Vegas or bust

  • Written by Tony Pinto

EP native Bronson heads to Las VegasPage-1-2-col-pic-hooters-girl-copyHooters waitress and calendar girl Kelly Bronson was recently surprised in Oak Lawn with a nomination to participate in the Miss Hooters International Competition Wednesday in Las Vegas. Photo by Michele Vasquez.
for Miss Hooters International Pageant

  What happens in Vegas usually stays in Vegas but in this case a local woman wants to bring something back to Oak Lawn.

  An international title.
  Evergreen Park native and Oak Lawn Hooters waitress Kelly Bronson is heading to Las Vegas to compete in the Miss Hooters International 2014 Pageant, which takes place Wednesday at the Hard Rock Casino.
  When she started working at Hooters seven years ago she had no clue it would lead to something as glamorous as this.
  She just waitressed at the Oak Lawn restaurant and said she had no dreams of being in a pageant and no dreams of being in a calendar either. That all changed after she had her son, Jack, and decided to pose for a Hooters calendar last year.
  It was a total surprise to Bronson that she got picked for the Las Vegas event.
  Hooters official Michele Vasquez stopped by the restaurant recently and gave her the good news.
  “She brought flowers and balloons, they surprised me at work,” Bronson said in a phone interview Monday. “I was ecstatic. I just started physically crying...I was so excited just because it was something I wanted for so long.”
  Bronson was picked among women from 11 different Chicagoland Hooters locations in a grueling process.
  “First the girls from the Chicagoland restaurants all did a casting call to see who was going tobe picked to shoot in the 2015 Hooters calendar,” said Vasquez, the director of recruiting and promotions for restaurant’s Chicago area restaurants. “Once we select the girls who are going to be picked to shoot, then we narrow it down to who we think will best represent Chicago at the Hooters pageant.’’
  At 26, Bronson is one of the older contestants in the pageant but she’s not letting her age stop her.
  But she is getting a little nervous as the pageant looms.
  “One of my biggest fears is...any kind of public speaking or being in front of people but that’s pretty much [true with] the majority of the people, too” Bronson said. “I’m nervous, but it’s going to happen anyway I’m going to have to get up there as well as everyone else is, so I’m not by myself doing it.”
  The pageant consists of three parts: the swimsuit competition, the ball gown competition and the hometown gown competition. Bronson was showing her pokerface when talking about the outfits for the pageant as she won’t reveal anything until the public gets to see them on Wednesday.
  The 2006 Evergreen Park graduate is also up for the title of Miss Hooters Social and people can vote for her at and she can win $2,000. People can also help her cause in the main pageant by voting at
  She said she likes working at Hooters, and whether she hits the jackpot or she goes bust in Vegas, she will be back at the Oak Lawn Hooters serving up some smiles.
  “My favorite parts of working at Hooters is the regular clientele that comes in, the people that I’ve met throughout all the years of working here and the people who keep coming back to see me,” she said. “A lot of families come in and their kids and I’ve waited on them since they were young. I’ve seen a lot of little kids grow up.”