"Why isn't there a pageant for girls like me?" After searching for pageants in Washington, Sofia asked her mom this question. When they couldn't find any pageants for girls with special needs they simply created one!
Borrowing the best portions of pageants that Sofia had participated in and coming up with our own ideas, we recruited a few die-hard friends and created the Miss Shining Star Pageant. It was scary at first. We weren't sure if others would think we were crazy or if we would even get any participants.
But in February 2015, the first Miss Shining Star Pageant was held with 15 participants. We were overwhelmed with the community support and attendance. Local church, Bethel Church, immediately offered to partner with us and host the pageant for 2016.
On February 6, 2016 we packed Bethel church with over 450 people and doubled participants to 32 for our second Miss Shining Star pageant! It was an AMAZING day! For the 2017 pageant, we added a new element, born out of a real-world experience for Sofia. She had an unexpected emergency stay at a hospital quite a distance away from home; and when the time came, she had nothing to wear for the ride home other than the hospital gown. The Community Service Award challenged our girls to collect new pajamas to be donated to area hospitals. In two pageants we have collected over 2,000 pajamas, which our girls routinely deliver to local children's hospitals in the Pacific Northwest.
Our little-pageant-that-could continues to provide an inspirational day for our girls, their families, and our community. With even more sponsors and partners joining us for the third annual Miss Shining Star pageant!