Janea Kelty to compete in pageant

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  • Photo by Linda Smith Hancharick Janea Kelty, 11, of West Milford, is competing at the National American Miss New Jersey Pageant in East Brunswick this weekend. Janea is entering sixth grade at Westbrook this September.

— This is a big weekend for West Milford 11-year-old Janea Kelty. Janea has been chosen as a state finalist in the National American Miss New Jersey Pageant, which will be held Aug. 25 and 26 at the Hilton East Brunswick Hotel.

Janea is entering sixth grade at Westbrook Elementary School in West Milford.

According to Janea's mother, Donna Kelty, Janea was invited for an open call and selected as a state finalist from among 2,000 girls. The large pool of girls was whittled down to 650 in five age groups.

Janea said she is looking forward to the casual wear modeling segment and the formal ware part, where she will wear a formal dress as she is escorted by her dad, Jim.

There is no lack of talent for Janea to perform. This national roller figure skating champion will bring her wheels to the competition along with her new love of Karate. Last summer, Janea placed first in her age group at the national competition for roller figure skating. Practicing Karate for just seven months, Janea placed second in a recent competition. She studies with Sensei Alan Mendilla.

Janea has hopes of someday attending Seton Hall University, her mother's alma mater, and she looks at the pageant as an opportunity to earn scholarship money. It's also an opportunity for her to meet new people and make new friends, probably the most important part of the experience for her.

There will be plenty of familiar faces in the audience too. Her parents and grandparents plan to be there, as well as her friends from both roller skating and Karate.

Gayle Quigley, the owner of Head to Head Salon in West Milford, is a special friend of Janea. She does Janea's hair for all of her special events, including her roller skating competitions. This weekend is no different. Quigley will make a special trip to fix Janea's hair for her pageant debut.

She is being sponsored by her parents, Donna and Jim Kelty, her grandparents, Dot and Jim Kelty, Snow Melt Inc., North Jersey Spiritual Society, Carol and Jack Meyer, Sensei Alan Mendilla, Vanessa and OJ Rivera, and Gayle Quigley from Head to Head Salon.

The winner of the pageant will receive a $1,000 cash award, the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses and air transportation to compete in the national pageant at Disneyland in California. Pageants are held for girls ages four to 18, in five age groups.

The National American Miss pageants are dedicated to celebrating America's greatness and encouraging its future leaders. Each year, the pageant awards thousands in scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist in the development of young women nationwide. All activities are age-appropriate and family-oriented. Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, learning good attitudes about competition, and setting and achieving personal goals. The pageant seeks to recognize the accomplishments of each girl while encouraging her to set goals for the future.

Families interested in learning more about this unique and outstanding youth program may visit www.namiss.com.

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West Milford, NJ