Athletes to participate in Alabama Angels

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 17, 2015

Three Pike County Special Olympic athletes will compete in the Alabama Angels non-competitive pageant July 25 at Frazer United Methodist Church in Montgomery.

Marissa Brunjie, Kendall Eaton and Sairah Garner will be the first Team Pike County Special Olympic athletes to participate in the Alabama Angels pageant.

“The Alabama Angels pageant will be a wonderful and memorable experience for them,” said Meredith Welch, who along with her husband, Linn, heads the Team Pike County delegation. “Sairah and Marissa both compete in the Special Olympics in track and field events. Sairah also competes in gymnastics. Athletes have to be 9 years old to compete in the Special Olympics. Kendall is not old enough to compete so she is really excited to have the opportunity to compete in the Alabama Angels pageant.”

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The theme of this year’s pageant is “Snowflakes and Dreams.” Everybody has a dream … even angels!

“Marissa and Sairah are just as excited as Kendall to have this opportunity to participate in the Alabama Angels Pageant,” Welch said “Like many little girls, they all dream of wearing a crown.”

Alabama Angels is open to all children with special needs, males and females.

“It is a non-competitive event and all ‘Angels’ receive a crown, a sash and a T-shirt so everybody comes away a winner,” Welch said. “Alabama Angels is not about ability. The pageant is a chance to celebrate the sweet spirits of these children and for them to have the opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of participating in an event like this.”

One hundred and twenty boys and girls will participate in the pageant and they will be treated royally, Welch said.

“First, they will have carriage rides for all the Angels, which will be a new experience for most of the children,” she said. “Then, stylists will be there to help them with their hair, makeup and nails. There will be a selection of gowns and tuxedoes for the Angels to wear if they want to.

“And each Angel will have a guardian angel with them throughout the day to guide them from place to place and help them with any needs they might have and to provide support for them.”

Each Alabama Angel will have strong support from their hometowns. More than 1,000 people are expected to attend.

The Angels’ experience is provided at no cost to the family.

However, the number of Alabama Angels that can participate depends on the funds available.

“The pageant seeks to show each Angel participant how special and loved they truly are and we are excited for our Pike County Team to be a part of this wonderful event,” Welch said.