Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

South Park 4-Year-Old Wins Baby Miss America

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

South Park 4-Year-Old Wins Baby Miss America

Article excerpt

After starting out in a local pageant at just 6 months old, Madelyn Thomas, now 4, has earned the title of Baby Miss America 2014.

"I entered her in a small pageant at a mall and she seemed to love being in the spotlight even as a baby right from the start," said Madelyn's mom, Lori Thomas.

Madelyn lives in South Park with her mother and father, Dean Thomas; her sister, Rebecca, 15; and her brother, Brandon, 12.

Madelyn has competed in "All-Natural" pageants.

"I don't believe in putting all that makeup and fake stuff on a child," Ms. Thomas said.

According to its website, the Baby Miss America Pageant is "dedicated to the purpose of inspiring children with the highest ideals of character, conduct, confidence, assisting in the development of a child's poise and self-esteem and developing a positive attitude to reach their full potential."

The pageant also raises funds for The Water Project, an organization based in Concord, N.H., that provides wells and other water resources for communities around the world that lack access to clean water.

Prior to competing against dozens of other children at the Baby Miss America Pageant in Houston over Thanksgiving weekend, she competed in other national pageants, including Sunburst, Cinderella and Heavenly Angels.

This is the first time she has won a national title. Previously, she has won several state titles and placed as high as third at national competitions in the past.

"Baby Miss America, unlike other pageants, has a candidate-at- large system," Ms. Thomas said. "They do not allow just anyone to compete. Contestants must be chosen from a photo entry."

Ms. Thomas said she saw an advertisement on Facebook for the pageant and decided to enter a photo of Madelyn.

"The director said there were hundreds of entries from each state," including about 450 from Pennsylvania and 750 from Texas, where Baby Miss America is based, Ms. …

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