Shining Star entry deadline extended

— The 5th annual Washington Shining Star Pageant registration has been extended, said pageant organizer Rene Martinez.

The pageant takes place Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Bethel Church, 270 N. Gap Road.

“We have extended the deadline beyond the original Jan 11 date to let people know we are looking for more participants,” she said.

The pageant is open to girls in kindergarten up to age 40, who have an IEP or special need.

Martinez said participants come on stage in theme wear and formal wear. They also give an introduction of themselves and answer an onstage question.

Partial scholarships are available to cover the $25 registration fee.

Each contestant will have a buddy to assist them. Each candidate is asked to collect new pajamas as part of a community service.

For registration materials, email or call 775-741-3800.

The pageant was developed after Martinez’s daughter went through an unsuccessful search for a pageant that celebrated her uniqueness.

Her mother says Sofia Martinez created a pageant for girls with special needs.

In 2011 Sofia was diagnosed with Batten Disease. It is a rare fatal neurological disease that has now taken her eye sight, causes her to have seizures frequently and dementia.

These hardships haven’t stopped her from creating an amazing day for other girls like herself.

Each girl receives a t-shirt, trophy and crown.


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