Carley Knapp in the Central Kitsap Reporter

June 13, 2009

Tiny Miss set to win big in Dallas39526NewS_93_20090611151536_TinyMiss1_20090612
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
Jun 11 2009, 3:20 PM · UPDATED

Washington state royalty lives in Seabeck.

Three-year-old Carly Knapp won the Tiny Miss Washington International Girl competition in April and the Knapp family will head to Dallas later this summer to cheer Carly on as she competes for the Tiny Miss International Girl crown.

Carly’s mother, Melinda, said the Washington State International Girl competition was Carly’s first pageant and they could not believe it when she won.

“We were kind of shocked,” Melinda said. “We weren’t expecting her to win, but she wanted a crown.”

Melinda said she and her husband Don entered Carly into the pageant to help her with her speech. The International Girl competitions are “natural” pageants, as opposed to the “glitz” pageants depicted on television.

“There’s no makeup allowed until you’re a teenager and then it has to be moderate. They have to look like little girls,” Melinda said. “When most people think pageants, they think ‘Toddlers and Tiaras.’”

In order to win the Tiny Miss title, Carly had to show off sportswear and party wear outfits. Melinda said party wear is “nothing more than an Easter dress.”

Contestants Carly’s age also interviewed and had playtime with the judges.

“She didn’t have to do a talent, but she sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ for one of the judges,” Melinda said with a smile. “One person said she owned the stage.”

Don said the natural pageant was a good opportunity for Carly to interact with girls her age.

“It’s a good social experience,” he said.

Carly, a Green Mountain Elementary preschool student, won more than just the Tiny Miss title. She also took home prizes for prettiest smile and most photogenic.

Melinda said they are going to buy a few new dresses for the national pageant, but that’s it.

“It’s just what she is, she is,” Melinda said. “We’re not preparing her, we’re not training her to do anything.”

The Knapps are raising money to get to the national competition in Dallas. Melinda said they hope to raise $500-$1,000 to cover the airfare.

Washington International Girl is coordinating a garage sale Saturday, June 20 at the Christian Life Center on Lincoln Avenue in Port Orchard to raise money for the national pageant participants.

“All the queens from around the state will be there having their own tables,” Melinda said.

Carly is excited to compete in the Tiny Miss International Girl competition the first weekend of August. Melinda said “as long as she’s having fun,” Carly will continue to compete in natural pageants.

“If she doesn’t want to do a pageant, she’s done,” she said. “She might decide when she’s 4 she’s done or this might be her last one.”

Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer Rachel Brant can be reached at or (360) 308-9161.


Jessica in the Pierce County Hearld

May 7, 2009

jessicaSumner girl wins big
In her first-ever pageant, Jessica Furnstahl takes the crown
Avani Nadkarni
Published: May 6th, 2009 09:01 AM

Colleen Carroll
Shari Furnstahl supports her daughter Jessica, who won first place in the Washington State International Girl competition.

Shari Furnstahl is well aware of the stereotypes about child pageants.

“I was a little bit resistant at first,” Furnstahl said when her 9-year old daughter asked to compete in the Washington State International Girl competition. “I had seen what you could call the ‘glitz pageants’.”

Furnstahl and husband decided to look into the contest further. As part of a close-knit family, Furnstahl wanted to make sure competing in the pageant would be the best decision for not only her daughter Jessica, but for her 14-year-old son and 5-year-old twin daughters.

After researching the competition, however, they decided it would be “a good fit for us.” In the Little Miss Division, for girls ages 7 to 9, makeup was eschewed, clothes were conservative and the focus is on the scholarship aspect.

So Jessica Furnstahl competed in her first-ever pageant, held April 17-19 at the SeaTac Marriott Hotel, and to her surprise, won.

“When it got down to me and another girl, we weren’t too sure who would win,” she said, smiling. “But I won.”

The pageant process was grueling, but the Crestwood Elementary third grader said she wasn’t very nervous. The first day of competition, she had an interview, and was asked questions about her favorite movie and what she likes to eat. Although the Furnstahls had no idea what kind of questions would be asked, Furnstahl would practice with her daughter as she drove her to dance class in Auburn.

“She’d ask me what I’d do with $1 million, questions like that, so I could practice,” Jessica Furnstahl said.

For the talent portion of the contest, held on the final day, she decided to sing “The Wizard and I” from the Broadway hit musical “Wicked,” a favorite in the Furnstahl home — Furnstahl and all three of her daughters belt out tunes from the musical as she drives them to classes at Auburn Dance Academy and the family plans to attend the show when it comes to Seattle in the fall. While singing onstage, Jessica Furnstahl wore a dress created for her by grandmother Linda Pressey, who lives in Puyallup.

“I want to be a singer like (country band) Rascal Flatts or Carrie Underwood,” Jessica Furnstahl said. “They’re good singers but they haven’t really done anything bad so (the focus) is on their songs.”

If that career path falls through, she said she wants to be a special education teacher, just like her mother. During Jessica Furnstahl’s spring break, she went with her mother to the Auburn School District middle school where she works and interacted with the special needs students. As her mother tells the story, the young girl’s face lights up; clearly, she enjoyed the experience.

