A married Myrtle Beach couple have partnered to share the achievement and positive rewards they have found in pageantry.
Through Belles of the Beach Pageants Inc., Joshua Johnson and Donnela Green-Johnson have begun a series of pageants across the state that will culminate with a state final in December in Myrtle Beach. Registration continues through Wednesday for The Sweetheart Pageant, a Grand Strand preliminary at 11 a.m. Saturday at North Myrtle Beach High School. It’s open to females from tots through age 20.
The parents of four children – ages 9, 8, 4 and 3 – they had tallied almost 30 entries midway through last week, Joshua Johnson said.
The co-founders and co-directors of Belles of the Beach each stressed important values they want to espouse not just for contestants, but their families, because children and their parents share roles in the whole process. The Johnsons also have had three online photo pageants, raising money for charity, most recently for Fierce Fallon ( www.fiercefallon.com) helping Fallon Emery, a Carolina Forest 10-year-old girl battling brain cancer, and drawing contestants from as far as the United Kingdom and Alberta.
For The Sweetheart Pageant, we’ll have a 5-month-old and a 41/2-month old. We don’t want to leave anyone out.
The positive power of pageants can stay with a girl her whole life. And we hope that we can be a part of that.
We’ve had people approach us about entering their boys in contests. So we have a poll question on the Belles of the Beach Facebook page. If we get enough interest, then we’ll maybe add the boys in their own categories as contestants, from 0 to 15 years old.
I tell the parents – in an email: “Your children learn about losing from YOUR reaction to their loss. If YOU behave with dignity and positivity, your child will mimic that behavior. It is also important for you to realize, as caring parents, that if you acted disappointed or angry, a child might internalize that and feel that you are disappointed or angry with THEM.”
So, we have tried to set the boundaries and the tone for our pageants (even our online photo pageants), stressing positivity and that we are learning lifelong moral values.
The crowns, sashes, medallions and trophies are just the icing on the cake.