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

  • Annals of the Granite Mountain 'dumping ground'

    The Little Rock City Board is set to approve an expansion of mining closer to the Granite Mountain neighborhood, long treated as a dumping ground by the city.
    • Jul 22, 2017
  • Playground fire at Gibbs school

    Another Little Rock School District playground fire, this one about 5:45 p.m. Friday at Gibbs Elementary.
    • Jul 22, 2017
  • Another week done

    The Friday line is open. From the White House to the Ole Miss outhouse in the news roundup today.
    • Jul 21, 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

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Arkansas Reporter

Event Calendar

« »

July

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

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Ruth Coker Burks, the cemetery angel

    • Go Fund Me Page. https://www.gofundme.com/RuthCokerBurks

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: The ballad of Fred and Yoko

    • I grew up in Charleston and attended the College of Charleston, right around the corner…

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: A week at Midtown

    • Beautifully & perfectly written. Maggie & Mistown are definitely unique & awesome!!

    • on July 21, 2017
 

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