Local Mother Organizes Special Needs Pageant - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Mother Organizes Special Needs Pageant

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 PROSSER, WA.- Girls in Prosser all the way to Yakima were part of a unique event on Sunday at Prosser High School.

The shinning star pageant allowed girls with special needs a chance to shine onstage.

Rene Martinez's daughter Sofia was diagnosed with batten disease in 2011, an incurable disorder that causes vision loss and brain deterioration. 

But Sofia's illness has never stopped her from doing something she loves and that's dressing up and performing in pageants.

That's when her mother took the steps to organize the Washington Shinning Star Pageant; they had 16 girls participate and Rene told us it's been amazing seeing her daughter smile up on stage.  

“To see her smile beam today its just such a wonderful feeling I'm excited, I'm happy, and kind of a little sad it's over,” Rene told KNDO.

Girls in the pageant ranged from kindergarten all the way up to high school.

Each girl had a buddy that helped them do their make up, hair, and supported them back stage during the performance.

We spoke with one volunteer who told us she loved being apart of something so special and uplifting.

“It gives kids in our valley an opportunity to feel special if they haven't had that chance, and I think it's great we can bring something like this to Prosser,” Jenna Essery told KNDO.

All the girls participating were given awards at the end of the ceremony and Rene told us she hopes to see the pageant continue for many years to come.