Sisters Emily and Abby Hamilton, of North Bend, earned several awards at the National American Miss of Washington pageant.
Abby, participating for the third time, won second place in the photogenic competition and third runner-up in the talent competition.
Emily, 5, participating for the first time but in a different age bracket, won first place in the photogenic competition, third runner-up in talent and first place in the best thank-you note contest.
Emily also finished in the top 10 out of 47 contestants in the contest’s Princess division.
The pageant does not allow girls to look older than they are, does not allow glitzy dresses and does not allow makeup, said Donna J. Hamilton, the girls’ mother and a participant in the Miss New Jersey contest in her youth.
The contest happened Labor Day weekend at the Sea-Tac Hilton.
The sisters qualified for the national pageant in November at Disneyland.
“It was really fun,” said Abby, 8. “You get to meet new friends.”
Abby and Emily performed two dances as part of the talent portion of the contest. Asked if she wanted to someday participate in the Miss America pageant, Emily said she did not know, while Abby sounded a little less hesitant.
“Yes! Yes! Yes!” she said.
Donna said being in pageants led her to a career in public relations and communications.
“It gave me the ability to be articulate and well-spoken,” she said. “It helped me in a plethora of things in life.”
She paid for her first year of college in 1989 with two pageants, she said.
Still, she did not want her girls in just any contest.
“I would never allow my girls to be in a glitz pageant,” she said.
Instead, Abby and Emily showcased their natural talents and natural looks on stage in something that turned into even more of a family affair when Emily was escorted on stage by her twin brother Michael.
Emily, the first-timer, also won $250 in cash, which Mom put into her college fund.
“She has a very quirky personality,” she said. “We weren’t sure how she was gonna do, so we just let her be her, and she did fantastically well.”
Her girls won plenty but did not win first place, and that was just fine by Donna.
“This tends to be honest and fair,” she said. “Each time, I tend to say the girl who wins should have won.”
The girls will continue participating in the pageant, but two years from now they will be in the same age division.
Having her girls compete against each other gives Donna pause.
“First and foremost, we care about what’s best for the girls, so if it means skipping the pageant for a year,” she said, “that’s what we would do.”
This article is in the SnoValley Star, check it out! http://snovalleystar.com/2011/09/28/sisters-triumph-the-natural-way-in-beauty-pageant