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Photo courtesy of Katherine McQuade
Photo courtesy of Katherine McQuade

Queens will be well represented at an upcoming pageant where a Whitestone woman will proudly vie for the crown.

Katherine McQuade, who was recently awarded the title of Miss Queens United States, will go on to compete for the New York state title in March. With that, she begins the road to attaining the title of Miss United States.

The Miss United States Pageant celebrates intelligent women from all walks of life and is the largest pageant system for girls and women aged 8 and older in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories.

McQuade, a lifelong Whitestone resident, has been involved in pageantry since she was about 10 years old, when she snagged a title at the National American Miss on her first attempt.

“Once that crown was put on my head, I was hooked,” McQuade remembered.

At 16, McQuade won the title of Miss New York Junior Teen during the 2012 National American Miss statewide competition. In 2015, she bested 29 other competitors at USA National Miss in Walt Disney World.

Most recently, she was crowned the 2016-17 National American Miss after representing New York state in the competition in Hollywood, CA.

The accomplished 21-year-old is a senior at Marymount Manhattan College, where she is studying communications arts and photography. She teaches at Landrum School of Performing Arts in Whitestone, where she was a student for 16 years, and models for bridal, prom and pageant gown designer, ASHLEYlauren.

McQuade is also an ambassador to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research and founder of “Promoting Hope: Potholders for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness” in honor of her late grandmother, Genevieve Bonura. Through her organization, she has raised $5,000 for cancer research.

The Whitestone resident will be competing with dozens of other young women in the upcoming Miss New York United States Pageant.

“I’m so excited. I really do love this organization,” McQuade said. “I love what they stand for … [The title] gives women a voice. And if I win, I can use that crown and banner as a microphone.”

McQuade said all of her experiences have taught her two important lessons: how to win and lose graciously and face life’s challenges with pride.

She encourages other local girls and young women thinking about getting involved in pageantry to take the chance.

“Whitestone and Queens has shaped me into who I am today,” she said. “Never give up, embrace every moment of it, and always work hard, because hard work pays off.”

The Miss New York United States Pageant will take place on March 3-4, followed by the national contest in Orlando, FL, this summer.

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