This year was the year of a lifetime and one I will remember forever. I won, lost, failed, cried, laughed, loved, but above all I learned and saw God’s faithfulness in it all. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become through the process.
Thank you, Kansas, for loving me and supporting me this year. It’s been an honor to be your girl. Serving others is one of my greatest joys and it was a goal this year to highlight agencies of change and inspire others to get involved. We can’t do everything, but we can all do something. My visits with these difference-makers and the people they serve left an indelible mark on my heart. Thanks to Anne Scharf for helping with so many of the arrangements.
Mom and Dad, I will spend the rest of my life thanking God for blessing me with the two of you as parents. I wouldn’t be who I am today without you. Thank you for your love, support, and always believing in me. The example you two set encourages those around you to love others better and leave the world a better place.
-Thank you, John, Jason, Jennifer & team Vanbros for guiding and believing in me. Thank you for giving me this incredible opportunity. I’m forever grateful.
-Words aren’t enough to thank Heather Sumlin with Mental Management for guiding me these last five years and helping me grow into the woman I am. Thank you for believing in me and empowering me to win the battle of my mind each and every day.
-Thank you, Rob Alberino, and 65TPT for helping me with so many special projects and videos this year. You captured the journey and I love your team!
-Thank you to Chiefs Fit for providing your incredible facility and knowledgeable trainers to help me reach my Miss USA fitness goals.
-I couldn’t walk the walk without Kristen Bradford and Whitney Wandland. I’m not sure how you turned the soccer player shuffle into a graceful glide, but somehow you did and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.
-To my White House woman—Adrielle Churchill, you’re the only person I love to talk politics with. Thank you for your wisdom, knowledge and kindness.
-Blue is my favorite except when it comes to Pink Door Prep. Thanks to Taylor & Abby for loving, laughing, & praying with me, and everything in between.
-Thank you Sydney, with Spray on Sun, for your friendship and for always giving me the perfect glow.
-No one keeps it fresh like The Prep Kitchen! Thank you all for providing the most delicious healthy and fresh meals to keep me strong and fit.
–Joe and Laura Devine—you always get the shot and I love working with (and laughing with) you guys! Your friendship means the world to me.
-Thank you, Dr. Jay Burnes and the incredible team at Resurrect Skin! You all are like family to me and I’m beyond blessed by the expertise and care you pour into bringing my skin to life!
-Thank you Natalie & Jordan Williams, and Shelly Slater with The Slate, for challenging me and helping me hone and refine my interview.
-Thank you Tulle + Dye and Maritza Mendoza for creating the gown of my dreams. I’m blessed to know you and cannot express how I appreciate all of the love and passion you poured into the process!
-Thank you Josh Trevino, and Neiman Marcus for being the best stylist & friend in the business and always finding the perfect, unique piece.
-Thanks to Ashley Hazelwood for taking such great care of my hair. I promise not to catch it on fire any more, if at all possible.
-Thank you to the incredible group of women and dear friends who have lifted me up, prayed over me, poured into me, and loved me during this journey: Shelly, Gini, Kate, Sarah, Lynne, Stephanie, Hayley, Claudia, Kirby, Blair, Virginia, Grace, Paige, Brooke, Sydni—among others. I love you all!
-Thank you, Austin Ryde, for making me look beautiful and for being a beautiful friend.
-Madi—I am so thankful to have shared this year with you. You are sunshine and bring joy to every space you occupy. Don’t ever change.
-And finally, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity and moment. I pray His light shines through me and always points back to Him. All praise and glory to God.
I can honestly say that I’ve given the pageant world my best and as I hang up the crown tonight, I will treasure this journey and the woman I’ve become through it. Endings are bittersweet but they make way for new beginnings and I’m looking forward to whatever the future holds and my next big adventure.
To the next Miss Kansas USA, never forget my favorite quote from the Wizard of Oz, “You’ve always had the power, my dear. You’ve had it all along.” You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Take the crown and make your mark…the universe is waiting.
For the last time, I am Gracie Hunt, your Miss Kansas USA 2021.
Want to see more of my reign as Miss Kansas USA 2021?
Be sure to check out the following posts:
- Pageantry Resource Guide: The Tips and Tricks You Need to Know
- What I Wore at the Miss USA 2021 Competition + Recap
- I’m so Honored To Be Your Miss Kansas USA 2021
- It’s Official! Miss Kansas USA Q+A
PS – Follow along on my Instagram, @graciehunt, for more of my daily life.