SEE THE PHOTOS — 1st time Miss Miraculous Pageant showcases special needs superstars
Published 12:30 am Tuesday, May 3, 2022
PORT NECHES — Miss Miraculous 2022 was more than a pageant, proving to be a stunning success even the inaugural event’s organizers couldn’t believe.
A first-time volunteer committee organized the event as an open experience for the Adaptive Sports for Kids athletes.
Adaptive Sports for Kids provides children and adults with special needs the opportunity to play sports at no cost in safe and welcoming environments.
Participants come from across Southeast Texas.
Danielle Pardue and her family are volunteers. While talking to other volunteer moms about the experience, the group came up with a pageant idea for Adaptive Sports for Kids girls.
“We didn’t know what the response would be,” Pardue said. “We didn’t know if we would have a lot of contestants from a participation standpoint. We didn’t know how much community support we would have.”
The answers to all of those questions was “a lot.”
The event was held Friday night and included “23 beautiful contestants,” 70-plus volunteers and between 250 and 300 people at the pageant, according to Pardue.
Organizers secured more than $3,000 in financial support, which more than covered all of the expenses.
The organizing committee included Danielle and Bostyn Pardue of Port Neches, Victoria and Sawyer Aycock of Nederland, Leslie and Ava Solis of Port Neches, Kristy and Kynlee Vasquez of Port Neches and Jennifer and Taylor Rye of Vidor.
“Our expectations were just wildly exceeded,” Pardue said.
“After the initial information got posted to the Adaptive Sports for Kids facebook page and we all started sharing, it took off. The response was overwhelming from a contestant perspective and a community outpouring of support financially from sponsors and from volunteers.”
Jillian Fertig, who served as pageant emcee, said it was inspiring to watch each contestant walk out on stage.
She noted the courage it took to stand in front of a crowd, adding these young ladies didn’t let fear, nerves or anything else stand in their way.
“They reminded me the importance of embracing and loving yourself, because we all have something unique to offer this world,” Fertig said. “I look forward to being part of this wonderful event for many years to come.”
Pardue said everybody who entered was a winner.
“We did have four judges who had judges sheets,” she said. “Instead of giving them an actual score, our judges wrote encouraging words to them. They wrote what they loved most about an outfit. They wrote why they thought a contestant was beautiful. They wrote, ‘We love your walk because …’
“It was really meant to be an encouraging thing for them to help build their confidence. They will get those judging sheets with all those encouraging words.”
Each contest was named Miss Miraculous 2022 and received a sash and crown.
According to Pardue, the pageant is nothing without contestant participation and the main cheers belong to those young ladies.
The feedback was great, according to the organizer.
“I think everyone had a wonderful evening,” she said. “Some of the contestants played baseball the next day and showed up in their uniforms with crowns and sashes on. I heard from moms that some of them slept in their crowns.”
Pardue said the volunteer board is ready to turn this event into a tradition. It was open to anyone who wanted to participate.
Those interested can learn more by visiting adaptivesportsforkids.org, calling 409-779-2228 or emailing email@example.com.