Outgoing Benedum Fest Queen Lands Cover Model for National Magazine
By Julie Perine on June 28, 2012
The Nicholas County High School graduate who has represented Bridgeport in this pageant circuit this past year is the August cover model for the national magazine, "Gladys.'"
The magazine containing her photos will be in newsstands July 7.
The quarterly publication is owned by Andrea Patrick-Forte, a West Virginia University graduate who held titles of Miss Pennsylvania-USA and Miss West Virginia America, going on to secure finalist positions in both national pageants.
She went on to establish a career in acting and modeling and to marry 1950’s rock ‘n roll icon, Fabian. The owner of her own modeling agency, Patrick-Forte started Gladys – named after her mother, mentor and source of inspiration, who died in 2007 after battling diabetes.
The focus of the magazine is to provide inspiration to women nationwide to pursue their dreams. Kesecker landed the opportunity to be a cover model by entering a contest. Her submitted pageant photo was a top vote-getter on the “Gladys” Facebook page. In addition to being the “August” girl, she is in the running for cover model of the year.
By winning the monthly honor, Kesecker earned a photo shoot in Pittsburgh – a Red Carpet-style event, complete with an interview segment.
Among questions asked of Kesecker was: “Who is your ‘Gladys?'"
“I have had a lot of them in my life, but I’d have to say my Grandma (Carmella Yarber) is kind of my ‘Gladys,’” she said. “She’s always been there for me from Day 1.”
Kesecker is entering WVU to pursue studies in exercise physiology. Her long-term plans are to delve further into the health field and perhaps attend dental or medical school.
She crowned her Benedum Festival successor, Allison Shaner, at a June 24 pageant at the Benedum Civic Center. She leaves her position as queen with admiration for the festival, the community and the pageant staff.
“Judi Giffen was just an awesome director and it was a year filled with so many different opportunities,” she said. “I was interviewed on TV, attended fairs and festivals and got to travel around the state and make appearances.”
Kesecker has been an amazing representative of the Benedum Festival, Giffen said.
“She’s one of those people you love to be around. She’s never, never negative, but always takes a situation and makes it into a positive,” Giffen said. “What’s what really makes her shine because she’s always just very happy and enthusiastic about everything. She traveled the state, telling people who Michael Benedum was. It wasn’t just a title for her, but she really loved promoting what our community is about.”
There very well may be more pageants for Kesecker, who previously held titles as Oak Leaf Festival Teen, Braxton County Fair Queen, Nicholas County Fair Queen and West Virginia Perfect Junior Teen.