She competed against 22 other contestants from Illinois in the weekend pageant, where she also took honors in the Best in Evening Gown and Best in Fitness Wear categories and won the Social Media Queen Award as well as the Miss Congeniality Award, voted on by the contestants in the pageant.
"I'm so excited I won," Harding-Kaminski said Monday, thanking all her friends, family and sponsors for their support.
Harding-Kaminski, 37, will now move on to compete this summer in Charleston, North Carolina, for the Mrs. International title. In July she will go up against 70 other contestants.
"I'm passionate about pageants," she said. "This gives me an opportunity to create an awareness of things that are important to me." Harding-Kaminski's platform is diabetes education.
The Elmhurst resident advocates for those with diabetes, including her 9-year-old daughter. She has visited Washington, D.C., to talk about the importance of educating the public about the disease. Harding-Kaminski discovered her daughter, Eisleigh, has Type 1 diabetes about 6 years ago.
Pageants are not new for her. She was crowned Ms. Illinois Galaxy about two years ago. It was about 10 years ago when she entered her first pageant, Mrs. America for Illinois, and won the state title. She then competed in the nationwide Mrs. America pageant and placed in the top 10. Since then, she has remarried.
Harding-Kaminski, who has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Georgia, decided to enter the Mrs. America pageant years ago because she wanted to be as fit and as active as she could be and wanted to meet people. She picked up on that again a couple years ago, adding that the advocacy work is really important to her.