‘Wonderful’ part of pageant creates a princess for a year
There were 11 contestants in the first N.C. Outstanding Little Miss Pageant in 2009 and, four years later, the pageant winners have logged over 21,000 hours of community service.
On Saturday, 48 contestants ages 4 to 13 competed in one of seven categories for the fifth annual Outstanding Little Miss pageant held at Vance-Granville Community College.
The Outstanding Little Miss is a sister pageant to the Miss North Carolina pageant.
Since 2011, the Outstanding Little Miss has included the N.C. Dream Angel, which is awarded to a young lady with a medical condition that would normally hinder competition.
Last year, Marlee Bass was crowned the Dream Angel. Bass and the other 2012 queens have spent the past year traveling North Carolina.
Abby Norris was awarded the Dream Angel crown in 2011 and she won the Miss Capital City’s Outstanding Little Miss crown in 2012.
Norris was born with a disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. It is a genetic disorder characterized by fragile bones that break easily.
Abby’s mother, Nancy, said her 6-year-old daughter has had more than 50 bone fractures in her short life.
“Ever since she was born, we have been in and out of the hospital and going to therapy,” Nancy Norris said. “The Dream Angel program has been absolutely wonderful. It lets these girls be a princess for a year.”
During the year, the Outstanding Little Miss queens raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network, an organization that raises money for 170 children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.
Outstanding Little Miss queens have raised over $50,000 for Children’s Miracle Network since Pam Hester and Melinda Crews founded the non-profit.
“Everything we do goes back to the girls,” Hester said. “This is not something we do to make money.”
Abby, who has been in pageants since she was 2 years old, raised $1,700 for the Children's Miracle Network during her time as the Dream Angel.
Pam Hester’s daughter BrieAnna founded the Dream Angel Program in 2008.
In 2011, BrieAnna was awarded the President’s Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award for logging 4,000 hours of community service and now she has more than 5,000 hours.
Four queens who retired their crowns Saturday, including Bass, received the gold level President’s Volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award for logging 100 or more hours of service within 12 months.
“It’s really about changing the community and changing society for the better,” Hester said.
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