The Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin program hosted its third pageant on March 16 at the Education Center, Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Cedar in Menomonie. Two women of accomplishment vied for the title of Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin 2013 at the event. The newly-crowned titleholder is Ms. Amber Gilberg of Eau Claire.
About the pageant
The pageant consisted of a "meet and greet" time with a continental breakfast and a luncheon served for everyone in attendance. Before the judging process began, a workshop was presented about self-defense for people with disabilities, sparking a discussion among participants.
This was the second time for Amber Gilberg to compete for the title; competing alongside her for the title was Marie Kadlec, also of Eau Claire. The judging process consists of personal interview questions, listening to the platform speech of each contestant and then asking questions of the contestants in front of the audience.
Before the announcement of the winner of the pageant, Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin 2012, Amy Bleile of Whitewater, spoke to the audience about her experiences over her reign of the past year as part of her farewell speech.
Gilberg, 31, is a freelance graphic/Web designer and portrait artist for her independently-owned business, Beautifully Different. She is also an Avon sales representative.
She was valedictorian of her high school and has a bachelor of fine arts degree from UW-Stout. While at Stout, she was a diversity senator in the Stout Student Association, and president of Breaking Boundaries.
Currently she is a participant in the Wisconsin Partners in Policymaking class, and a member of Barrier Busters and Wagner's Wheels bowling league. She enjoys drawing, dancing, good Mexican food and is an avid Apple enthusiast.
Gilberg was born with athetoid-type cerebral palsy and lives on her own with her service dog, Gabbi Sparkles. She lives independently with the aid of personal care workers.
She has already been an advocate for people with disabilities around the state and will now do so as the new titleholder of Ms. Wheelchair Wisconsin 2013. She will also be speaking out about her platform — on a concern for herself along with many other people with disabilities — having more readily available and accessible public transportation.
Another goal for Gilberg will be to raise the funds needed to get to the national pageant for Ms. Wheelchair America 2014, which will be held in Houston, Texas, July 15-21. To help Gilberg with raising funds for her trip to Houston or to hear her speak, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.