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Little Miss Paradise is much more than a beauty pageant

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Seven young girls will take to the stage at City Hall tonight to compete for the title of Little Miss Paradise.

To be successful, they must show outstanding poise, be able to answer pre-set questions and demonstrate a special talent.

The girls must also select a charity to assist during their two-year reign as Little Miss Paradise, should they be named the winner.

All in all, it’s not a traditional beauty pageant, said organiser Diana DeRoza.

“During the two-year period the young ladies are able to become more involved and form a lasting relationship with the individuals responsible for operation of [the charities they choose to assist],” she said.

“Although they are young they realise how very fortunate they are and how much they have to offer. At the end of their reign they will have learned a good lesson in citizenship and a sense of pride knowing that they have helped someone through their community commitment. [We believe that] assisting a charitable organisation is an ideal way to build character, and through helping others they will develop trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship.”

The pageant is open to girls between the ages of eight and 11. Competing this year are Miss Devonshire, Daeshanae Young; Miss Sandys, Samaria Pitt; Miss Southampton, Zy-Asia Forbes; Miss Warwick, Aaliyah Lee; Miss Paget, Keturah Bulford-Trott; Miss Smith’s, Teja Watson; and Miss St George’s, Asia Seymour.

The young ladies have been given 25 questions that they must be able to answer at tonight’s pageant.

“The questions relate to Bermuda’s flora and fauna, general knowledge, sports history and underwater exploration,” Mrs DeRoza said. “We also take them on field trips, they also learn about personal hygiene, grooming, character building, etiquette, posture, dance and public speaking.

“They will be judged on stage presence, knowledge of pre-set questions, talent, poise, speech, and the ability to represent themselves in a positive manner.”

There is also a talent section. Contestants have shown a range of skills in the past dance, poetry, skits, martial arts, gymnastics, singing, violin, recorder, piano and even puppet shows.

Little Miss Paradise 2009 winner Zahra Wilson supported Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre during her reign. A donation will be made to the charity tonight. This year’s competitors have a range of interests KBB, the SPCA, the Sunshine League, Child’s Wish, Salvation Army and PALS.

The pageant was launched in 1995 by Mrs DeRoza and Carla Wilson. It was then held annually.

“We felt there just wasn't enough going on in Bermuda for the girls to participate in other than the Heritage Day and Christmas parades so we decided to add the concept of assisting a charitable organisation,” Mrs DeRoza explained.

“Another reason it is now held bi-annually is because a great deal of work goes into the preparation of the pageant in addition to overheads.”

Mrs DeRoza, who also supervises operations at Sandys Community Centre, said the winner would be a public figure for the next two years.

“They will assist their charity, take part in parades, [make] appearances and perform at various events, attend ribbon-cutting ceremonies and seniors’ events, meet dignitaries and distribute food hampers etc,” she said.

Every contestant will win a prize, Mrs DeRoza added.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Clara-Bows Boutique, Caesar’s Pharmacy, Family Affair Boutique, Sandys Community Centre and from contestants.

The event starts at 6pm at City Hall Theatre.

To register for the 2013 Little Miss Paradise Pageant e-mail dmderoza[AT]gov.bm or tbrangmanscc[AT]bermuda.bm, or telephone 234-3758.

Little beauty queens: Little Miss Paradise Pageant 2011 contestants with Little Miss Paradise Pageant 2009 Miss Zahra Wilson
Little Miss Paradise Pageant 2009 Miss Zahra Wilson will hand over her crown this evening at City Hall Theatre.
Miss Sandys Samaria Pitt, eight, is supporting the Sunshine League children's home, because she wants to help children.
Miss Southampton Zy-Asia Forbes, eight, attends Somerset Primary. She wants to support the charity Child Wish, as she wants to help grant a wish to sick children.
Miss Warwick Aaliyah Lee, eight, loves animals and wants to support the charity SPCA. She attends Somerset Primary.
Miss Paget Keturah Bulford-Trott, ten, of Wes End Primary will assist the Salvation Army, as she enjoys feeding the homeless.
Miss Devonshire Daeshanae Young, ten, is supporting the SPCA because she likes animals.
Miss Smith's Teja Watson, nine, attends Somerset Primary. Her dream is to support PALS, as both of her great grandparents passed away from cancer and the charity took very good care of them.
Miss St. George Asia Seymour, ten, attends Somersfield Academy. The charity she wants to help is KBB, because she wants to make a change in the world.

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Published August 31, 2011 at 10:52 am (Updated August 31, 2011 at 10:51 am)

Little Miss Paradise is much more than a beauty pageant

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