Tuesday, 12/12/2017 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Fort Hood pageant makes dreams come true

Fort Hood pageant makes dreams come true

Special to the Evening Star

It’s been an emotional year for 8-year old Paige Cardon of Harker Heights. This year, both her father and grandfather deployed.  Her father went to Korea and her grandfather to Iraq. The second-grader worked hard to make honor grades and model good behavior.  But, she wanted to do something more to make her father and grandfather proud.  So, Cardon decided to enter the Little Miss Fort Hood Pageant.

Now in its eighth consecutive year, the pageant crowns several queens in different age divisions.  Cardon competed in the Little Miss division for contestants ages 6-8 years.  Categories of competition included evening gown, patriotic wear and photogenic. She practiced daily and on the day of the event, she executed her performance in each phase of competition flawlessly.

“My mom practiced with me every single day on my walk, my turns, how I watched the judges and even where my hands were,” Cardon said. “But, I knew I had to practice if I had a chance at winning the crown.”

She selected the iconic World War II song, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, as her music for the patriotic wear competition and wowed the judges twirling her sequined hat and completing 360 degree turns in perfect time to the music. The audience broke into applause when she played her air bugle.  Her performance was an audience favorite.

In the evening gown competition, she modeled her heavily stoned, short party dress with elegance and grace standing in a perfect model’s T on each letter “X” taped on the stage, and she never took her eyes off the judges. The audience cheered with delight sending a clear sign of appreciation for Cardon’s performance when she left the stage.

All three phases of competition were complete. But, Cardon rubbed her hands nervously one over the other wondering if she would be the judges’ choice. Upon the crowning moment, Cardon’s name was called. She was crowned the new Fort Hood Little Miss.

With a smile that stretched ear to ear, Cardon’s hard work paid off and she took her congratulatory walk across the stage in her sparkling crown and banner.

“I wanted to win this for my dad and my grandpa because they are in the Army and that is why we live here,” the Mountainview Elementary student said. “I know I made them proud of me.”

Following the pageant, Cardon got to talk to her grandfather, Keith Sledd, in Iraq via Facetime. She was wearing her crown and banner. Upon seeing her, that same smile from ear to ear spread across his face.

“You won, Pumpkin. I am so proud of you,” Sledd said. Cardon went on to tell him every detail of the pageant and he listened intently, his eyes twinkling with pride demonstrating that the sparkling tiara made more than one dream come true on that stage.

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