Cream of the crop sought: Candidate registration for Miss Kona Coffee competition coming up

  • Miss Aloha Hawaii Katheryn Frederick and UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Competition director Ally Brown appear at Kona Commons Saturday to sign up contestants for this year’s pageant. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

The UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Program is seeking young women interested in participating in this year’s competition set for Nov. 5 at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. The event will also be livestreamed.

On June 26, Miss Aloha Hawaii Katheryn Frederick and pageant director Ally Brown were at Kona Commons to register candidates and answer questions about the competition. Another opportunity to sign up for the competition is this week.

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Because of COVID-19, there was no pageant in 2020, so Miss Kona Coffee Carly Yoshida and Frederick held the title for two years.

“It’s been a long two years, but I gained a lot of growth,” said Frederick.

Frederick said she entered the competition to share her message that authenticity is the most important thing and it will get you where you need to be.

“I entered to share my message with a larger audience. The time I spent as Miss Aloha Hawaii, I learned a lot about myself,” she said.

Even though she was unable to make the usual personal appearances crown holders enjoy due to the coronavirus, she has taken to writing and hosting a podcast to send a positive message so people don’t feel so alone.

“I didn’t enter thinking of it as a beauty pageant; I did it to spread my message with the community,” she said.

Frederick said she was very shy and reserved before entering the scholarship competition.

“It transformed me into the sparkly person I am today. I feel more confident,” she said. “It brings out things you don’t know are in you.”

Brown said there is no mold for a “perfect candidate.”

“It’s about being the best version of you,” she said.

Brown said the pageant is open to young women ages 17 to 25 (as of Dec. 31, 2022) who have aspirations for higher education and community involvement. They embrace the Miss America philosophy of “Preparing great women for the world and preparing the world for great women.”

The UCC Hawaii Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Program celebrates the Kona Coffee industry, and the titleholders, Miss Kona Coffee and Miss Aloha Hawaii are ambassadors who represent Hawaii Island’s culture and heritage. Candidates vie for scholarships and the opportunity to potentially compete in the Miss Hawaii and Miss America competitions.

Phases of the competition include private interviews, on-stage questions and social impact pitch, talent and evening gown competition. Scholarship opportunities total approximately $10,000 in a range of categories.

This year’s competition is being held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, which will be held Nov. 4 though 7. For more information on the competition or to register as a contestant, visit www.misskonacoffee.org, email Ally Brown, executive director, at misskonacoffeeorg@gmail.com, or call 808-796-1340.

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Another opportunity to register as a candidate in the November competition and talk with the director will be held at Kona Commons Shopping Center from 3-6 p.m. Thursday.

“You build confidence, have great support and a great opportunity for scholarships,” said Brown. “But mostly it’s about the experience. We are uplifting our next generation.”

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