Former county fair queen seeks Indiana crown

A former Brown County Fair queen is heading to the Miss Indiana pageant this summer.

Siera Updike was crowned Miss Kosciusko on Jan. 16.

Updike, a 2012 Brown County High School graduate, is attending Manchester University in Wabash County. Women who live or go to college in Kosciusko, Whitley, Wabash and Huntington counties were eligible to compete.

She will move on to the Miss Indiana pageant — a preliminary to Miss America — June 12 to 18.

Updike, 22, won the title of Miss Brown County Fair in July 2014. That was her first pageant.

Some friends who came to cheer her on, who had competed in Miss America circuit pageants, told her she had potential, Updike said. They encouraged her to do more.

After the 2015 Indiana State Fair Queen pageant, she made up her mind: “You know what, maybe I could do this.”

Since September, Updike competed in three Miss America preliminaries before winning Miss Kosciusko.

The difference between this and county pageants is “pretty much night and day,” she said. Many Miss America-track contestants have competed for years; interview questions are about politics and world views; and swimsuit and talent contests are included.

Updike sang “Home,” which she performed as Belle in the Brown County High School production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Updike, a former volleyball and track athlete, is scheduled to graduate from college this year and will start graduate school in the fall. She’s studying athletic training.

She’s thinking she’d like to diagnose and rehabilitate injured high school athletes. She has been interning at Huntington North High School and Fort Wayne Orthopedics.

Paying for college was another reason to try for Miss Indiana; the Miss America Organization awarded more than $45 million in cash and scholarships last year.

“I’m trying to help my parents out any way I can,” she said.

She is the daughter of Tim and Fawn Updike of Brown County.

Help the cause

As a Miss Indiana contestant, Siera Updike needs to raise at least $250 for the Children’s Miracle Network.

She plans to solicit donations through her personal Facebook page and through the Miss Kosciusko Facebook page.

Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.