You Are Beautiful Pageant highlights beauty in Anderson special needs community

Tonight was the 5th annual "You Are Beautiful" pageant at the Anderson County Civics Center
Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 11:14 PM EST
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ANDERSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Thursday night was the 5th annual You Are Beautiful pageant at the Anderson County Civics Center. The event highlights the beauty of the special needs community while also raising money for the Anderson Special Olympic teams. This year’s theme was a night under the stars.

“They are just as important as anybody else in society and it gives them a platform to promote awareness and it also gives them an opportunity to be in a beauty pageant just like everybody else is” said Kathy Schofield, the Co-Director for Anderson Special Olympics.

This year’s pageant set a new record with 33 contestants. The pageant is organized by the Area 14 Special Olympics office and gives teens and adults with special needs a moment in the spotlight.

“You win awards and it’s kinda fun to me” said Cody Darby, a contestant.

Last year, Darby won the “Handsome Hunk” award. He hit the catwalk this year aiming to win another award.

“I walk on the stage and I do a moonwalk too, it’s fun too, very fun” he said.

Other returning contestants like Melissa Trotter aimed for bigger prizes this year.

“I just pray to God to make me not nervous,” said Trotter, “I like doing them and I like seeing people out here watching us.”

“The rules and regulations of a typical pageant kind of go out the window a little bit” said Susie Spainhour, she had her two adult children in the pageant.

“When you’re a parent of a child with a disability, it’s very costly just every day is very costly. And so when they can bring in someone who does their hair and makeup, and it’s free for our kids, it just means a lot” she said.

Of course the pageant is a lot of fun, but donations from raffles and ticket prices serve a bigger purpose towards the Special Olympics.

“It helps those athletes with uniforms, travel expenses, any equipment that they need, and it also helps us host other wonderful events throughout the year that are not just sports” said Schofield.

Giving contestants a chance to show off, and show how amazing they truly are.

“You see their inner beauty, their inner character, just that they want to show the love is inside their heart and that they’re cute and they’re special and they’re beautiful” said Spainhour.