Favorite

This Wheel’s on Fire 

LR plays host to Ms. Wheelchair America event.

click to enlarge 2006_8-8_16-54-44-116.jpg

It’s a pageant that anyone can appreciate: No bathing suits, no ballgowns, and the kind of beauty required to win comes from within.

But are there tiaras, we ask?

Yes, there are tiaras.

The Ms. Wheelchair America 2007 contest, held last week at the Peabody Hotel, is not your grandmother’s beauty pageant, though grandmothers have been known to participate. The competition is open to women ages 21 to 60, of any marital status, who use a wheelchair or scooter in their day-to-day lives. This year’s winner was Ms. Wheelchair Massachusetts, Autumn Grant.

“The pageant is geared toward women of inner strength and beauty, with excellent public speaking skills and who advocate the rights of those with disabilities, not just for themselves, but who advocate rights within their community and nationally,” said Ida Esh’t, executive director of the Arkansas Governor’s Commission on People with Disabilities and state coordinator for Ms. Wheelchair Arkansas. She founded the Arkansas competition with the help of the late Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller, who had children with disabilities. Esh’t herself is mobility-impaired (she has a sportster chair, a “BMW” model, she says).

All contestants must choose a platform and speak about it during the pageant. Ms. Wheelchair Arkansas, Angel Okafor, sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy, addressed the abuse of mobility-impaired women and their caretakers.

“It was powerful,” Esh’t said.

Three years ago, Rockefeller added the honorary “Extraordinary Leadership” award to the pageant. This year the award went to Emily DeBray, Ms. Wheelchair Alabama. Criteria include courteousness, kindness and a good perception of oneself and others.

Last week’s five-day event went beautifully, Esh’t said, thanks to “a group of dedicated, loving volunteers.”

Although the national pageant was just last week, the next round of state contests is just around the corner. The Ms. Wheelchair Arkansas pageant will be held in late October or November. For more information about the event, check out www.mswheelchairamerica.org.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • An open line: And a note about Texas

    Here's the Memorial Day open line. And an AP report from a chaotic session of the Texas legislature, where police were called to remove demonstrators from the legislative chambers where they were noisily protesting a new law to prevent "sanctuary" cities for immigrants.
    • May 29, 2017
  • A Memorial Day message on Medicaid

    A Memorial Day reminder of the good the Medicaid expansion did for veterans and what's at risk if it goes away.
    • May 29, 2017
  • Babies having babies: Good news not so good in Arkansas

    The good news is a drop in teen pregnancy. The bad news is that Arkansas remains a leader in this statistic as well as in the somewhat related statistic of child marriages.
    • May 29, 2017
  • More »

More by Amy Brawner

Readers also liked…

  • Eligible voters removed from rolls

    Arkansas Times reporters contacted election officials around the state to see how they had handled flawed felon data from the secretary of state. Responses varied dramatically.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Real Republicans don't do pre-K

    Also, drifting away from trump, Hudson's downfall at ASU and more.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • Asa on pre-K

    • Aug 17, 2016

Most Shared

  • That modern mercantile: The bARn

    The bARn Mercantile — "the general store for the not so general," its slogan says — will open in the space formerly occupied by Ten Thousand Villages at 301A President Clinton Ave.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

  • Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

    A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.
    • May 26, 2017
  • High school MVP

    An Academic All-Star who approaches perfection.
    • May 25, 2017
  • Arkansas ticks wanted

    UA lab is researching pathogens, raising awareness.
    • May 18, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Paddling the Fourche Creek Urban Water Trail

Underutilized waterway is a hidden gem in urban Little Rock

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Abuse again at Arkansas juvenile lockup

    A guard was fired after choking a child at the Alexander Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. It’s the latest in a long history of mistreatment at the facility.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The health of a hospital

    • I remember when Ron Peterson was against Obama because he said he would institute a…

    • on May 29, 2017
  • Re: ‘They messed with my words’

    • I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in my mid to late 40's. I had hand…

    • on May 29, 2017
  • Re: ‘They messed with my words’

    • Here from England, watching this case is tragic and its a shame anyone is involved,…

    • on May 28, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation