Community

'Crowns For Hope' pageant supports Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County

TULALIP — The first "Crowns For Hope" charity luncheon pageant is set for July 31, but the deadline to enter without a late fee is July 24.

Monica Berginc was inspired to create and coordinate the event by meeting 2009's Mrs. Washington international, DeAnna Emborski, at the All American Girl Pageant in Marysville in February. Berginc wanted to organize a children's and young adults' beauty pageant to support a worthwhile community cause, and after hearing how Emborski, the outgoing publisher of The Marysville Globe and The Arlington Times, used her participation in pageants to raise awareness about domestic violence, Berginc chose Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County as Crowns For Hope's cause.

"We wanted to give something back, and they're a group that often gets overlooked," said Berginc, whose daughters will be serving an non-competing ambassadors for the pageant. "It's important that we talk to girls and teens about date violence and spousal abuse."

"Domestic violence affects every walk of life," said pageant co-coordinator Rosemary Graham-Mann. "As moms, we want to take a stand and make our girls to feel empowered. Knowledge is power, and an event like this is fun and educational."

Categories include Princes for boys all ages, Tiny Miss for girls up to 3 years old, Mini Miss for 4-6 years old, Little Miss for 7-9 years old, Pre-Teen for 10-13 years old, Teen for 14-16 years old and Miss for 17-20 years old.

The Crowns For Hope pageant takes place at the Pacific Rim Ballroom and Supper Club, located at 3228 Marine Dr. NE in Tulalip, with a registration period of 9-9:45 a.m. the day of the pageant, which kicks off at 10 a.m. The $65-per-contestant entry fee goes entirely to DVS, while attendees' $10-per-person admission includes the lunch that will be served after the casual and formal wear rounds of the pageant, during the judges' deliberation and an appearance by a guest speaker to be determined. Entrants who do not pre-register at least 48 hours in advance will pay a $10 late fee.

"It's all about confidence," Emborski said. "When I was in an abusive relationship, I kept hearing how horrible I was, and pageants helped me feel comfortable in my own skin. It's not about winning or looks, but fostering self-esteem and personal triumph. It inspired me to go on and do more, and I've had girls come up to me who were inspired by what I'd done and told them. It's an empowering thing."

To register or learn more, you may contact Berginc by phone at 360-386-8388 or via e-mail at m_berginc@yahoo.com, or log onto Crowns For Hope's website.

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