Marquette and Gladstone queens win Miss Upper Peninsula USA titles

MARQUETTE – Kaylyn Kutchie of Marquette and Iris Robare of Gladstone have become the Upper Peninsula’s newest representatives when Kaylyn was crowned Miss Upper Peninsula USA and also received the Most Photogenic Award, and Iris was crowned Miss Upper Peninsula Teen USA. The crowning took place at the Miss Upper Peninsula Pageant held April 25 at the Forest Roberts Theatre in Marquette.

The new U.P. queens will now advance to represent the Upper Peninsula at the 2014 Miss Michigan USA and Miss Michigan Teen USA Pageant, which is to be held Sept. 13-14 in Port Huron.

All of the contestants competed in three equal categories of competition; a private interview, on stage swimwear competition, and on stage evening competition. A few of the contestants who received special awards included, for the MISS division; Taylor Kulju of Ishpeming who was first runner-up and also received the Miss Congeniality Award and Amy Kuivanen of Marquette who was second runner-up. For the TEEN division, Nicole Gustafson of Garden was first runner-up and also received the Miss Congeniality and Most Photogenic Teen Awards and Marja Balconi of Marquette was second runner-up.

Iris, the newly crowned Miss UP Teen, hopes to make the most of her title and enjoys Dancing Pointe ballet, running, taking pictures, camping, attending church, writing, spending time with her family and pets, visiting the elderly and shopping. Iris attends Gladstone High School.

As a five-year brain cancer fighter, Kaylyn hopes to use her new title to become a powerful inspiration to other young women and cancer survivors around the U.P. and to show that cancer patients can do anything they are passionate about, even with health problems. Kaylyn has received her bachelor’s degree in community health education from Northern Michigan University, is also a graduate of Ishpeming High School.

For more information on the State Pageant, Miss Michigan USA & Miss Michigan Teen USA Pageant visit and or email