Teen donates crowns for contestants with disabilities

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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WICHITA, Kan.-- Lilly Vasquez walked in The Arc of Sedgwick County offices wearing a sash and carrying bags filled with evidence of the success she has had in competitions.

Since the age of four, Vasquez has been participating in dance, gymnastics, and pageant competitions. Over the years, she has accumulated crowns, trophies, and medals.

Now, the 13-year-old wants to live out her platform of "Get Involved - Pay It Forward" by donating her winnings for the Miss Unstoppable Pageant.

"I decided to give up all these crowns because I remember when I won these pageants, how happy I was and the joy I felt," said Vasquez.

The Arc of Sedgwick County is hosting the Miss Unstoppable Pageant for girls and women with disabilities. It is the creation of Chelsea Chilcott, who is the program coordinator of The Arc Cornerstone Mentoring Program.

"I've mentored a lot of the girls who are living with a disability and I see how much personality they have and how much talent they have. They just need the opportunity to get on stage," said Chilcott.

Vasquez and other volunteers will help the 26 contestants, ages 12-60, compete this Saturday.

"I'm really excited to see how happy they get when they win," said Vasquez.

The Miss Unstoppable Pageant is free to the public and donations are welcomed. It will be held at Wichita South High School on Saturday, 3-5 p.m.

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