UNION — A rising high school sophomore has formed a committee and put together an event to help raise money for The Miracle League of Union County’s all-inclusive playground.
Jennie Allen, 15, has competed in pageants for the past couple years, and after becoming involved with the Miss South Carolina organization, she needed a platform. She knew immediately what that platform would be.
“I wanted to do something to help individuals with disabilities special needs,” Allen said. “I have a lot of family members and friends with special needs. I grew up with one friend who competed in the Special Olympics. I loved seeing the impact it had on his life to be able to play sports and feel involved, not alone.”
Allen said she talked with Amy Austin of The Miracle League of Union County 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. “Since I talked with Amy, it’s been full speed ahead.”
The first-ever Miss Miracle League of Union County Pageant will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, at the USC Union Auditorium.
The pageant will be open to young ladies with disabilities ages 4-26 in Union County. Categories will include Tiny Miss (ages 4-6), Little Miss (ages 7-9), Preteen Miss (ages 10-12), Teen Miss (ages 13-17) and Miss (ages 18-26). There will be no registration fee.
Each contestant will also have a buddy, and each buddy will be a pageant title holder. Allen said the majority of buddies who are signed up thus far reside outside of Union County, and the pageant committee is looking for more local pageant winners to sign up as buddies for the pageant.
Former WBCU personality Pat Gwinn will be the DJ for the pageant; the Master of Ceremonies will be Scott Moore; and local teacher Jake West will create the decorations.
The theme of the pageant will be “A Day in Candyland” with the stage decorated with brightly colored lollipops, gumdrops and a game board. Contestants will also wear theme wear and evening wear, and the theme wear will include candy themes and bright colors. Each contestant will also receive a crown and/or sash in the pageant.
Allen said the evening wear does not have to be a pageant dress, but can be a prom dress, Sunday dress or party dress. She also said the pageant committee is working to give contestants free or inexpensive dress options. The committee is asking for dress donations or loans that can be returned. The dresses which are donated will be sold, and profits will go toward the Miracle League of Union County’s all-inclusive playground.
Other ways the pageant will raise money for the cause will be to sell ads for the programs and sponsorships for contestants. Contestant sponsorships — at $50 — will include mention while the contestant is called out onto the stage and listing in the program. Program ads will be available in four sizes.
For more information about the pageant, find it on Facebook as “Miss Miracle League of Union County Pageant.” Anyone who would like to receive a registration form, purchase an ad or sponsorship, or volunteer for the pageant may contact Jennie Allen by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook.