February 22, 2012 | LXXI, No. 47

Girls take part in local pageant

Several local girls took part in a “natural” pageant Feb. 11, that organizers say will be planned again for next year.

From left in back: Alexia Ryan, Megan Bellamy, Desiree’ Rice, Melissa Merriman. In front: Allison Rice. — submitted photo

The Queen of Hearts Natural Pageant was designed for children and young women, ages 3-20 to promote confidence, poise, public speaking abilities and interaction skills, say organizers Carol Schoning of Coulee Dam, and Heather Downs of Grand Coulee. Girls are recognized as “queens” and “princesses” and empowered as children and young women in the community, they say.

Don’t confuse the program with the TV reality series where crazed parents doll up their little girls, they say. This "natural" pageant allows no makeup in any category, with the only exception being older contestants wishing to use light makeup to cover blemishes.

Specific guidelines are made for appropriate dress that keeps contestants respectable to themselves and others. This pageant does not have a talent category.

Schoning and Downs say they had a decent turn out and plans are already in the works for the pageant next year.

Judges were Downs, Marilyn Martino and Nina Fields. Master of Ceremonies was Darlene Morava.

Queens this year to represent Grand Coulee are: Petite Miss - Allison Rice, Little Miss - Melissa Merriman, Young Lady - Desiree' Rice.

Princesses this year to also represent Grand Coulee: Little Miss - Alexia Ryan, Young Lady - Meagan Bellamy.

Royalty will be featured in this years Colorama Parade.

The evening of the pageant Grand Coulee also had it's very first “Grand Coulee Dam's Got Talent” competition.

Contestants were given five minutes to showcase their best. It was open to any one of any age and from anywhere.

First place winners in their categories were: Allison Rice, Alexia Ryan, Desiree Rice and Heather Downs. Runners up were Meagan Bellamy. Overall was given to Meagan Bellamy for her playful rendition of the Beach Boys Classic "Fun Fun Fun".

Trophies and other prizes were given and plans are being made for next year.

Schoning and Downs expressed thanks to the judges and to The Variety Store for continuing support.

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