Bethlehem Press

Monday, April 24, 2017
The 2016 Miss Amazing Junior Teen Kassie Mundhenk gets some hair-styling help from her mother, Jenette Mundhenk. Mom says her daughter “has gained so much confidence since participating in last year’s pageant.” Kassie helped give out awards at the 2017 pageant. The 2016 Miss Amazing Junior Teen Kassie Mundhenk gets some hair-styling help from her mother, Jenette Mundhenk. Mom says her daughter “has gained so much confidence since participating in last year’s pageant.” Kassie helped give out awards at the 2017 pageant.
The queen in the 24-27-year-old Miss category is Kimberly Lagala, 27, from Allentown. She is very good with children and hopes to work with children with special needs. The queen in the 24-27-year-old Miss category is Kimberly Lagala, 27, from Allentown. She is very good with children and hopes to work with children with special needs.
Pageant hostess Kate Schartel Novak discusses the evening’s program with three volunteers from Moravian College: Nina Pastrof, Kylie Mastricola and Melanie Gutierrez. Novak is the former 2011 Mrs. Pennsylvania United States, and the 2015 Mrs. Pennsylvania. Pageant hostess Kate Schartel Novak discusses the evening’s program with three volunteers from Moravian College: Nina Pastrof, Kylie Mastricola and Melanie Gutierrez. Novak is the former 2011 Mrs. Pennsylvania United States, and the 2015 Mrs. Pennsylvania.
PRESS PHOTOS BY CAROLE GORNEYAward winners in each Miss Amazing age category are crowned queens, and runners-up get the title of princess, and receive a small tiara. PRESS PHOTOS BY CAROLE GORNEYAward winners in each Miss Amazing age category are crowned queens, and runners-up get the title of princess, and receive a small tiara.
National Preteen Miss Amazing Rylee Howerton, 11, was a guest at the Pennsylvania Miss Amazing pageant at the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts in South Bethlehem. She won her title last year at the national competition in Chicago. National Preteen Miss Amazing Rylee Howerton, 11, was a guest at the Pennsylvania Miss Amazing pageant at the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts in South Bethlehem. She won her title last year at the national competition in Chicago.
Shernell Pierre, a 29-year old contestant from Emmaus, was crowned Senior Miss Amazing Queen. She says she enjoys singing, reading and writing poems. Shernell Pierre, a 29-year old contestant from Emmaus, was crowned Senior Miss Amazing Queen. She says she enjoys singing, reading and writing poems.
Six-year-old Rebecca Jurchak is a Rising Star participant in the Miss Amazing pageant. She is from Exeter, where she is a Panthers D-team cheerleader and a World cup “team fire” cheerleader. Six-year-old Rebecca Jurchak is a Rising Star participant in the Miss Amazing pageant. She is from Exeter, where she is a Panthers D-team cheerleader and a World cup “team fire” cheerleader.

Miss Amazing-Pageant redefines beauty

Monday, February 27, 2017 by Carole Gorney Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

There are many different kinds of beauty pageants, but only one very special Pennsylvania Miss Amazing contest, where this year 20 girls and women with disabilities vied for recognition and prizes in the second annual event at the Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts in South Bethlehem.

The contestants, ranging in age from 6 to 37 years old, came from throughout the state.

They competed for the title of queen in one of six different age-based categories and were judged on the basis of their poise and self-confidence. While the pageant included evening wear and talent performances, according to the mission of the event, it is not about competing on the basis of physical beauty.

The 2017 queens are:

• Preteen, Joan Reyes, 11, Allentown

• Junior Teen, Reilly Bauer, 13, Lansford

• Teen, Lalka Kline, 18, Allentown

• Junior Miss, Sydney Laabs, 22, Hawley

• Miss, Kimberly Lagala, 27, Allentown

• Senior Miss, Shernell Pierre, 29, Emmaus

The Pennsylvania Miss Amazing event is a division of the national Miss Amazing nonprofit organization, which is dedicated to providing opportunities for girls and women with disabilities to build their self-confidence and self-esteem in a supportive environment. Miss Amazing was founded in 2006 by former Miss Nebraska Teen Jordan Somer when she was only 13. She was inspired by her volunteer work with Special Olympics.

On the organization’s website, Somer explains, “With help from an expansive network of supporters, Miss Amazing has become so much more than a pageant. We are a community. We are a culture of celebration and empowerment. Miss Amazing is a movement created by a collective desire to acknowledge the beauty and value within all people.”

Today, there are programs in 30 states, and more than 100 girls and women compete annually in the national Miss Amazing Pageant.