11th annual special needs pageant Saturday

McDONOUGH — The 11th annual Mr. and Miss Special Henry County Pageant will be held Saturday, July 27, at Salem Baptist Church.

The pageant, founded in 2003 by Lyndsey Mills, whose sister, Kristi was born with Down syndrome, is for males and females with developmental disabilities or autism. Lyndsey Mills was active in pageants, which her sister adored, so she came up with the idea to create an event celebrating the special needs population.

Kristi Mills went on to become the first Miss Teen Special Henry County.

Organizers said the pageant is an opportunity for members of the special needs population to participate in an event that is fun, inspiring and helps to build their social skills and self-confidence.

This year, new divisions have been added to the program, said organizers. There will be a junior division for ages birth to 12; teen division, ages 13 to 19; young adult division ages 20 to 30; and a new adult division, ages 31 and up. The contestants do not have to live in Henry County.

The Junior Division Pageant will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday. The Teen, Young Adult and Adult Pageant will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5. There will be a silent auction for various items, People’s Choice Awards and other activities at the event.