Helena pre-teen wins 2017 National American Miss Alabama Jr. Pre-Teen pageant

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–Ella Clare Updegraff, daughter of John and Lacey Updegraff of Helena, has earned the prestigious title of the 2017 National American Miss Alabama Jr. Pre-Teen at the state pageant held July 7, in downtown Birmingham.

Ella Clare Updegraff, left, of Helena won the title of the 2017 National American Miss Alabama Jr. Pre-Teen at the state pageant held July 7, in downtown Birmingham. (Contributed)

Ella Clare will be attending the National Pageant to be held in Anaheim, California at Disneyland during Thanksgiving week, representing the state of Alabama, where she will have the opportunity to win her share of more than $500,000 in cash and prizes.

The National American Miss Pageants are dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders. Each year, the National American Miss Pageants awards $1.5 million in cash, scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist the development of young women nationwide.

National American Miss is dedicated to developing the success of young women across our nation with a program that is designed to be age-appropriate and family-oriented. Pageants are held in each state for girls ages four to 18 in five different age divisions.

The National American Miss Pageants are for “today’s girl” and “tomorrow’s leaders.” The pageant program is based on inner beauty, as well as poise, presentation and offers an “All-American spirit” of fun for family and friends.

Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, learning good attitudes about competition and setting and achieving personal goals. The pageant seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl while encouraging her to set goals for the future.

Ella Clare’s activities include the Gifted Education Program at Helena Intermediate School and dance and tumbling at Dance Etc. in Helena. Her goals for the future are to earn a scholarship to Auburn University and to become an Auburn cheerleader while earning her degree to become a first grade teacher. She also has goals to become Miss Universe one day.

She will head to Hollywood the week of Thanksgiving and although airfare and entry fees are paid for, she is still looking for help for expenses. Those individuals wishing to help Ella Clare on her journey to California can do so by visiting, Gofundme.com/ella-clare-heads-to-hollywood.

Business owners who would like to advertise a business, please visit the website or contact Lacey Updegraff at Lacey.updegraff@gmail.com.

For more information, contact Lacey at 334-524-9981.