Kids strut their stuff at ‘The Spirit of the Pageant’

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RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) —  A local beauty queen is using her crown for good with “The Spirit of the Pageant”

The event if for kids with special needs and disabilities to show off their talents.

Monroe Hill, pageant organizer, says she wanted to bring the joy of pageants to kids with special needs.

She says the idea came from a disparaging video made by hip-hop artist 50 Cent, mocking a man with autism.

From there she made it her mission to showcase the abilities of those with disabilities

“One of the contestants, I was at his birthday party and they were all dancing and performing and I was like ‘we should show this,” Hill said.  “So, we did the pageant and I love to do pageants and I decided it would be super cool if they did pageants.”

Alexandra Brownstein is a spirit buddy helping all of the contestant put on their best performance.

“You can accomplish things even if you may have a disability,” Brownstein said. “If you’re in a wheelchair, you can still do talent. Some people are break dancing, some people are singing, dancing.”

Hallie Hovey-Murray, Princess America Texas Miss, also commented.

“People with disabilities have their own talents, their own blessings,” Hovey-Murray said. “Having a disability isn’t going to hold someone back from being a contributing member of society and to do a lot of good in the world,” Hovey-Murray said.

Hill said she didn’t pull this all together on her own.  Many people contributed.

“There have been so many people that have helped me with this,” Hill said. I couldn’t have done this alone. So many people including the spirit buddies, the contestants, my committee, so many people, I just want to thank them all.”

Hill did invite 50 Cent to judge today’s pageant.  He did not show but she says she hopes that he will leave from people with disabilities as she did with her friends.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to

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