King’s Fork student trains for beauty pageant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 6, 2005

When she’s preparing to head to Williamsburg for the state Pre-Teen America pageant Sept. 16, Haley Cavenas will pack the 1950s-style outfit she’ll wear in the event-opening performance, in which all the contestants will take the audience back half a century.

The 12-year-old will also take along her academic achievements (&uot;I get mostly B’s,&uot; she claims).

She’ll bundle up her Suffolk Christian Church volunteer activities.

Email newsletter signup

She’ll carry her King’s Fork Middle School doings, such as the chorus club and First Priority, a Christian club.

Her athletic achievements, like helping the Fireballs to an age 9-13 Suffolk Youth Athletic Association softball title last season, will be there for the ride.

Finally, she’ll grab her exhibition for the talent show, a singing/piano performance of &uot;Amazing Grace.&uot;

On Sept. 18, she’ll bring all those things back to Suffolk – and a college scholarship might come with them.

&uot;I really liked the fact that (the pageant) wasn’t focused on beauty things,&uot; Haley says of her reasons for competing against 12-year-olds from across the state (girls 7-13 will participate). &uot;It looked like a fun thing.&uot;

After a teacher recommended her to be a contestant, Haley asked her friends and family for donations to head north, and raised $380. Two weekends from now, she’ll be in a Super 8 Motel for the event.

&uot;I’m going to be nervous,&uot; she says. &uot;There’s going to be a lot of girls, but I think I’ll fit in.&uot;

Again, the pageant kicks off with all the girls putting on a show from the 50s. Haley’s not sure exactly what will happen.

&uot;I already have the outfit,&uot; she says. &uot;It’s mostly made up of stuff I had (at my house).&uot;

She’ll go before a committee, where she’ll be asked a series of questions similar to those found on the SOL. She’ll be scored based on her intellect and speaking ability.

Then the talent part will begin.

&uot;I’ve been practicing every day, for between an hour and an hour and a half,&uot; she says. &uot;I could always play the piano, and I like to sing, so I thought, ‘Why not do both?’&uot;

The overall winner of the event gets a $5,000 college scholarship, and individual event winners also get prizes.

&uot;I’d like to stay local for college,&uot; she says. &uot;I might like to work in interior design, or become a pediatrician, because I really like working with kids.&uot;