This past Friday, I had the great opportunity to be an ambassador at the 3rd annual Power of Hope Benefit Pageant, hosted by Salt City Royalty.
Salt City Royalty is a Syracuse based pageant system focused around giving back to the community. Girls and boys of all ages compete in various categories, both onstage and by submitting photos. The money raised from entry fees went to the Jenni-Lyn Watson Memorial Scholarship Fund. Also, contestants were supplied a wishlist for the CNY Humane Society, and there was an award for the most donations. All in all, it is a great organization.
Carrie was supposed to come out and host, but she unfortunately had weekend classes! We were all super sad about it. Caitlin had to back out last moment, which was also disappointing. I haven’t seen her since Miss New York! So it was just me and Allie, whom I had never met. It was really cool, because we both wore red cocktails for the first half. We were in charge of making sure the young girls went on stage in the right order. It was fun.
I was very glad to have met some wonderful girls backstage and their mothers. One mother thought I was competing, and alone, and offered to help me do my hair. That was cute. Then I saw a girl, Katie, 10, who was participating for the first time doing anything pageant related. I did her hair. She didn’t want curls because she said she naturally has straight hair and it was a “natural pageant”. It was cute. I would have curled her hair.
I talked up the Miss America Outstanding Teen pageants to two of the girls, although they were both a little too young. One, Yasmine, is local, so I gave her Laurie Jean’s info, so she can compete in the Miss Mohawk Valley Little Miss pageant.
I was very impressed by some of the young girls. They were pros! They were better than I am, for sure, let alone when I was their age. Halloween was pretty standard Halloween-wear, however Yasmine really stood out. she used a box as a table, and had brains and whatnot. She was “Pageant Queen on a Platter”. She won “Most Creative Halloween Costume”.
Four beautiful moms had a few moments on stage for the Mom of the Year award. They all did wonderful, considering many had spent the morning getting their daughters ready, then watching the first half of the show. They all did great, but this mom, Elisa, stood out. Maybe because she was super confident on stage, or maybe it was because she wore a cocktail instead of an evening gown like the rest. But I think it was a combination of both! She should compete in Mrs. America pageants. All of the mom’s were beautiful, and it was very inspirational to see them up on stage. It was nice to share that moment with them.
Brittany won Princess for her age group, as well as Power of Hope Overall Winner, and a few others. She touched the audience as the Statue of Liberty, leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. Her fan group was the cutest. They all wore “Team Brittany” t-shirts, and she had her name on her shrug in glitter. I wish I had one!
Other Power of Hope girls included two chefs, who gave the judges cupcakes. I will keep this in mind for my next pageant. There was a lot of Breast Cancer support, but a few others as well. One girl wore green to support her grandfather who died of liver cancer. Another represented a nerd, to stand up against bullying. One girl and her dad were Ronald McDonald and a minion, to show support for the Ronald McDonald House, as she was premature and her family stayed there for 5 weeks. It was all very encouraging, and I was very impressed by the creativity.
During intermission we had lunch and some of this beautiful cake. It was very tasty. I had three slices. They were super tiny slices, so I don’t feel bad. They catering crew brought out a few slices, and people grabbed them up and went on their way. Then the crew brought out the rest, but everyone thought they were all gone. They were going to waste. My belly didn’t mind.
After 2 (or 3) slices of pizza, a huge salad, and my first piece piece of cake, I used the rest of intermission to check out the zoo. There were some amazing exhibits!
The eagles were one of the few exhibits I didn’t like, mainly because it was too small! The “roof” was far too short, and the overall size was tiny! The Utica Zoo, which I dislike greatly, has a nicer Bald Eagle exhibit. They are our National Bird. They deserve some respect. And room to fly.
Magical John was terrible. No, that’s not true. Magical John was great, if you were under the age of 10. I just happen to be twice the proper age for his jokes and tricks, so I was not entertained. The kids enjoyed it, but Allie and I used it as naptime in the changing room. I was super tired by that time. I also used the time to eat my 2nd and 3rd slices of cake, and have more pizza and salad. I was starving! Once Magical John ended, it was time for crowning. Allie changed to a new red cocktail, and I changed to my purple Talent gown.
Crowning was the highlight of the day. We had a special appearance from Cinderella to help us, which put smiles on a lot of faces. A lot of the girls did win multiple times, which I could see to be discouraging for the girls who only went up once or twice. And for the two age groups where there were only two girls, or the boys category, as there were only two, it was almost like they alternated. But other than that, it was so fun.
One of the winners was Maddy, who was one of my favorites. Some of the younger girls were scared when they were up on stage, but she was full of energy and personality, and smiled at all the judges! Not only did she win Most Photogenic, Prettiest Smile and Best Dressed for her age group (0-12 months), but she was also the Queen!
The next day, although I was unable to attend, was the Yeah Baby Model Search, also hosted by SCR. Maddy competed, and won the Yeah Baby Ultimate Queen title! I see a future Miss America in the making!
Helen probably spent the most time up on stage during crowning. She won Prettiest Smile & Best Personality for her age group (6-7 years). She was also crowned Queen and won the Power of Hope category for the 6-7 age group. And she won the Talent Star for the 5-8 year age division. Instead of small age groups, there were only 3 talent winners. The younger group was 5-8, the older group was 9-16, then an overall winner. Finally, as if she didn’t shine enough on stage, she won a preliminary model search and a community service award! Above all else, she won Most Beautiful! Although the SCR system does not believe in “Grand Supreme” titles, Helen did have the highest score for beauty, of all the girls!
Another Future Miss America!
I can’t wait to work with Salt City Royalty in the future! If you are in the are, be sure to attend the Positively Pink Pageant for Breast Cancer Survivors!
Thank you to the Moms who gave me permission to use their pictures and giving me all the proper facts! The two banners came from the SCR website and Facebook page. Feel free to check them out for more information.