Danielle Thoe, 23, of Scandinavia, won the Junior Miss title in the 2013 Wisconsin Miss Amazing Pageant.
The competition was held April 26-27 at West De Pere High School.
Thoe was one of five age category queens who qualified for the national pageant later this year in Omaha, Neb.
She won the talent competition in her division by performing a dance. Participation in talent is not mandatory, but dancing is something Danielle Thoe has enjoyed since she was 4 years old. Standing 4-foot-5, Danielle Thoe was still big enough to dominate the stage during her introduction to the judges.
She blew a kiss to the audience and talked about how she loved her family.
“My life is so great,” she said.
The pageant, founded in 2007 and now in 25 states, is designed to give girls and young women with disabilities the opportunity to build self-confidence in a supportive environment.
In 2012, Jade Strick, an 18-year-old senior at West De Pere High School, brought the pageant to Wisconsin. She organized and managed the contest and is the state director.
Danielle Thoe’s mother, Shaun, heard about the pageant from her sister, Kelly Baumgart, a speech therapist in the Waupaca School District.
“She said it would be perfect for Danielle,” Shaun Thoe said. “We then told a good friend of Danielle’s about the pageant and she signed up and won in her age division. Thankfully they were in different age catagories.”
The friend, Renita Farias of New London, won the Senior Miss title. She is 28 years old.
The contestants had their hair done by Salon Professional Academy students. Their make-up was done by Mary Kay consultants.
“I saw what joy being in the pageant brought to Danielle,” Shaun Thoe said. “Jade (Strick) said that pageantry has given her a lot of poise and confidence and she wanted to share this with women like Danielle who have disabilities but, as shown, also have a lot of abilities.”
This year’s pageant had a total of 20 contestants, compared to three entries for its trial run last year.
The contest is supported by volunteers, money and in-kind contributions from area businesses and West De Pere High School, which offered its auditorium.
The Miss Amazing Pageant allows for seven age categories, with five titles being awarded at the Wisconsin competition.
The winners were: Nelia Cullen, 12, preteen; Andrea Wauters, 18, teen; Danielle Thoe, 23, junior miss; Katie Gottfried, 24, miss; Renita Farias, 28, senior miss.