Brianna Drevlow, 23-year-old daughter of Joe and Jodi Drevlow is Miss Minnesota. She is the first Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant entrant from Thief River Falls to earn this distinction and has earned for Thief River Falls and northwest Minnesota at least a mention on the national stage of the Miss America Pageant.
Monday, Drevlow took time from her already busy schedule to thank “the community of northwest Minnesota” for allowing her to represent them. And Drevlow means it.
The four points of her new crown stand for success, style, service and scholarship. Drevlow said she thinks of the jewels and points of the crown and her sash as representative of all the people who made it possible for her to become Miss Minnesota.
Drevlow began her pageant career at an early age, but several area women played a huge role in shaping her as Miss Minnesota.
Among those women – her grandmother, Olive Goldesberry. The Miss Thief River Falls Scholarship Pageant has had a lot of success over the years, but not too many years ago it lost its lustre for local women and there was no pageant for at least a couple of years. In 2009, Olive Goldesberry was instrumental in resurrecting the event. Drevlow said her grandmother played a huge role in her life especially when she began taking a more serious look at pageants. Goldesberry even backed out of her role in the pageant and encouraged Drevlow to develop her talent and what was uniquely her.
Drevlow has participated in several pageants. This year, she attended the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Pageant as Miss North Star 2017 (Middle River). Drevlow said the women on the pageant committee – Kara Super-Peterson, KayDell Super, Marlene Peterson, Mindy and Rachel Pukowski, Lori Stromsodt, Barb Geer and Terry Lawrenson – did so much for her they were absolutely amazing. She said they were very influential, whether through her piano or influencing her to become the young woman she has become. “Without these women, their love and support, I couldn’t have done this.”
Just a few of the other people who were instrumental in her becoming Miss Minnesota 2017 include Jan Anderson, her seamstress, who worked around the clock, and even came to the Miss Minnesota Pageant to make sure her clothing fit just right. Drevlow said she was also very blessed to study piano with Marcia Knuttila of Thief River Falls and be mentored by her nieces Kathryn and Kari Knuttila of Detroit Lakes who were named Miss Minnesota in 2010 and 2001 respectively.
But Brianna said there were many people from northwestern Minnesota who helped her become Miss Minnesota. Brianna said that when she looks at all the beautiful gems on her crown and sash, she thinks of all those people of Warren, Middle River, Greenbush – all of northwestern Minnesota who helped her become Miss Minnesota.
And of course, there’s the Drevlow family. Brianna is the eldest of 11 children. With her at the pageant were three of her sisters – Bralynne, Brenna and Brooke – the three youngest sisters – serving as princesses. Her sisters Brielle and Brynn have also always been there to help her. Brynn, she said, has also expressed an interest in pageants, too.
One sister, Brenna, also provided the inspiration behind her platform, Arthritis Awareness. Brenna, now age 9, was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since then, Brianna and the entire Drevlow family have been tireless supporters of awareness and research for Juvenile Arthritis – attending the Fargo Jingle Bell Run, raising money through their Holiday Lights in the Park in Thief River Falls, and the Walk to Cure Juvenile Arthritis at the Mall of America. In fact, next March, Brenna will be the national representative at the Mall of America Walk to Cure Juvenile Arthritis. This summer, the entire family will attend The Juvenile Arthritis National Conference in Houston. Brianna said she is only too pleased to bring awareness to this important cause. Speaking of doing things together, this family has been to national parks in 48 states.
Speaking from the Twin Cities Monday, Brianna said she knew a welcome home party was being planned (possibly Tuesday) and she was looking forward to sharing her experience with everyone. She also looks forward to representing all of northwestern Minnesota at the Miss America Pageant this fall. It’s just one more way to put Thief River Falls and northwestern Minnesota on the map and into the awareness of many more people.