Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. From the “Miss America” pageant to “Toddlers and Tiaras,” the whole world seems to be celebrating beauty. This weekend, the celebration is brought to Bremen, with the added bonus of more than a little good will to go around.
This year marks the one-year anniversary of the Relay for Life Pageant, organized by Melanie Pace, the owner of Salon 27 in Buchanan. The pageant gives each contestant the opportunity to walk in honor of or in memory of someone who has cancer, has passed away from cancer, or is a cancer survivor.
“We put on the pageant last year,” Pace said. “We plan to do it every year, and we hope it gets bigger and better every year.”
It seems as though Pace’s dream is already coming true. Last year, the pageant had 30 contestants, and this year that number has risen to 45.
“This year, I think every contestant is walking in honor or in memory of someone. It’s just amazing,” she said.
Even her stage escorts have been affected. Both 13 years old, one has lost two grandparents to cancer, and the other is being raised by his grandmother, a cancer survivor.
“We have a little girl who is six years old, and she has been fighting leukemia since she was born,” Pace said.
This contestant will be walking in her own honor during the pageant, and Pace said they were looking to create some type of special award for her to acknowledge her grace and courage.
Along with this new award, there will be two crowns given for each age division.
The first is the “Crown for a Cure,” which is awarded based on the judges’ scores. The second is the “Princess of Hope” crown, which is presented to the contestant in each age division who raises the most money for Relay for Life.
While there is a wide range of ages in the pageant, the ages are broken up into various divisions: “Babies” are from 0-3 years old, and from there, the divisions are split up as 4-6, 7-10, 11-12, and 13-15.
Pace said that there will be a panel of three judges for the event. The first is growing pop star “Lexi,” who is an Atlanta native. Her great-grandmother passed away from cancer, and Pace said she always wears a piece of her jewelry during concerts. Next is actress and model April Omohundro from Alpharetta, who has a sister-in-law currently battling cancer, and the third is Cindy Tedford, a five-year cancer survivor from Ackworth.
Although registration to compete in the pageant has passed, the general public is urged to come support the contestants and the cause. There will be a $3 admission fee, Pace said, and all proceeds will be donated to the Haralson County Relay for Life.
“It’s a big deal,” Pace said.
She said that the importance of donating to organizations such as the American Cancer Society really hit home for her last year. Her cousin was (and still is) battling Pancreatic cancer. She said that when her cousin had her tumor removed, the ACS stepped in and paid for their lodgings.
Pace also said they tried to do other events for Relay for Life in the past, but nothing had really raised any money. Then, she said, they decided to try the pageant.
“Last year, we raised $4,127,” she said.
They hope to contribute even more this year.
Anyone who wishes to come support the contestants should note that the pageant will be held on Saturday, March 2, in the Cherry Blossom Ballroom, inside Sewell Mill in Bremen, Ga. It will begin at 5 p.m.
Contact Melanie Pace at Salon 27, 770-646-5002, for more information.