CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — The Ms. Wheelchair USA national pageant will once again be held at the Walsh Jesuit High School Auditorium on Friday, July 19 and Saturday, July 20.
Eight national finalist from Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Washington are competing for the title.
Miranda McCoy, Ms. Wheelchair Midwestern, believes it's the message of strength and hope that contestants give to the audience and each other may have the greatest impact for everyone involved.
“I think that there is such a stigma that comes along with a disability and people see all the things that we can’t do and with this pageant it’s brought such a normalcy in my life,” said McCoy.
“I think the things that we’re feeling are similar and we all want to succeed and feel normal and be our beautiful selves.”
Lowery Lockard, founder of Ms. Wheelchair USA Organization and the Dane Foundation told News 5 the women are interviewed, participate in a gown competition and give insights into their community service.
“You know if you’re having a bad day all you have to do is listen to one of these ladies stories,” Lockard said.
“They talk about their challenges and how they take on those challenges and turn them into opportunities and positive stories."
"They not only talk about their successes, but inspire other people as well."
Lockard said the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant began 24 years ago and is run by The Dane Foundation, a Cuyahoga Falls-based nonprofit that helps fulfill the needs of people with disabilities.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the program starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20 at Walsh Jesuit High School located at 5440 Wyoga Lake Road.