American Girl Fashion Show contest winners announced

February 28, 2014 

American Girl Fashion Show contest winners announced

A favorite fictional character starts with a story that inspires, comforts or relates to the reader's own experience. This is evident in the essays submitted for the American Girl Fashion Show Essay Contest hosted by Junior League of Manatee County and Bradenton Herald.

Girls ages 8-12 were invited to write an essay answering either which American Girl character inspired her and why, or how has American Girl Historical Characters stories' inspired her to give back to her community. The girls frequently wrote about the characters that went through similar hardships to their own or had a relatable goal. The first-place essay winner received the newest Historical Character Doll Isabelle, and the first and second place essay winners received tickets to the American Girl Fashion Show.

In the spirit of the upcoming fashion show fundraiser, girls ages 5-7 were invited to color a doll template with a fashion limited only by their imagination, for a chance to win an American Girl Bitty Baby Doll and two tickets to the fashion show. The second place coloring contest winner also received two tickets.

Essay contest

First place: Haileigh Norris, 10, fifth grade, Williams Elementary School

My favorite American Girl doll is McKenna Brooks, her story is so inspiring to me. McKenna has taught me to never give up no matter what happens. McKenna broke her leg doing gymnastics in the movie and, at first, she wanted to give up on gymnastics, then she realized how hard she worked so she decided to keep on going.

Gymnastics is my passion. Not only did I realize after watching the movie that if I always work hard I can achieve my goals and that you can't judge others by their outward appearance. I have a friend who is deaf and also a friend with severe dyslexia. I am always encouraging them and helping them with their homework. It doesn't matter of what people are on the outside, it only matters what is on the inside. God created them the way that they are and other people should respect that. And that's how I was inspired by McKenna Brooks, girl of the year 2012.

Second place: Amarie Belton, 9, fourth grade, Rowlett Elementary School

My absolute favorite American Girl doll is ... drum roll please ... Addy! Addy is the first African American Girl doll.

Addy has inspired me to be who I am and to be comfortable in my colored skin. Addy and I also have a lot in common, we are pretty much identical. Addy is known for her bravery.

She has inspired me to be brave by showing me that I can do anything I put my heart to. Addy has also showed me to be original and to stand up for myself. As you can see, Addy is a true inspiration to me. I hope to continue to grow with Addy and share our story with others.

Doll decorating contest

First place: Meyanna Burtram, 7, second grade, at Imagine School

Second place: Stephanie Green, 7, first-grader at B.D. Gullet Elementary School

About the show

The American Girl Fashion Show is a fun and educational show for girls ages 6 and up to enjoy with their, families, friends and favorite dolls.

Participants in the show celebrate being a girl both yesterday and today, by wearing historically-accurate outfits from various time periods.

Through an interactive presentation of historical and contemporary fashions, the purpose of the show is to demonstrate how clothing has changed over the years, reflecting history, culture and girls' individual styles.

The American Girl Fashion Show is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Renaissance on 9th, 1816 Ninth St. W., Bradenton.

Tickets: $30 general seating, $35 reserved seating, $40 VIP seating.

Proceeds benefit the community projects of the Junior League of Manatee County. Tickets and information:

-- Junior League of Manatee County

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