The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

March 30, 2014

Spring Cuties are being sought for upcoming pageant

BECKLEY — High waists and cropped tops are making a splash on international runways this spring, but girls and boys won’t have to hop a flight and strut on a Paris catwalk to show off their warm-weather fashions. Easter 2014 styles will be on parade at the Newspaper in Education “Spring Cuties” pageants April 5 in Beckley.

Girls and boys in two age groups can compete for the Supreme title in the Elite and Ultimate categories to win a special crown, trophy, sash and prize. Titles will also be awarded in several categories, including prettiest eyes, prettiest hair, prettiest smile, best personality and most photogenic.

Every contestant gets a trophy and crown, and the cost for entry is $40.

Each contestant must submit an unframed, 5 X 7 or 8 X 10 photograph that is natural or untouched, such as a school photograph or snapshot.

Pageant director Jaime Lefler said the pageant isn’t a “glitz” pageant and attire won’t be judged.

“We would like for all the kids to wear something out of their closet, recycle maybe their Easter dress or a cute spring outfit,” she said. “We don’t expect parents to put all kinds of money into an outfit.

“We don’t want anybody to feel pressured, to where maybe they can’t afford an outfit.”

Talent isn’t judged, either, she added.

Contestants don their favorite twirly ballerina skirt, cruise-worthy sailor dress or Easter dress or suit and line up as a group on stage, explained Lefler.

Judges will choose the individual awards such as prettiest eyes and prettiest smile during the line-up, Lefler said.

For the photogenic category, judges look over the submitted photographs to choose a winner.

Contestants can enter additional photos for $5 each, but the first photograph is covered under the registration fee, said Lefler.

After the line-up, contestants get to show their individuality by walking across the stage on their own, or with an adult if they’ve developed a case of stage fright, said Lefler.

“Each child gets to go on the stage by themselves, and at that point, all eyes are on them,” she said. “Sometimes you have siblings (competing in the same pageant), but you get that moment to shine.”

Pageants are a way for some kids to overcome shyness and develop confidence, she added.

“My daughter did pageants starting out at 5 months old, and she did pageants all the way up until she was almost 16. She loved them. She was kind of a backward child, and she came out of her shell,” Lefler explained.

This year, fans and audience members can vote for their favorite contestant by paying $1. The “Fan Favorite” winner will get a crown, sash, gift and trophy, said NIE Director Carla Nelson.

“This is a  great family fun event that benefits great causes,” said Nelson. “Our pageants allow every child to walk as a winner and feel accomplished.”

Proceeds benefit The Register-Herald Newspaper in Education program, which provides newspapers to students in southern West Virginia.

The first pageant (for boys ages 0 to 23 months, 2 to 4 years and 5 and up and girls under 1, 1 year, 2 years and 3 years) will start at 11 a.m. with registration opening from  9:30 to 11 a.m.

The second pageant for girls in age groups 4 years, 5 to 6 years, 7 to 8 years, 9 to 10 years, 11 to 12 years, 13 to 15 years and 16 to 21 years will begin at 3 p.m. Registration is from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m.

Both pageants will be at the John W. Eye Conference Center on South Kanawha Street.

Payment must be made by cash, money order or credit card. Entry forms are available in The Register-Herald or at the business window inside the Register-Herald office on North Kanawha Street.

Those who want more information may contact Nelson at 304-255-4498 or Lefler at 304-237-2079.

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