Michelle Heston, of Osceola, is back on the pageant circuit this year to help raise money for Dylan Cook, 20, of Van Wert, who was badly injured in a car accident last fall.
Heston will be competing in America’s Super Pageant in Montana in May. The grand prize is $500.
“We’re going to match that and give it all to Dylan. So I’m hoping to win the $500 and we will add $500 of our own money to it to be able to give him $1,000,” said Heston.
Heston had taken some time off from pageants during the height of the pandemic and was thinking about being done all together but she saw the fundraising opportunity after Cook’s accident and has picked it back up.
Contestants in the pageant compete and earn points in three different categories including opening number, glam wear and the formal gown. They do an interview earlier in the day as well. Contestants can earn extra points to doing 20 appearances prior to the pageant.
“So 20 is the lowest you can go. If you get the 20, you get the extra points but whoever goes above and beyond that and makes the most points that way then they can win the money,” said Heston. “It’s fun to go to the pageant and everything but that’s why I’m going. I’m wanting to win the money so I can give it to Dylan.”
After Cook’s accident in September 2021 he was badly hurt and suffered a C4 spinal cord injury which affects the lunch as well as the lower body. He went to Nebraska for therapy and is back now.
“A lot of people could be angry and mad and depressed and Dylan just isn’t. I mean I’m sure he has his moments like anybody would but he’s really got a great attitude. I’m just so proud of him. He’s an amazing kid and we’ve just been trying to fund raise for him,” said Heston. “We did one in Van Wert and we did a Thelma’s Fried Chicken Dinner not long ago so really anything to help out because it’s going to be a long road and there are things he needs and things that we don’t know about that will be needed in the future.”