Meet Today’s Miss Tennessee 2014! Perhaps This Summer’s Miss USA 2014? — Kristy Landers Niedenfuer
Kristy is a very sweet 21-year-old who is beautiful on the inside and out, and she has been an enthusiastic volunteer for Luke 14:12 in Nashville and many other charities that exemplify the love of Christ.
The name of that ministry comes from the verse where Jesus gives a clear command:
“…when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.”
In 1982, Laura McCray served a bowl of soup to a couple of hungry souls. Little did she know that her small act of kindness would lead to the creation of the Luke 14:12 Kitchen. And Laura McCray likely never imagined that it would someday attract the volunteerism of Miss USA contestants like Kristy.
Kristy is the 2014 representative for Donald Trump’s Miss Universe organization, and, aside from her duties as Miss Tennessee USA, she is a charity event planner. She is also a self-proclaimed animal lover, and her family has a total of five rescue dogs, six birds, and a five-foot-long iguana. Wow! She also volunteers with the Wounded Warrior Project, The Boys and Girls Club, and the Humane Society. She was involved with the Sailor Circus for five years where she did everything from tumbling to walking the high wire, though her specialty was — if you can believe it — the trapeze! She will no doubt make Tennessee proud in all she does!
The Nashville native was kind enough to talk with me about her life and pageantry.
Rockin’ God’s House: How does one become Miss Tennessee USA?
Kristy: The Miss Tennessee USA organization is about finding a beautiful girl who utilizes her inner beauty, strong work ethic, and unparalleled dedication to create her own path and legacy. You can find information about how to become involved with the Miss Tennessee USA organization and enter to compete in next year’s pageant at www.MissTennesseeUSA.com.
Rockin’ God’s House: What is the next step up? Is it Miss USA and when do you compete for that?
Kristy: As far as pageants go, the next step is competing in Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant, airing live on NBC this summer! But I have so many other goals that I hope to accomplish between now and then. For me, being Miss Tennessee USA isn’t just about the “glitz and glamour” of the title; it’s about using my inner beauty and becoming more involved in the Tennessee community and actually making a difference in the lives of anyone and everyone who can benefit from my support, help, and friendship. I want to represent Tennessee to the very best of my ability…and hopefully bring the Miss USA crown home to Tennessee!
Rockin’ God’s House: How did you feel when you won Miss Tennessee USA?
Kristy: Competing in the Miss USA pageant has always been a dream of mine, but one that I didn’t always believe I could achieve. The moment they announced my name as Miss Tennessee USA is a moment that I will never forget! I was overwhelmed with an array of emotions: joy, shock, satisfaction, exhilaration, and most of all, incredibly blessed! It was an indescribably amazing feeling to realize at that very moment that my hard work and dedication had paid off. I had turned my dream to reality.
Rockin’ God’s House: Tell us about some of the organizations with which you’re involved?
Kristy: As Miss Tennessee USA, a major goal of mine is to inspire people to become involved with charity organizations that are close to my heart, like The Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Troop Aid, The Boys and Girls Club, Best Buddies Tennessee, The Humane Society, and the Luke 14:12 Kitchen in Nashville. I recently had the privilege of planning the Dream Makers Ball benefiting the Boys and Girls Club. I loved getting to know some of the children who attend the Boys and Girls Clubs, and their stories truly touched my heart. It was an incredibly rewarding experience, and I am very proud to say that we were able to raise close to $1 million dollars that went directly to helping the thousands of children served by the Boys and Girls Club! It is an achievement that I will never forget.
Rockin’ God’s House: You just recently had a birthday; how did you celebrate?
Kristy: As Miss Tennessee USA, my schedule is pretty jam packed! So I love getting to have a little downtime at home with my friends, family…and my doggies [laughs]! My birthday is October 29, right before Halloween, so I spent the afternoon of my birthday carving pumpkins and baking yummy Halloween-themed treats with my mom and dad, my sister/best friend Lindsey, and a few of our friends. Then we celebrated at a fun birthday dinner at one of my fave restaurants — P.F. Chang’s. (I’ve been a vegetarian for pretty much my whole life, and P.F. Chang’s makes the best tofu!) — followed by a Breaking Bad marathon and ice cream cake!
Rockin’ God’s House: How do you approach young girls who look up to you; what kind of role model do you try and represent?
Kristy: I want to show our youth that with hard work and dedication you can rise above stereotypes, exceed everyone’s expectations and achieve anything! That’s a message that I strive to convey to young girls everywhere.
Rockin’ God’s House: Aside from Miss Tennessee USA, what else do you do?
Kristy: My sister and I have an event planning company called The A-List Events. We specialize in charity functions designed to raise money for worthy causes in need of support.