The second annual Very Special Miss Louisiana pageant for girls and young women with special needs living in Louisiana was Dec. 5-6 in Baton Rouge.
Volunteers from The Crowning Moment, which offers youth mentoring and beauty pageant coaching to girls across the Gulf Coast, assisted with the pageant.
Beauty pageant title holders and TCM clients who participated included McKenzie Nassar, of Gonzales. Also participating were Caitlin Hager, of Baton Rouge; Brittney, Kailah and Ailynn Fresina, of Zachary; Layna Baker, of Baker; Lily Hensley, of Central; Christian Louque, of Lutcher; Addison Plauche, of Plaucheville; Natalie Reed, of Moreauville; and Victoria Richmond, of Glenmora.
TCM families and queens volunteered to escort the contestants, perform in the opening number and help make each girl feel extra special with a loud cheering section, a news release said.
A Candyland-themed party was held that featured Jamie Lynn Spears from Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101,” who visited with the contestants and read to them. Visiting pageant queens and contestants danced with the reigning Miss Teen USA, Katherine Haik, of Franklinton.
“My favorite part was watching the girls perform on stage because they are all wonderful and have such free spirits,” said Miss Louisiana Lagniappe Junior Princess Ailynn Fresina, of Zachary.
Proceeds from the event benefit TARC. To learn more about the Very Special Miss Louisiana Pageant or TARC, visit veryspecialmisslouisiana.com.