Local teen to compete in state pageant

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Madison Horner debuts her talent of singing Hallelujah at the Miss Cassville Pageant where she was the host. Horner has been practicing with a voice coach, and will be singing the song as her talent as the Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen Pageant Contributed photo

Cassville sophomore to compete for Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen

At age 15, Madison Horner says she is planning for her future through competing in pageants.

Horner's mother, Darla Horner, competed in pageants and now volunteers to direct them. She said her daughter did not like pageants when she was small because she did not like doing her hair and wearing make-up.

However, that changed at age 13, when Horner decided to try her first pageant.

Horner said that she likes the service aspects of the Miss America pageants, and that she can learn everyday skills like speaking and interviewing that she can use throughout her life.

Participants must raise or donate $100 for the Missouri Outstanding Teen Pageant to support the Children's Miracle Network.

"The money goes to an incredible organization that is helping families with sick children," she said. "It's less stress on those parents."

Horner plans to raise the money through organizing events like a 5k run and a princess tea party.

In addition, participants have to choose a platform of their own to speak on and support. Horner's is "Lend A Helping Hand: Anti-Bully Awareness Program."

She came up with the idea after witnessing her brother being bullied and how the situation affected him. She has been to several schools to speak on the topic, and would like to visit more. Horner said that she tells students to confront the bully and show them that the action is not acceptable. Then go to a higher authority who can deal with it in a professional manner.

Darla Horner said she is proud when she sees her daughter compete.

"I'm the most objective mom," she said. "I'm not a crazy pageant mom like on Toddlers and Tiaras. I don't take it to the extreme. I know she works hard. I just support, give and give suggestions."

Madison Horner has won the title of Miss Southern Missouri Outstanding Teen, and she will be competing for Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen in June.

On June 1, Horner will attend the competition in Mexico, Mo., at the Missouri Military Academy. She will have four full days of rehearsing and competing. The winner of that competition will get $2,500 in scholarship money, and go to Florida to compete for the Miss America Outstanding Teen title.

The pageant will have four parts: the interview, where the girls are asked questions based on their platform and current events; lifestyle and a fitness routine, where the girls dance and do a workout onstage as a group; evening gown and onstage questioning; and the talent.

Horner started dancing when she was a 2-year-old, but recently decided to change her talent and began voice lessons.

"My friends think competing is cool," Horner said. "At first they thought of the stereotypical beauty pageant, but I had to show them it's more than beauty. Now they are supportive and want to watch."

The winners of the pageants can win scholarship money, which Horner plans to use when she graduates. She said she would like to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and major in fashion merchandising and business, eventually becoming a buyer for a company.

"Every time I compete, no matter the outcome, I take away skills and make new friends," Horner said. "If I don't win, it gives me more drive to work harder next time, better myself as a person, and work on my interview skills and talent."

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