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HILLVIEW - Since she was three months old Danielle Dafler has competed in hundreds of pageants and she has won nearly every title imaginable.
That is, every title except Miss Kentucky USA.
The 22-year-old Hillview native is hoping to change that this weekend when she will compete with women from across the commonwealth for the chance to realize her lifelong dream of taking home the coveted Miss Kentucky crown.
Dafler has spent a year preparing for the pageant with help from a team of pageant coaches who have worked with her on interviewing, fitness and nutrition, hair, makeup, wardrobe, stage presence and everything in between.
“I’ve really grown this past year. They’ve really helped me become a better person,“ she said. “It’s not just about the pageant.”
Last autumn Dafler competed in the Miss Kentucky USA pageant in Danville and lost to Mount Washington native Kindra Clark.
With months of preparation under her belt, Dafler is taking her second chance with her fingers crossed, hoping that Clark will pass the crown to her on Sunday afternoon.
“I really want it. I want it because I know it’s more than just a crown. It’s a job,” Dafler said. “You have to be a role model and I would love to be a role model to my community and the state of Kentucky.”
Dafler said the support from her family and friends has helped reinforce her determination, but her motivation to win and serve as a role model has been her greatest driving force.
“You have to want it. It’s not just given to you. You have to be the best candidate for the job,” Dafler said.
Dafler said Miss Kentucky USA provided an outlet for women to improve the lives of others and that’s why she wanted the title.
“It opens up a lot of opportunities to publicly speak, be a role model and have your voice heard,“ she said. “It takes more than a pretty face to win a pageant. And people look up to you.”
Dafler’s pageant career began when she was just three months old. Her grandmother, Ida “Nanny” Creek, entered her in the Bullitt County Fair Baby Contest and she won.
Since then, she has competed in countless pageants, including Miss Bullitt County Fair, Miss Kentucky County Fair, Miss Teen Kentucky USA and America’s Most Beautiful Girl.
Her most notable pageant achievement would have to be the two, yes, two Miss Bullitt County Fair crowns she earned in 2004 and 2008.
Dafler said winning Miss Bullitt County Fair has meant the most to her because she loved her community.
While Dafler now resides in Louisville she grew up in Hillview. She has a degree in business & marketing with a minor in communication from Western Kentucky University’s Elizabethtown Community College and she currently works at Stockyards Bank and Trust in loan operations.
Dafler plans to attend graduate school at Sullivan University and she hopes to become a pharmacist.
As someone who tries to live as a role model, Dafler spends a great deal of time helping girls prepare for pageants as a pageant consultant.
In addition, Dafler works with several charities and community organizations, including the March of Dimes, Relay for Life, Repair Affair, Women With No Excuses and The National Association of Professional Women.
“I am really big on volunteering and believe that when you help out it makes a huge difference on the world one step at a time,” she said.
In her spare time she enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, anything outdoors. She also likes spending time with family and friends and reading.
If Dafler is crowned Miss Kentucky USA she will have the chance to compete for the title of Miss USA in the spring.
The 2010-2011 Miss Kentucky USA and Miss Kentucky Teen USA pageants will be held this weekend at the Louisville Memorial Auditorium at 970 South 4th Street.
On Saturday evening preliminary competitions for both pageants will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Final competitions for both pageants will be held on Sunday, Nov. 14, beginning with Miss Kentucky USA, which starts at 4:30 p.m. The Miss Kentucky Teen USA competition will follow at 8 p.m.
Tickets will be sold in the lobby of Memorial Auditorium on a first come, first served basis on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.