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October 11, 2005 > Crown passes to Union City preteen

Crown passes to Union City preteen

by Theresa Dahdouh

Have you seen a little girl in a crown and banner lately? Miss California Jr. Pre-Teen, Sarah Mackenzie Dahdouh of Union City was crowned on July 30, 2005 in Sacramento during the National American Miss pageant.

National American Miss is a scholarship program for girls ages 4 to 18 that promotes development of young ladies as leaders and encourages participation in community service. It is not your typical beauty pageant. All activities are age appropriate and there is no makeup or bathing suit contest. The contestants are interviewed by a panel of judges, presented on stage in long formal gown and are judged on public speaking in front of a live audience. This pageant focuses on inner beauty and seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl.

And inner beauty is what Sarah has. After receiving her crown, she was presented with a cash award. She immediately told her mother that she wanted to give this money away to help people.

Her generous heart is apparent. Sarah is a 9-year-old who enjoys working with special needs students and assisting others with conflict resolution at Delaine Eastin Elementary School. She has donated 14 inches of her hair to Locks of Love, an organization that creates prosthetic hair pieces for cancer patients. Sarah has volunteered and participated in two Hurricane Katrina relief efforts - one raised thousands of dollars and another collected a truck-full of toys for children. Sarah also enjoys visiting the residents at the Masonic Home. She has just recently completed her second walk for the American Heart Association and volunteered at St. Anne's Festival.

Sarah enjoys helping people and caring for the environment. Currently, Sarah is fundraising for the Children's Organ and Transplant Association (COTA). COTA helps families with dollars for transplant-related expenses. Sarah believes this is one way she can help the organization that came to the aid of her cousin, Marky. She will be going door-to-door and has placed boxes at local businesses to collect old cellular phones. In Union City collection boxes have been placed at the following sites: Walmart, Albertsons, Dr. Randhwa's Dental Office, and Tri-CED Recycling.

Her October volunteer activities include: a walk to raise awareness and funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Association in Mountain View, and assisting children at the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan Teddy Bear Clinic in Fremont. She will also continue to spend time at local businesses, assisting in the collection of old cell phones for COTA.

Sarah urges everyone to do little things to help because, even small contributions can make a big difference.

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