“When they first came in, they were hiding behind their moms,” she said.
The transformation that followed, as these young girls got on stage in the Community Center’s auditorium, was nothing short of remarkable, Farrell said.
“They were strutting their stuff,” she said. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house for those little girls.”
On Friday, July 27, in a year when Poinciana is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a community, a little bit of history was made when the Community Center hosted the very first Miss Poinciana Pageant, an event that put the women and girls of Poinciana front and center.
More than 150 people attended the event, including Farrell, who said it was nothing short of inspiring to see such a positive, upbeat and entertaining event come off without a hitch.
“It was a great night for Poinciana,” Farrell said. “We need to keep this event. I just hope it grows and becomes an annual event. The girls worked really hard on this.”
The event was held on Friday in conjunction with Poinciana’s ongoing 40th anniversary bash. The pageant was sponsored by the Association of Poinciana Villages, the homeowner’s association that oversees the community’s 10 villages
And it was an opportunity for the community’s young ladies to shine.
“When Wendy and I were talking, I said ‘Wait until you see them,’ ” said Melody Nadal, the pageant’s director. “The majority of them had never competed and they were really shy at first.”
Watching them blossom on stage, Nadal said, was a wonderful experience.
“I felt like a proud mama of them all,” she said. “It was beautiful. Everyone ranted and raved about it.”
Nadal is the founder of Poinciana Pros, a business networking and support group that helps give Poinciana area companies, including many self-employed residents, a way to reach a wider audience across Central Florida. Nadal and her daughter Dominique also run Nadal Enterprises, which provides business consultations. The Poinciana Pros members came up with the idea for the Miss Poinciana Pageant, and then presented it to the APV, which agreed to become the official sponsor of this event.
Another thing that was unique about this event, Nadal said, is the way so many people in the community came forward to help organize it. Friends like Farrell, she said, showed up early on Friday to help get things ready for the pageant, while Osceola County Commissioner Brandon Arrington got signage to help advertise this pageant. Osceola County School Board member Cindy Hartig donated the runway to the pageant. Leggz Dance Studio gave one month’s free prizes to the contestants, while Rayelynne Ketchum Campaign gave $50 gift certificates to all the runner ups. These were all last minute donations to the show.
“Nobody asked for anything in return,” Nadal said. “It was a community that pulled together.”
Jeff Goldmacher, a member of Poinciana Pros, donated the $1,000 cash prize to the winners.
“I made this commitment when I first heard about the pageant,” Goldmacher said. During a meeting of Poinciana Pros, when the board members were first organizing this pageant, “I said ‘Let’s just worry about raising the money to pay for crowns and everything else, let’s not worry about the prize money,’ ” he said. “I said, ‘I will throw that in myself.’ ”
The winners of the pageant were Jessika Musawwir, who was crowned Miss Poinciana 2013; Kaylee Feliciano, crowned Junior Miss Poinciana 2013; and Abigail Romero, crowned Little Miss Poinciana 2013.
“It was awesome,” Farrell said. “It was just a great night for Poinciana. Melody did such a great job of pulling this off.”
“They were stupendous,” Goldmacher said of the contestants. “It was just wonderful to see.”
The community will get another opportunity to meet the winners on Saturday, Aug. 11, when a Back to School Beach Bash for local kids will be held at Vance Harmon Park from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The winners will be introduced to the community and receive their trophies during this event.
This is one of numerous events being held in Poinciana this year as the community marks its 40th birthday. The APV hosted a birthday bash on Saturday, May 26 during the Memorial Day Weekend, and will also host two other special communitywide events, one in October and the final one in December.
The Miss Poinciana Pageant, Farrell said, was a very welcome addition to the celebrating.
“It’s another first for Poinciana,” she said. “We need to make it even bigger and better in the future.”
That’s a part of the organizers’ goals — to make this an annual event that grows each year, getting bigger and better.
Contact us at FreelineOrlando@Gmail.com.