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Loganville girl starts pageant to help senior citizens

LAWRENCEVILLE - Former Miss Georgia Preteen Kayla Watson just relinquished her crown.

But the Loganville 12-year-old didn't want to end a Valentine's Day tradition she enjoyed just because she no longer had a title to back her.

So Kayla started her own pageant, the Loganville Sweetheart Pageant, as a way to recruit help for a project that will ensure the elderly in her community have a happy Valentine's Day.

Her Feb. 2 event at The Orchard drew 75 spectators and 17 contestants ranging in age from 2 to 18. The girls' entry fees should pay enough for Kayla to buy a Valentine's Day gift for every resident of the Southern Plantation nursing home, said her mother, Jackie Watson.

Kayla and other participants also will make cards for the residents.

"She wanted to spend time with them on Valentine's Day," Jackie Watson said. "She said it's a holiday for young people. It's a time when they're typically forgotten."

In years past, Kayla has helped other pageant winners make cards for nursing home residents, and wanted to do it again this year, Watson said. The girls will gather to make the cards this week in order to finish them by Thursday.

Jackie Watson said the event turned out nicely.

"Everyone had a great attitude and a wonderful time," she said.

Pageant winners were Johanna Godinez as Tiny Miss Loganville Sweetheart, Victoria Hogan as Little Miss Loganville Sweetheart, Kaitlin Kalemba as Young Miss Loganville Sweetheart, Heather Porter as Preteen Miss Loganville Sweetheart, Amanda Moreno as Teen Miss Loganville Sweetheart and Amanda Hendrix as Miss Loganville Sweetheart.

For more information about the pageant or delivering valentines, call Jackie Watson at 770-466-5010 or e-mail loganvillesweetheart@yahoo.com.