BY KATIE BANECK
The Wisconsin Miss Amazing Pageant was held on March 22 at St. Norbert College in the Walter Theatre. The pageant is for girls and women with disabilities, and its goal is to enable them to reach their full potential by encouraging inclusion.
According to the pageant’s director, UW-Green Bay freshman Jade Strick, the first Miss Amazing Pageant took place in 2007 in Omaha, Nebraska. After Strick’s introduction, the emcee for the evening, Katie Phernetton, the CW 14 star for Northeast Wisconsin, took over.
The pageant’s format consisted of eight different age groups: Rising Stars, Preteens, Junior Teens, Teens, Junior Miss, Miss, Senior Miss and Shooting Stars. The evening began with the participants parading in with their volunteer helpers, then it went into personal introductions. Public speaking is a difficult task for most people, so to see over 20 people with special needs stand on stage and speak in front of an audience was really inspiring. Between sections of the pageant, three contestants performed their talents. These girls were pre-selected as the “People’s Choice” talent competition winners. Two girls performed dance numbers, and one sang a song.
The final judging event was an evening wear portion where the participants were escorted on stage, by family members and volunteers, in their favorite dresses. The closing awards consisted of crowning the queens and princesses. Each participant received a sash and trophy, but the selected winners were awarded crowns and tiaras. There was a winning queen from each age group and then princesses or runners-up.
This pageant was an inspiring event to watch. It takes a lot courage for someone to get on stage and compete in a pageant, and watching these participants with special needs get to do the same thing was uplifting.