Jessica Furnstahl isn’t sure if this will be her first pageant of several, or her last one. As winner of the state International Girl pageant, she will be heading to Dallas in late July to compete nationally, where, if she wins, she would receive a $5000 scholarship. After that contest, she — and her family — aren’t sure if they’d like to continue.

“I think it’s a great thing, but you have to keep a balance,” her mother said. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with competing as long as she realizes she’s far more important than the banner.”

Jessica Furnstahl agreed.

“She’s not a regular pageant mom,” she said, eliciting laughs from her mother.

It’s clear that her family’s support system is important to the little girl. Although her older brother couldn’t attend the competition, she was furiously texting him throughout. And while she didn’t need a platform in her division, her brother’s childhood medical struggle with a cleft lip has prompted her, and the family, to support Operation Smile. If she does continue with pageantry, she’d like this to be her platform, she said.

For now, however, the Jessica Furnstahl is preparing for the Dallas contest — but not at the expense of her other hobbies. She’s still taking jazz, ballet, tap and hip-hop lessons at her dance school, playing video games and soccer with her big brother and being a regular third grader.

Win or lose in Dallas, Jessica Furnstahl has her own fan club right here in Washington.

“During the competition, the whole time,” she said. “There were these tiny toddlers from the (younger division) that kept following me around!”

NOT Toddler and Tiaras!!

March 6, 2009

International Girl Youth Development Pageant – We are not a Toddler in Tiaras Program –
We are Natural Pageantry at it’s Finest!

International Girl is a program that offers something for everyone involved. Our
participants compete on local, state, and national levels. They perform at many events
nationwide, including Christmas in Branson, Six Flags over Texas, MardiGras, and numerous state Fairs, Festivals and Parades. International Girl continues to offer the total
package program as well as the International Beauty Division. Our new and improved
optional categories have been created to showcase a child’s talent and the opportunity to
capture as many titles as possible.

Washington – Oregon State Finals
April 17-19, 2009
Hurry Our Early Bird Special Ends March 1st, 2009.
Send in your Deposit by then to Enter EVERYTHING.
The Early Bird Special has a $100.00 Savings Value.

Our Washington & Oregon State Finals will be held with the highest quality of
competitions, meal functions and the Exciting International Girl Themed Girly Girl Party!
Our State Pageant is a place where contestants, guests & families will get the opportunity
to see old friends and meet new ones. We want you to leave with lasting memories of how
much fun the entire family had participating with International Girl.

The Seattle Airport Marriott Hotel will be hosting our 2009 WA-OR State Finals. 3201
South 176th Street – Seattle, Washington 98188 USA Phone: 1-206-241-2000 Toll-free:
Seattle offers a wide selection of places to visit including: Seattle Center & Key Arena, Mt.
Rainier, South Center Mall, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Pike Place Market (Open Air
Market), Woodland Park Zoo, Tillicum Village, Seattle Chinatown / International District,
Seattle Space Needle and Experience Music Project. Seattle also offers exciting attractions
and recreation, museums, shopping, entertainment, and Restaurants.

Your WA State Directors & Staff have been working to make sure this will be an event to
remember! Come join us as we say farewell to our 2008 Wa Royalty & crown our new 2009
WA and 2009 OR Overall & Beauty Royalty (Each State will have its own Royalty).

We look forward to having you all join our International Girl Family!

Please email us at to receive your copy of our 2009 State
Paperwork. Please include child’s name, age & mailing address.
Contact your WA State Directors:
Tracy Hales – 360.600.6725
Lisa Williams – 253.223.648

For more information about our program visit our website at
or our National website


Dallas / Ft. Worth, Texas has won the bid to host the 2009 National Finals. DFW offers a
wide selection of places to visit including, Six Flags over Texas, Hurricane Harbor, Dallas
Zoo, World Aquarium, and the Galleria Dallas. Our host hotel is the Marriott at Champions
Circle. Here, you will find yourself amid a world of exciting attractions and recreation,
including world-class museums, exceptional shopping and entertainment, and renowned
performing arts centers. Walk across the street to Texas Motor Speedway or visit the
famed Sundance Square and its many fine stores and restaurants. A short drive will take
you to Southlake Town Square and some of the best outlet shopping in the country at
Grapevine Mills Mall.

The 2009 International Girl National Finals will be held July 28th – August 2nd and will be
like no other. Our team of directors have been working around the clock to make sure it
will be an event that will create lasting memories for everyone involved. We look forward
to you joining the International Girl Circle of Friends.

For information about our National Competition, please visit our website at or email

Brooke Williams Natl. Young Miss for International Girl

February 13, 2009

_mg_00365WA. International Girl is so proud of Brooke Williams she went to Dallas TX. in July and brought home the title of National Young Miss (10-12) she is from Lake Tapps WA. she attend North Tapps Middle school where she is a 7Th grader. For Brooke’s talent she tapped to I like to move it move it. She will be attending the National finals in July where she will be giving up her crown. We are so proud of  Brooke!

Welcome to Washington’s International Girl Blog!

February 9, 2009

waigStay tuned for exciting news on WA. International Girl Pageant.

Hello world!

February 9, 2009

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