27 girls, young women vie for Miss Victoria crowns
If you go
• WHAT: 45th annual Miss Victoria Pageant
• WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
• WHERE: Victoria Fine Arts Center, 1002 Sam Houston Drive, Victoria
• COST: $10 admission
• TICKETS: Can be purchased at the door or at Dance Showcase, 2505 N. Ben Jordan St., Victoria
LITTLE MISS VICTORIA
Ashlyn Baker, 6, Schorlemmer Elementary, daughter of Dixie Baker and Wesley Baker
Avery Bardas, 4, daughter of Michelle Bardas and Jason Bardas
Mattie Buckert, 6, Schorlemmer Elementary, daughter of Tasha Bennett and Matthew Buckert
Elizabeth Flores, 6, Dudley Elementary, daughter of Natalie Flores and Richard Flores
Reagan Horn, 4, First Baptist Day School, daughter of Jessica Weller and Richard Horn
Jolie Lambert, 7, Vickers Elementary, daughter of Julie and Marc Gray and Joey Lambert
Kamdyn Morales, 6, Northside Baptist School, daughter of DeAnn Morales and Kevin Morales
Tori Patek, 6, Vickers Elementary, daughter of Melissa Patek and Patrick Patek
Averie Porras, 6, DeLeon Elementary, daughter of Stefanie Porras and Isaac Porras
Madalyn Rowlands, 6, Mission Valley Elementary, daughter of Kingslee Mitchell and Daniel and Sarah Rowlands
YOUNG MISS VICTORIA
Taylor Bearden, 10, DeLeon Elementary, daughter of Jaclyn Bearden and Lee Bearden
Mia Garza, 9, Faith Family, daughter of Stephanie Villareal and Emmanuel Villareal
Destiny Hodge, 11, Patti Welder Middle School, daughter of Shannon Cantwell and Bobby Hodge
Macie Kolodziejczyk, 8, Industrial Elementary, daughter of Shanda Kolodziejczyk and Jeffery Kolodziejczyk
Chloe Morales, 9, Vickers Elementary, daughter of Stephanie Morales and George Morales
Jillian Robles, 10, Nazareth Academy, daughter of Cheryl Robles and Adolph Robles
JUNIOR MISS VICTORIA
Jillian Brooks, 13, Howell Middle School, daughter of Christina Brooks and David Brooks
Elizabeth Caldwell, 15, Victoria West High School, daughter of Maureen Caldwell and Vic Caldwell
Mallory Hewitt, 13, Howell Middle School, daughter of Mandie Hewitt and Michael Hewitt
Kelsey Kallman, 15, Victoria West High School, daughter of Julie Kallman and Jeff Kallman
Melody Kloss, 12, Patti Welder Middle School, daughter of Talitha Kloss and Evan Kloss
Kylee Tipton, 13, Howell Middle School, daughter of Belinda Romanowski and Tommy Romanowski, and Robert Pereira Jr.
MacKenzie Borden, 15, Victoria East High School, 11th grade, daughter of Harley Borden
Kylie Hughes, 15, Liberty Academy, 10th grade, daughter of Angela Nesloney-Stehling
Brandy Kabela, 20, Victoria College, sophomore, daughter of Dawn Kabela and Craig Kabela
Brittany Newyear, 18, University of Texas at San Antonio, freshman, daughter of Kay Nelms Newyear and William Karl Newyear
Taylor Bennett, 17, Victoria College, sophomore, daughter of Tina Bennett
Just a few years ago, Taylor Beardon's friends would be surprised to learn she would compete in a Miss Victoria pageant.
Saying she's been described as shy, the 10-year-old Victoria girl "wanted to overcome my fear of being in front of everybody." She has two pageants under her belt now, earning a Little Miss Victoria crown in 2011, and she plans to compete again Saturday, vying for the Young Miss Victoria crown.
"I wanted to show that I could have the confidence in myself and do what other people can't," said Taylor.
Taylor joins 26 girls and young women this weekend at the Victoria Fine Arts Center for the 45th annual Miss Victoria Pageant, vying for one of four titles: Little Miss Victoria (ages 4 to 7), Young Miss Victoria (ages 8 to 11), Junior Miss Victoria (ages 12 to 15) and Miss Victoria (ages 16 to 20). The girls and young women are competing for more than $800 in cash and prizes in each category.
Contestants will participate in an opening dance routine and compete in four competitions in which they each will have a personal interview, deliver a prepared speech based on a prompt, participate in a formal wear segment and answer a final question if they become a finalist.
The Victoria competition teaches girls and young women life skills, pageant coordinator Bennett Cain said, highlighting how the contest helps with gaining confidence and acquiring networking and interviewing skills. Some contestants' parents have expressed apprehension about their children competing, Cain said.
"'They're so shy. We don't know if they'll do good,'" Cain recalled them saying, "and we tell them to just try, and they blossom."
The Victoria pageant is unlike other pageants because it focuses on the community and promotes service in it, she said.
"Ours is truly for the town of Victoria," Cain said. "We want someone who truly represents the town of Victoria. We're not in it for the crown and the glitz."