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 Annual Special Needs Pageant Began as Gold Award Project

By: Meghan Kotowski | Gwinnett Daily Post

For the second year, Snellville United Methodist Church will play host to the Mr. and Mrs. Special Gwinnett County Pageant on Saturday.

It was started as a Girl Scout Gold Award Project in 2012. After a great experience last year, the mother of the scout, Pam Hite, wanted to continue the pageant this year.

“We only had four contestants last year, but the reaction to their participation in the pageant was phenomenal,” she said. “I have a passion for this community of individuals. I don’t think that our county recognizes them and what they can bring to the community. I thought it was a worthwhile cause to continue.”

Hite teamed up with Greater Atlanta Pathways to sponsor the event. GAP is an organization which provides support and resources for special needs programs.

For 2013, there are 20 contestants signed up to strut their stuff.

There are three categories for people to enter into: teen (boys and girls ages 13-19), adult (men and women 20-years and older) and the newest additon, the sweethearts (couples).

“We have three couples signed up in the sweetheart division,” Hite said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I think they’re going to steal the hearts of the audience.”

Every contestant is awarded honorary Prince and Princess status, and each category will have a King and Queen crowned.

“Every contestant is a winner,” Hite said. “There is a sense of pride in who they are as an individual (after the pageant).”

The pageant starts at 7 p.m. in the church’s Christian Life Center with $5 admission at the door. All of the money goes back to paying the pageant’s expenses. Donations are welcomed.

Snellville UMC is located at 2428 Main St. in Snellville. For more information, email specialpageant@yahoo.com.

Content courtesy of gwinnettdailypost.com.