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Beautiful baby takes home crown

A New Richmond toddler is the region's most beautiful baby. Onalie Rose Dennis, 10-months-old, captured the crown at the New Star Discovery pageant in Maplewood, Minn. Sept. 18.

She also captured the top prize in the "Angel Face" and "Best Product" categories.

Not only was Onalie judged tops in her 8-to-14-month age group, she received the overall crown for kids 0 to 3 years old.

"They judged the girls and boys on appearance and personality," said Onalie's proud mother, Terina. "She went on stage, clapped her hands and laughed."

That's all it took to convince the judges that Onalie deserved a free modeling contract with Papadakis Photography. Onalie's mom is awaiting an appointment for a photo shoot that will result a portfolio that can be used for advertisements and commercials.

A total of 150 kids participated in the 2005 Most Beautiful Baby competition.

Onalie will also advance to national competition, slated for May 2006.

Onalie has a head start when it comes to pageant success.

Her mother participated in numerous pageants when she was younger, starting at the age of 3.

Terina was Little Miss Ladysmith runner-up when she was in elementary school. She was crowned Little Miss Wisconsin in 1988.

"I know a lot of people don't think much of pageants," Terina said. "But if you do it right, I think it can be good for kids.

"It was fun for me and my mom to do the girl thing together. We didn't wear make-up, we just thought they were fun."

Terina said the events are not only fun, they can pay dividends down the road.

"I was pretty shy, so the pageants went well for me," she said. "They can build self-confidence."

Terina said the baby pageant was "a lot of fun to do," but she didn't really care if her daughter won.

"We were surprised to win," Terina admitted.

The Dennis family moved to New Richmond in 1999. They have two other kids, Brandon, 3, and Tyler, 2. Terina and her husband, Zach, are originally from the Ladysmith area.

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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