A few years ago we were introduced to the Miss ARC Broward pageant, a pageant for girls with disabilities. We had no idea the impact this unique event would have on our lives. I promise you it’s the best three hours you’ll ever spend. It’s the one special pageant this world truly needs!
About ARC Broward & The Miss ARC Broward Pageant
For over 60 years, ARC Broward has been changing the community’s perspective on people with developmental disabilities and other life challenges. They have made a huge difference in how these people are accepted and included.
When they started this pageant, they found a beautiful way to celebrate girls with disabilities. It brings attention to their abilities, empowers them, and highlights all the light they bring to the world.
Our Personal Experience With The Pageant
When our daughter first participated, she was just five years old. Right from the start we could tell the pageant was going to be a wonderful and unique experience. Everyone was so welcoming to her and all the other girls. The staff and volunteers were all so kind and engaging.
Our daughter made some wonderful friends over the years. She was just two years into her autism diagnosis when she first participated. It was a time when we felt very alone as a family. The ARC Broward pageant brought us together with so many families like ours. We were all so happy to be a part of something so special.
ARC Broward has so many amazing programs and events that embrace our special needs community. We’ve been so blessed to have the opportunity for our daughter to participate in three of the pageants. This is the sixth year of the pageant and every year it gets better!
The girls all have companies that sponsor them and they have their own cheer squads for the day of the event. The volunteers are amazing and create such a sweet bond with the girls. Throughout the whole process, the staff showers the participants with wonderful experiences and generosity.
This Year’s Miss ARC Broward and Little Miss ARC Broward
This year’s pageant was held this past Sunday, November 11th, at Parker Playhouse. There were were 21 young women with disabilities (ages 6-17) that participated. Their unique talents and personalities were showcased. The girls also performed an inspirational dance together to “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman. They also did interviews with Sheli Muniz and Kristin Sanchez from NBC6 as they showed off their evening wear.
We are so happy for our friend Mahogani Gibson, who was crowned Miss ARC Broward!
Mahogani is an eighteen year old teen with an intellectual disability and she is from Coral Springs. She performed a very inspiring dance to “This is Me“. Mahogani will be advocating for girls with disabilities in her role as Miss ARC Broward. We are so excited for her and her accomplishment!
We’re also excited that our daughter Grace was crowned Miss Little ARC Broward! Grace is ten years old and has autism. She performed “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman. She sang while accompanying herself on keyboard. Her Dad also had the special pleasure of accompanying her performance on guitar. It was such an amazing moment for her and our family and friends!
Photo Credit: Cate Crehan
There are so many great ways you can get involved and help. ARC Broward is a non-profit organization that runs on grants and contributions from corporations and individuals. Your donation can do so much to help fund their programs and special events like the Miss ARC Broward pageant. You can click here to support the fund for ARC Proward.
Thank You Everyone
A special thank you to Jessica Rodriguez, Lenai Martinez, and all the staff and volunteers of ARC Broward who organize and run this event. We would also like to give a special thanks to Grace’s sponsor Lighthouse Point Yacht Club and especially to Jessica Orndoff. We are so grateful for their generosity, love, and support of our girl.
Our family would also like to thank everyone that helped us raise $520 for ARC Broward. Thank you to all the staff, volunteers, and judges. Also, a big thank you to all of our family, teachers, and friends who came out Sunday night to support Grace. It was a magical night!
Make sure you keep an eye out on the ARC Broward Facebook Page for next year’s event. You don’t want to miss it! It will move you beyond words, so bring your tissues. You won’t be able to keep from smiling during the whole show. It’s the one event I wish we could give everyone a ticket to because these girls show the world what it truly means to be brave, strong, and beautiful! So make sure to grab a ticket next year for this amazing event. The light, love, and girl power these young ladies bring will forever change you for the better!
Photography By: Kara Starzy Photography