Bailey student named top winner at Little Miss Westie Pageant
Bailey student named top winner at Little Miss Westie Pageant
Posted on 05/10/2016
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WEST HAVEN, April 18, 2016 — The Little Miss Westie Pageant crowned Bailey Middle School student Mackenzie Gardner as its Overall Supreme Winner March 26 at West Haven High School and highlighted the talent of around 35 local girls.

The annual pageant, run by WHHS Assistant Principal Dana Paredes and assisted this year by WHHS seniors Gabby Athitang and Stefania Vendrella, is a fundraiser for the WHHS Project Graduation “Blue & White . . . Up All Night” event, a safe and substance-free celebration for WHHS seniors after their June commencement ceremony.

Audience members cheered on girls of all ages, from babies to eighth-graders, who participated in a dress-up portion, an interview for girls 4 years and older, a “glitz and glitter” session that encourages girls to wear something that shows their personality, and an optional talent portion.

Representatives of the local pageant world, West Haven teachers, paraprofessionals, activity advisers and students, as well as coaches from the West Haven Pop Warner Seahawks cheerleading team, served as judges.

All participants receive prizes for superlatives, but there are top winners in a few primary categories.

As the Overall Supreme Winner who also earned the title of Pre-Teen Miss Westie, Mackenzie won a spot in the West Haven Memorial Day Parade, as well as a $100 cash prize.

Ariana Rose won the People’s Choice award, an honor based upon the amount of donations each participant received in a donation jar in the WHHS lobby.

Lia Dunford was named Sean’s Angel, having earned the second highest amount of donations in her jar. Funds raised in that category will go toward a scholarship for a WHHS senior in the name of Sean Pesce, who was injured two years ago in Afghanistan on a tour of duty. Donations in all of the other jars will go toward Project Graduation.

In the other categories based on age range, Dior Fraser was named Baby Miss Westie; Alyssa Seneca was crowned Mini Miss Westie; Nizhoni Wilson was named Junior Miss Westie; Kayla Suarez is this year’s Petite Miss Westie; Aurelie Elias was selected as Lil’ Miss Westie; and Stephanie S. was declared Teen Miss Westie. Olivia Moretti also earned the Lil’ Miss Community Spirit award.

Additional awards were given in categories of best dressed, best costume, best sportswear and interview, among others.