UNION —An upcoming fundraiser will give 13 girls a new and exciting experience while raising funds for the installation of The Miracle League of Union County’s all-inclusive playground.
The Miss Miracle League of Union County Pageant — themed “A Day in Candy Land” — will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the USC Union Auditorium.
Jennie Allen, 15, began competing in pageants a couple years ago, and last October, she had an idea for her platform she said she could not deny.
“I have family members and friends with disabilities, and I thought of doing something new for them to enjoy,” Allen said. “I just thought about it all the time, and I knew it was something I had to do.”
Allen said she talked with Amy Austin of The Miracle League of Union County (MLUC) about holding a pageant for young ladies with disabilities.
“I wanted to do something to help these girls feel beautiful, and I wanted to give them a new experience,” Allen said.
Austin said she was excited that a 15-year-old student in Union County wanted to take on this project and give these local girls an opportunity they would not have had otherwise.
“It’s exciting to have youth and young adults in our community eager to include others in activities such as this,” Austin said.
A committee was formed to head up the pageant, which will be directed by Allen. Committee members include MLUC Coach Angie McCurry, MLUC coach and board member Tiffany Smith, and MLUC board member Vicki Allen.
There will be 13 contestants in the pageant, separated into five divisions. Just as each Miracle League of Union County player has a “buddy” to assist them during games, each pageant contestant will have a buddy to walk them out onto the stage, and each pageant buddy will be a pageant title holder of some kind.
“I’m so excited,” Allen said. “All of the contestants will be beautiful and get to be princesses, and they will get to hang out with princess buddies.”
Pageant contestants will wear theme wear and evening wear. Allen said contestants are thrilled about the idea of the theme wear portion of the competition, which will include candy costumes such as lollipops, cotton candy, peppermints, and other candies.
“We are going to have candy-related music for them to walk out to, and candy decorations,” Allen said. “We’re all ready to have a great time.”
Miss South Carolina Daja Dial is scheduled to be a special guest at the pageant, as well as Miss Mountain Lakes USA Leah Lawson, who will provide entertainment. Miss Newberry College Kelley Strong and Miss South Carolina Amazing Elaina Ellis will also be in attendance. Entertainment will also include music from Macy Petty and a clogging duet by Mackenna Newton and Mackenzie Harris, who will perform a competition piece which won a national title in June. The guest emcee for the event will be Scott Moore.
Allen said she definitely realized a difference from being a pageant contestant and a pageant director.
“It’s been a little crazy, but it’s all coming together,” Allen laughed.
Allen said she is thankful for an abundance of help from friends and members of the community. She said the most help has come from her parents, Dean and Julie Allen.
Admission to the pageant will be $6 for adults; $3 for children; and ages 3 and under will be admitted free. All tickets will be sold at the door. Programs will also be available for purchase at $3 each.
Golf carts will be available to transport people from their vehicles to the door.
All proceeds from the pageant will benefit the installation of The Miracle League of Union County’s all-inclusive playground.
Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-762-4128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.