12-year-old Kelsey Dube has competed in several pageant competitions but the events are far from being all about glamour and glitz.
Competitions involve public speaking, interview skills and presentations.
“It teaches you some life lessons,” said Kelsey, who hopes to some day put those skills to work as a professional singer.
And this fall Kelsey will up the ante with her first truly national competition.
While she’s competed in several over the past few years, this November Kelsey will represent Canton at the National American Miss pageant in Anaheim California.
As first runner up in the 2012 Connecticut competition she has qualified to compete for the pre-teen National All-American Miss title. She is also entered in some optional categories.
This will be her first foray outside of the region. Kelsey will compete among a much larger group and audience as she showcases her personal introduction and interview skills along with formal wear presentation and community involvement.
Kelsey’s mother father and brother will make the trip with her and as part of it the girls in the competition will take a tour of Hollywood, visit Disneyland and other attractions.
“It’s a way to make new friends,” Kelsey said. “We meet people all over the county. It’s more of a fun experience.”
It’s also an expensive one. Her mother Michele estimates it will be $5,000 to $6,000. While it won't cover it all, the family hopes fundraising efforts will cover registration fees.
To that end, Kelsey is selling ads for an event program. She will also be in the Made in Connecticut tent at Sam Collins Day this weekend, offering ad information and selling hair ties and candy bags. She will also give away coupons for an Oct. 11 fundraiser at Dish ‘n Dat from 4 to 10 p.m. Coupons for the fundraiser can also be downloaded on her facebook page .
Kelsey began competing after she received a letter from the National American Miss Organization in 2009. After researching it a little, Michele gave her the go-ahead. In 2010 she was 2nd runner up in the state contest and she has participated in several other competitions in the region.
This will be the first time she has traveled so far and although her dad Nathan and 15-year-old brother Nate don’t attend every event they do come to the bigger ones.
“I’m very excited,” Kelsey said. “My whole family is going to come support me.”
“It’s very good to be a part of it,” she said. “It teaches so much that you need in the future.”
Michele agrees. She said though the financial and time commitment is huge, the competitions are fun and useful.
“I feel this is going to help her in the future,” she said.