- Associated Press - Saturday, June 20, 2015

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Hannah Remole recently stumbled upon a television special about a pageant for girls with disabilities. Then she created her own pageant.

The Central High School senior was looking for something to do for her Girl Scouts Gold Award Project when the idea came to her in the form of HBO’s documentary “Miss You Can Do It,” which spotlights young pageant contestants with disabilities from around the country.

“I just knew that’s what I wanted to do,” Remole told the Evansville Courier & Press (http://bit.ly/1H5JQxp ). “I wanted to be able to bring that to girls in my county.”

After a little planning and budgeting, “Miss Golden,” the Vanderburgh County 4-H Fair’s first pageant for special-needs girls and women, was born.

Remole said she was also inspired by one of her cousins with a disability.

“I imagined seeing her up on stage with girls who have gone through similar things and seeing her smile,” Remole said.

So, she met with the coordinator of the Vanderburgh County 4-H Fair Queen Pageant, Beth Schmitt, who agreed to be Remole’s mentor to get the ball rolling.

“I knew the fair would be perfect. I love 4H and have always been super involved,” Remole said.

The pageant is 6 p.m. July 25 in the 4-H auditorium. The deadline for entering to be a contestant is June 26.

Contestants, who range in age from 10 to 35, will participate in an interview with the judges. Contestants will be asked two or three questions out of the five she chose from a list of 20. There will also be on-stage modeling. A crowning ceremony will follow.

“All girls will win something,” Remole said. “There will be one overall winner for each class and then one of those the winners will be Miss Golden.”

Remole and Schmitt are still working on some final touches for the pageant.

“One of our biggest challenges is looking for a sponsor for a ramp we need to build for the inside stage that is accessible for wheelchairs and other disabilities,” Remole said. “We do not have any sponsors committed yet. We talked to some Mary Kay reps to ask if they’re willing to donate makeup, and we also need hairdressers to come out and do hair.”

Remole hopes she is creating a tradition. She wants to see Miss Golden pageants at the 4-H Fair for years to come.

“I hope to make every girl feel beautiful and special. I know that is something my cousin struggles with,” Remole said. “Every girl should be called beautiful, disability or not.”

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Information from: Evansville Courier & Press, http://www.courierpress.com

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