winning the title, Miss Racine has busy. Elmblad has attended or more Racine community event a week including the Big Chill, meeting Racine Police Chief Art Howell at a Martin Luther King Day celebration, the Bridal Extravaganza, Alumni Day at Parkside, and raising money for Children's Miracle Network at IHOP on National Pancake Day to name a few. She is also thinking of creative ways to raise money for her personal platform which is the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When she isn't putting in personal appearances, Elmblad is working with a personal trainer in preparation for the 2013 Miss Wisconsin Pageant. She returned to classes Feb. 4 to pursue another goal: her Bachelor of Sciences degree.
"I'm studying to be an occupational therapist; I'm in Applied Health Science with emphasis in pre-OT," she said. "I hope to work in southeast Wisconsin, either in Kenosha or Racine. So, I'm looking forward to that."
A Kenosha native, Elmblad transferred to UW-Parkside from UW-Oshkosh and immediately felt comfortable at the campus.
"I love Parkside. I'm glad that a chose to go here," Elmblad stated. "One thing I love about Parkside: you get that personal connection. Like I said, I'm a shy girl so I don't really know if my professors even know who I am. Maybe this [the Miss Racine title] will help."Elmblad and fellow UW-Parkside students Alyssa Bohm, Stephanie Parco, and Tajai Turner competed in Racine. She returns to Oshkosh beginning June 16 to vie for the Miss Wisconsin title.