By Robert Williams
Annett “Anna” Christensen, 46, garnered standing ovations during multiple stage appearances as Honorary Miss Frazee during this year’s pageant ceremony.
The title was a dream of Christensen’s that her family made come true by crowning her at a recent family reunion of her 10 siblings.
Christensen never misses the Miss Frazee pageant and this year she got to be the star of the show.
She was born in 1976 at five-pounds, 3-ounces with black hair, blue eyes and Down Syndrome. The youngest of 11 kids, doctors recommended institutionalizing Christensen as not much was known about the genetic condition at the time. Doctors claimed she might never sit up, walk, talk or toilet train.
Her family taught her independence and Christensen taught them so much more, especially patience and understanding.
“She gives her love freely and without reservation,” the family noted in an extra page dedicated to Anna in the official pageant program.
Throughout her life, Christensen has overcome numerous health issues, and the Christensen family thanked a large swath of people who have contributed to her happiness, including the people Frazee, her church family, her teachers and classmates, and the staff and participants of Productive Alternatives, a local service which promotes quality of life and personal growth for their clients.
Jay Estenson gave Christensen a sash from a previous Miss Frazee pageant and that kicked off the crowning idea at the family reunion.
Christensen’s brother Tony hosted the reunion and turned his deck into a stage. Brothers Wade and Tim emceed the ceremony and her nieces were gracious in defeat as fellow contestants.
Songs and dances were performed and the votes were tallied and a tiara and sash were presented to Anna helping her fulfill a lifelong dream.
Her appearances on the stage Saturday night were heartwarming and made this year’s pageant that much more special.
The family thanked the pageant organizers for making Saturday an exciting night for Christensen.
“(We) cannot thank you enough for making her dream come true,” they said. “She will be talking about this night for years to come.”