Osborne Middle School students Lauren Elayne Davlin and Jodi Kaye Dills, both age 11, recently came up with the idea of the Miss Mill Creek Portray Pageant for girls with special needs.
As fifth graders at , Davlin and Dills wrote a persuasive paper for their language arts class describing a pageant designed "to appreciate the uniqueness and attributes in special needs girls." Their teacher, Laura Thetford, was so impressed that she encouraged the girls to follow through with their idea.
The girls set up a meeting with principal to discuss having a pageant to recognize girls with special needs and raise money for cancer research. With the support of Dr. Markham and assistance from Miss Mill Creek pageant director Kaye Alexander, the idea is now turning into a reality.
The first Miss Mill Creek Portray Pageant is scheduled to take place on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at Mill Creek High School. This pageant is open to any girl with special needs in preschool through the 12th grade. The girls will dress in formal wear only and all girls who participate will receive recognition and prizes. The pageant is designed so that all girls will win equally.
The cost to attend the event is $5 and proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. The girls chose this cause for personal reasons as Davlin's family has a history of cancer. Her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and she lost her grandfather to cancer in the fall of 2009.
The girls' parents -- Layne and Heidi Davlin and Tommy and Anne Dills -- are extremely proud of their daughters for taking on such a huge project.
"We are humbled by their accepting ways, and that they have found such a special place in their hearts to recognize the uniqueness in others," wrote Heidi Davlin in an email to Dacula Patch. "Their persistence and willingness to follow through has been outstanding. They are two very mature, loving and caring young ladies. The girls who participate in the Miss Mill Creek Portray Pageant will in turn receive a wonderful night of recognition and feel special in their own way."