Multicultural pageant winners hope to make a difference with calendar

Multicultural pageant winners hope to make a difference with calendar

(Nkoyo Iyamba)

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SALT LAKE CITY — When Rosie Nguyen started down the road of scholarship pageantry, she knew it would be a lot of work, but she didn't know how her vision of helping others would make a difference in the community.

"I wanted to come up with a way to bring the pageant queens of Utah together for a good cause," said Rosie Nguyen, Miss United Nations USA 2013.

Nguyen has participated in multicultural scholarship pageants, including Miss United Nations USA and Miss Asia Utah. She said the women who enter these multicultural pageants are not as well known to the general Utah community as other contestants in other mainstream scholarships pageants. Nguyen said the pageant winners all have good causes, but until now have not come together to lend their voices to community outreach.

Eventually Nguyen came up with the idea of a calendar to highlight each lesser-known multicultural pageant. The calendar features the heritage of the pageant queens and their individual charities or causes. Proceeds from the calendar will benefit those charities.

"One of my main goals was to donate 50 helmets to ‘Toys for Tots' by Christmas," said Nguyen. "Because I know they give out a lot of bicycles, scooters, and Rollerblades."

She wanted to make sure the kids receiving these gifts would have proper safety gear. That desire is line with her platform "Helmet Safety: Don't be insane, protect your brain."

As Nguyen started the calendar project, she found people in the community hopped on board to help by donating their time and services for hair and makeup, photography and printing.

Nguyen said the project also serves a larger purpose in bringing awareness to some of the diverse pockets in Utah. Running down the list of ethnicities represented in the calendar, Nguyen added, "This just shows that Utah is a lot more diverse and accepting than people would think."

The calendar features pageant winners from Africa, Asia, South America, and the United States of America, including Miss Wheelchair Utah 2014, Amanda Rhees.

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