Inaugural Diamond in the Rough Winter Formal pageant Dec. 2

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South

The inaugural Diamond in the Rough Winter Formal pageant is

scheduled to take place Dec. 2 where the 2013 Miss Bayou Diamond crown will be given to very deserving young ladies in various age groups.

It is an amazing opportunity for its participants to compete at the state and possibly national levels; even little girls have a chance to attend Miss Louisiana this coming summer. This pageant is an official local preliminary to the Miss Louisiana Scholarship Organization as well as the Miss America Pageant and Scholarship

program.

According to the The Miss America Organization's website, it "is one of the nation's leading achievement programs and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. This assistance is not just for the handful of young women who become Miss America, but is available to the over 12,000 young women who compete in the state and local competitions as well."

Most notably, this pageant is not a beauty pageant; it's a natural pageant. The focus is on inner beauty, education, communication/presentation skills & community service, among other things.

Girls and young ladies will not be judged on outer appearance but rather who they are as unique and talented individuals. The goal is to give back to the participants by providing scholarship money,

not just crowns, banners & titles. Money raised will be used for participants scholarships, awards and their community service platforms, such as the local battered women's shelter and also the the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.

This year's pageant theme supports breast cancer awareness and the pageant program also partners with the Children's Miracle Network.

The pageant will kick off with a performance by an award winning local school dance team. Leading up to the pageant, visitors to the Miss Bayou Diamond website, www.model- behavior.weebly.com, may cast votes for their favorite contestants in the Rising Star contest.

The participant with the most fan votes will be announced during pageant finals on Dec. 2 as well as have the proceeds from her winning votes be donated to the platform of her choice.

Voting, through 11:59 a.m. Dec.2, costs $1 per vote with no limit on votes. Other competitions and awards include those for modeling, talent, academic achievement & the coveted Spirit Award. Two performing arts scholarships will be awarded as well as many other awards.

The directors of the pageant say they are really excited about being able to reach out to the exceptional young ladies in the community. They would also like to encourage local officials,

businesses, as well as the community as a whole, to support the program by making tax- deductible donations, purchasing tickets and ads or even by sponsoring participants who really deserve it.

A pageant scholarship fund has been set up; donations can also be sent to P.O. Box 843, Plaquemine, LA 70765. Tickets for the pageant are now on sale and can be purchased on the pageant website through PayPal, a safe, secure online payment system, or by calling (225) 337-7749. For more information, please visit the website or call the number above.