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Kansas Shrine Bowl Banquet to Feature Ms. Kansas

KANSAS – The Kansas Shrine Bowl Board of Directors is excited to announce the addition of recently crowned Ms. Kansas, Ayanna Hensley, as the keynote speaker for the 49th Kansas Shrine Bowl Appreciation Banquet, Friday, July 22nd at John Lance Arena in Pittsburg.

As Miss Kansas, Ayanna will make over 400 appearances during her year-of-service, many of them motivational presentations to students in Kansas schools. Ayanna’s social impact initiative is ACEs Low: Overcoming Adverse Childhood Experiences. Her focus for this initiative is to help promote an ideology centered on assisting youth ‘digest’ and overcome their adversity. Most traumatic situations a child faces will correlate to lifelong problems.

As an individual directly affected by severe trauma, Ayanna knows what a child needs to overcome their realities and to break their generational cycles.  Throughout her year-of-service, Ayanna will work to connect her social impact initiative with the Miss America and Miss Kansas Organizations. She will serve as an ambassador, representing the organization across the State of Kansas.

Ayanna said she felt the mission of both her and the Kansas Shrine Bowl are aligned. “With an established and growing heart for service, the Shriners organization is a movement I instantly supported. I’m excited to represent that mission and share my story!”

“I was excited when the chance to have Ayanna speak at our banquet was presented, but when I heard her mission was to help children overcome adverse childhood experience, I knew it was a perfect fit,” said Kansas Shrine Bowl Executive Director B.J. Harris. “Our event is a celebration of children consistently overcoming their challenges and thriving. I’m excited to see how her message resonates with our participants.”

Ayanna will represent Kansas at the 2022 Miss America Competition at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut, later this year. She will perform a modern dance for her talent and compete with 50 other young women from across the nation for the title of Miss America 2023.

On June 11, Ayanna Hensley of Dodge City, Kansas, a 2022 graduate of Fort Hays State University majoring in Biology with a minor in English, was crowned Miss Kansas 2022. This involvement and accomplishment resulted in Ayanna being awarded nearly $15,000 in cash scholarships through the Miss Kansas competitions to apply toward her education.

Purchase tickets to the Kansas Shrine Bowl Banquet at www.KansasShrineBowl.com/Banquet. The deadline is July 4th.

About Ms. Kansas
Miss Kansas travels throughout the state working closely with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas, and with the Kansas Department of Transportation – Traffic Safety Office providing education, establishing relationships, and learning more about individuals of all ages for whom she will advocate during her year as Miss Kansas.

The Miss Kansas Organization is a state licensee of the Miss America Organization, one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the worlds’ largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. The Miss Kansas
Scholarship Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization, makes available academic, community service, and other scholarships to women between the ages of 18 and 26.

Annually, the Miss Kansas Organization provides over $6,000,000 in cash and in-kind scholarship assistance. For information on booking Miss Kansas for your event, please email [email protected]. You can follow Ayanna on
social media @missamericaks on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Kansas Shrine Bowl
The Kansas Shrine Bowl is an all-star high school senior, East vs. West, football game put on each year in Kansas, by the Kansas Shrine. It is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charity that produces annual events and related activities, with net proceeds benefiting Shriners Children’s. The Kansas Shrine Bowl has sent over $3M to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The game has been played throughout Kansas each summer since 1974. Host cities have included Lawrence, Manhattan, Wichita, Topeka, Hays, Emporia, Pittsburg, Dodge City and Hutchinson.

Beginning in 1974, the flagship event has been the East/West All-Star Football Game. As of 2021, the West leads the series with 30 wins, the East has 17 wins, and there has been one tie.

Current NFL alumni include Cody Whitehair (Chicago Bears), B.J. Finney (Pittsburg Steelers), Wyatt Hubert (Cincinnati Bengals), and Deante Burton (Dallas Cowboys). Additional notable alumni include former All-Pro Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson, former All-Pro NFL Defensive Back Terrance Newman, NFL Hall of Famer Barry Sanders, former NFL Coach Russ Riederer, former Kansas State and Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker Gary Spani, former Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl Champion Linebacker Mark Simoneau, Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Paul Coffman, and many others.

The Kansas Shrine Bowl also includes the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band Camp, Kansas Shrine Bowl Cheer Camp, Banquet, Parade, Junior All-Star Challenge, High School Football Combine/Clinic, and 4-Person Golf Scramble.