Sweet Spot: Miss Amazing Pageant Celebrates Strengths Of Girls And Women With Disabilities

May 03, 2018 - 9:03 pm

MERRICK, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- The New York Miss Amazing Pageant is unlike any other you’ve seen before.

The pageant celebrates the strengths of girls and women with disabilities. Mike Sugerman met some of the participants, who explained why the mission is so important.

“A lot of times we talk about girls with disabilities, and we talk about the things that they can’t do,” says Maria Lopez, a beauty queen from Queens, “and this is a place where we talk about everything they can do.”

And all have different reasons for showing what they can do. 

“Hello, my name is Adriana Greco,” one tells Sugerman. “I like to perform in front of everybody.”

“We get to meet the buddies and we just have a great time,” said Vanessa Tigre.

“It’s for my parents to see,” said Tara Sanders.

At the event on Long Island recently – the girls and women, who all have special needs, all get a chance to show why they are special in other ways.

It’s all done with volunteers, and the volunteers are pretty amazing too.

“My brother has autism – my younger brother – and when I was in high school, I started an organization called Breaking Boundaries that was geared towards getting high school students volunteering with students with disabilities in the district,” says Melissa Felson, who is the New York state chair of the Miss Amazing pageant.

Joseph Michael McGahan has quite a different story.

“I am actually Nassau County forensic photographer, for the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s office,” McGahan said. “I do it for these kids. Once you see them smile, they just like, my heart just like opens up and warms up.”

“I still compete in pagents, but I also work with children,” Lopez said. “I have a master’s degree in child advocacy and policy, so I kind of get to bring all my gifts here and bring them to this organization.”

It’s always an emotional evening at these pageants, which are held nationwide, and this night was no exception – thanks to the work of the volunteers and the spirit of the girls and women who compete.

Now, there’s the national pageant. And for those who are competing, there is a GoFundMe site set up. It’s at http://ny.missamazing.org/donate.​