SCOTTSBLUFF — Miss Scotts Bluff County 2019 Makinzie Gregory spent her Friday connecting with Scotts Bluff County residents at her lemonade stand. Gregory feels honored to represent the county after being crowned Miss Scotts Bluff County.

After coming up with a plan to raise money with lemonade and hot cider stands, Gregory found Penny, a piggy bank.

“I bought Penny because I have a Buzz Lightyear one, but I didn’t think it would work.”

Gregory will travel with Penny the pink piggy bank for the next seven months to local businesses as she raises awareness and collects donations for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Proceeds from the sales will go to help local youth, who are being treated at the network of hospitals.

“We have to raise $250 for Children’s Miracle Network to compete in Miss Nebraska, but anything above and beyond that is up to us,” she said.

Her goal is to raise $5,000 as Penny travels to seven different businesses. The business that raises the most money during the month will receive a prize. Gregory has not selected the prize, but will announce it soon.

As the seasons change, Gregory will offer drinks appropriate for the season.

“I’m serving lemonade and Kool-Aid in the summer and then cider and hot chocolate in the winter,” she said.

At Friday’s stand, Gregory said she enjoyed interacting with the public and hearing their stories. She also enjoyed sharing information about the Miss Nebraska Organization.

“This opportunity opens myself up to talk about Miss America and how the women who compete are intelligent,” Gregory. “This is a huge opportunity to open up and talk about my platform and advocate for different issues.”

As she continues to prepare for the Miss Nebraska pageant in June, she looks forward to sharing her county’s stories with the judges.

“It’s nice to have businesses provide this opportunity and I hope to gather stories and connections to the community I can share during the interview portion,” Gregory said. “I love hearing people’s stories and it will take up a good portion of my year, so I’d like to relay my experiences to the judges.”

Gregory offered lemonade, fruit punch and Sharkleberry Kool-Aid.

This is Gregory’s third year representing her community and attributes God to her transformation.

“I attribute everything to my faith,” she said. “God has laid on my heart the impact I can have on kids through my platform and buckboard by helping kids with special needs. It’s cool to see how far I’ve come.”

Prior to her involvement in the Miss Nebraska Organization, Gregory recalls being the shy girl who sat at the back of the classroom and was terrified of public speaking. Now, she is confident and engaged in making her community and the world a better place.

Several members of the community visited her stand to help her raise money for children.

Todd Shepherd enjoyed a refreshing lemonade.

“I like donating to local causes and I saw her sign, so I gave her a couple dollars,” he said.

Darrell Steinhausen and Glenn Davis were in town from Torrington, Wyoming, and were excited to support her. They decided to enjoy a glass of fruit punch before heading home.

To support Gregory on her journey to Miss Nebraska, visit www.missamericaforkids.org/Contestant/makinziemarie.

Donations are tax deductible.

“I am honored to represent my community who made me who I am and I love representing Scotts Bluff County.”

lauren.brant@starherald.com

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Lauren Brant is a reporter with the Star-Herald and the Gering Courier. Contact her at 308-632-9043 or by email at lauren.brant@starherald.com.

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