Two Dayton-area girls have earned the right to compete in the 2014 National American Miss pageant, which will be held at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., during Thanksgiving week this year.
Kennedy Chase, 14, of Bellbrook and Jade Capri Manley, 11, of Centerville won the top crown in their respective age groups at the National American Miss — Ohio pageant held at Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus on July 19-21. Both girls received their crowns, sash and $1,000 cash award plus $350 for airfare.
“I had so many emotions; I was really excited because this is my eighth year to compete,” said Chase, who was named NAM Ohio Junior Teen. “Knowing that I won being myself was an amazing feeling. My parents were so proud, I think my mom was crying harder that I was.”
Her parents are Mark and Annette Chase, who were there at the pageant with other family members and friends. Chase is a freshman at Stivers School for the Arts where she studies dance and theater. She is also a member of one of the Miami Valley Dance Center’s competitive teams. She recently appeared in a short video for PROKids Friends of Children Society in Hamilton.
“I met Kennedy a couple of years ago when Jade was competing. She was so sweet towards my daughter and was such a good example and role model, even outside of the pageant,” said Jade’s mother, Alisha Manley. “She’s one of the most gracious young ladies that I have ever met in my life.”
“I would love to be a child psychologist and incorporating my passion, dance, would be something really different, like dance therapy,” said Chase, who has won six other pageant titles. “I love helping others; especially little kids; I love working with children.”
One of the ways Chase helps kids is through the charity she began at Stivers called Change for a Cause that raises money for inner-city kids for magnet school fees and private lessons in music or art.
Manley won the NAM Ohio Pre-Teen crown. She volunteers with Daybreak, and has earned two other pageant titles. She attends the sixth grade at Watts Middle School in Centerville. Manley was cast as the Godfather in “Twinderella” at Town Hall Theatre in August. She was also the featured lead in a Mead Trapper Keeper commercial.
“I’m positive, I love to sing, but most of all I love to make people laugh,” said Manley, who tells jokes during her pageant interviews. “I would like to be a stand-up comic, singer or actor, that would be cool. But I also would like to be a kindergarten teacher. I like helping kids.”
The National American Miss pageants stress inner beauty, poise and presentation. Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, having a good attitude and achieving personal goals. The girls have a one-one interview with about six judges, and model formalwear.