A 21-year-old Little Cowan native has been crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2014.
Destin Kincer, a junior at the University of Kentucky, earned the coveted title around midnight on January 12 at the Ursuline Arts Center in Louisville.
“It was like a dream come true honestly,” said Kincer. “I am honored to be the new Miss Kentucky USA and I hope to represent our state and my hometown very well.”
Kincer is familiar with the Miss USA organization as she was runnerup in the Miss Kentucky Teen USA 2011 pageant.
“I wanted to have fun this time around so I didn’t get stressed,” said Kincer. “I was stressed in the teen pageant and I guess I was overthinking everything because I had so much time to get ready for it.”
Kincer relished Sunday’s event while competing in swimsuit, interview and evening gown categories.
“She seemed so much more relaxed this time and she was there to have fun,” said Mitzi Kincer, Destin Kincer’s mother.
For her final question of the competition, Destin Kincer was asked what she would do if she had one week to spend $10,000 and why.
“I said I would love to travel to Haiti and be able to work with children there because Bethany Brown, one of my friends, just went there and she said that just helping a child for one day can change their whole life,” she said. “I really do want to go. I would love to do something like that so maybe that could be one of my opportunities that I want to do. I would love to go to Haiti.”
Whitesburg resident Katie Mynster, who is a student at the University of Pikeville, competed in the pageant with Destin Kincer.
The morning after winning the Miss Kentucky USA pageant, Kincer was amazed by all of the people who congratulated her via social media websites, email and voice mail.
“It was overwhelming,” said Destin Kincer. “My phone was blowing up with things — a new Twitter account, Facebook pages, pictures and so much support from everyone back here which I am so thankful for.”
Destin Kincer, who can be followed on Twitter @ realmisskyusa, said she is appreciative of all of the kind words she has received since winning the pageant.
“It makes me feel so good,” she said.
In June, she will represent the state of Kentucky as she vies for the title of Miss USA.
“Her brother (Dylan) said ‘Destin, you get to be on national TV,’” said Mitzi Kincer.
A personal trainer and nutritionist will help Kincer prepare for the Miss USA pageant.
With the Miss Kentucky USA crown and sash, comes a new wardrobe and many other prizes.
“I get to design my own dress for Miss USA,” said Kincer. “I am so excited about that.”
Kincer will choose Tony Bowls or Sherri Hill as the dress designer.
And Destin Kincer’s schedule, which will include an appearance at the Kentucky Derby in May, will soon be full of events to attend.
“They have already told her places she has to be,” said Mitzi Kincer.
Destin Kincer, who enjoys traveling, has three events to attend this next week in Lexington and Louisville.
She is also excited about meeting celebrities.
“I think I get to meet Jennifer Lawrence, which is the one person I did want to meet on my interview fact sheet since she is from Kentucky,” said Destin Kincer. “I’m looking forward to all of the opportunities that come with it and I want to make the most of each one.”
She would also like to visit local schools during her reign as Miss Kentucky USA.
“I would love to do that,” she said. “I love kids. That would be a lot of fun.”
Although Destin Kincer hasn’t decided on a platform, she is considering focusing on childhood obesity in schools.
“I need to think about it more and when I talk to my pageant coordinator I will have a better idea,” she said.
With her father, Stephen Kincer, by her side, Destin Kincer spent two weeks modeling in New York this past summer.
For the fall semester at UK, Kincer made the dean’s list.
“I’m very proud of that,” she said.
As a pre-med major, she is considering taking off this semester to focus on being Miss Kentucky USA.
Destin Kincer signs her contract with Miss Kentucky USA today (Wednesday).
“What I want to get from this experience is an opportunity,” she said.
As an eighth-grader in 2007, she won Miss Teen Mountain Heritage, which was the first pageant she entered. She was Miss Mountain Heritage in 2012.
Kincer is a 2011 graduate of Letcher County Central High School, where she a cheerleader and a member of the dance team. She is a member of First Baptist Church of Whitesburg.
“We’re just so proud of her but she has always made us so proud because she is such a lovely young lady inside and out,” said Mitzi Kincer.
Destin Kincer donated 10 inches of her hair to Locks of Love about a month ago because she said someone else needed her hair more than she did. The non-profit organization provides hairpieces to children who lose hair because of medical conditions.
“She is pretty sweet,” said Mitzi Kincer, who placed fourth as Miss East Kentucky.
Debbie Frazier, Destin Kincer’s aunt, was Miss Letcher County in 1977. Frazier is also a former Miss Virginia-Kentucky Fair and placed fourth in the Miss Virginia pageant.