Three days after her 18th birthday, Bailey Gumm is competing for the Miss Nevada title in Las Vegas.
“What better present could I have than saying I can compete at Miss Nevada,” Miss Douglas County said. “I’m so excited to be competing at the 65th anniversary of the Miss Nevada pageant. I made it a goal to make it to this pageant because it shows how far we’ve come and we’re still a strong organization.”
Bailey is competing against 10 other ladies today and Saturday at Texas Station Gambling Hall and Hotel.
“What’s nice about Nevada is there is only 11 of us,” the Minden resident said. “You get to know the girls well and we’ve become friends. We’re a pretty close-knit group.”
Inspired by her younger brother who is diagnosed with autism, Bailey has been promoting her platform on autism awareness at events around Douglas County.
“It’s about bringing awareness out to the state by working with local as well as state organizations,” Bailey said.
For the talent portion of the pageant, Bailey is performing a tap dance to “Le Jazz Hot.”
“I enjoy performing, but I enjoy the private interview portion the most because I like to speak and get to know the judges,” she added. “It’s the only time they get to speak with us one-on-one. That’s the part the audience doesn’t get to see because it’s done before the show.”
Bailey is planning to attend Westminster College in Utah in the fall, but the school has agreed to defer enrollment and scholarships until 2014 if she wins the title.
“They are completely supportive of me competing for Miss Nevada. It’s a full-time job that requires a lot of your time traveling and at appearances,” Bailey said. “It’s one year of your life, and you want to enjoy every experience of being Miss Nevada.”
Gardnerville resident Macie Tuell is also competing in the pageant for the Miss Nevada Outstanding Teen title.
“I’m pretty nervous, but in an exciting way. I’ve been preparing for this all year,” Macie said. “Being Miss Douglas County Outstanding Teen has been such an honor, and I want to represent my county down at state.”
Macie’s platform It Can Wait: Distracted Driving Awareness is in honor of her uncle.
“It’s important to me because on Nov. 1, 2011, my uncle was hit by a distracted driver who crossed the double yellow line,” she said. “It unfortunately killed him.”
She has been spreading the word about distracted driving by speaking to DARE groups and drivers safety classes, as well as making a television appearance on KOLO and a radio appearance.
For her talent Macie is playing the electric violin.
“I’ve been playing violin for 11 years, “ she said. “I like how I can make it my own and play any genre I want.”
Like Bailey, her favorite portion is the private interview.
“I can be my natural self, and the judges get to see the real me,” she added. “It’s not something you can rehearse.”
Miss Reno, Suthida “Bo” Khongkhatitham, of Minden, and Miss Sparks, Valerie Padovani, of Gardnerville are also competing for the state title.