Winners crowned as inspiration abounds

By Andrea Ray | May 06, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Teen Miss Inspirational victor Shania Ward beams after her piano performance.

Mattapoisett — Surfing, dance, drumming, comedy routines. They aren't easy, but they were old hat for the 21 participants in Saturday night’s Miss Inspirational pageant, held at Old Rochester Regional High School.

The program, in its second year, is intended for young women with special needs. Pageant host Jillian Zucco founded Miss Inspirational while looking for a way to help people with special needs to demonstrate their talents and share their stories. Friends, families and supporters packed the audience to cheer the contestants on.

The night began with introductions. Each contestant appeared to say a little bit about herself. While all were confident, some were natural comedians. “I have two English bulldogs, they snore a lot,” said 10-year-old Hope Laliberte, as the audience chuckled. She added that her favorite thing to do is to wear red lipstick.

After introductions came the talent show. Laliberte took to a stationary surfboard, avoiding raging waves (and an errant shark’s fin) to the tune of “Surfing USA” by The Beach Boys.

Talent overflowed as the performances continued. Emma Fleurent enlisted the help of her sisters to dance to “Sister Time” from the Disney TV series “Elena of Avalor”. Shania Ward finished her piano rendition of a Stevie Wonder song with a large bow and equally large smile. Nicole Pereira brought out her inner rock star, tapping out a drumming routine on a large exercise ball.

Christen Boudreau performed a comedy routine based on her years spent living in Minnesota. “Did you know that it gets so cold there in the winter that you have to wear your ski suit and snow boots to do the dishes?” she asked, before belting out uncanny renditions of a chicken, dog and wolf.

The final round of the competition was the formalwear round. The contestants donned their favorite dresses to promenade onstage, before the winners were announced.

Hope Laliberte took the Little Miss Inspirational (ages 12 and under) crown, while Shania Ward swept to victory as Teen Miss Inspirational (ages 13 to 18). Christen Boudreau was crowned Miss Inspirational, the division for young women aged 19 and above.

Zucco said that she hoped the program is intended to help “bring awareness” to the special needs community. “They want same things we all do, and they want to be included socially," she said.

Emma Fleurent and her sisters after their dance to "Sister Time" from the TV series "Elena of Avalor". (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
Emily Eastman's cheerleading routine wowed the crowd. (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
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