DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — It was a wonderful occasion for a group of girls at the Dothan Opera House Thursday night — to “smile, Sparkle, and Shine.”

And that was the name of this first-time pageant, hosted by Dothan Leisure Services designed to showcase its therapeutics participants.

Previous registration was open to any developmentally or intellectually disabled girl or woman who lives in the Wiregrass — age 12 and older.

In all, 17 basked in the spotlight, and when their names were called, each emerged to be adorned in a sash and crowned by other community beauty queens and little miss winners. They were then escorted across the stage by Dothan Police Officers who volunteered to help make their night shine.

“You know being with their friends and having a wonderful time to shine tonight and just doing their talent and singing and just having a wonderful time and enjoying, just feeling special. I think that’s what is important for them is to have a day for them to shine,” event organizer, Lorena Guttowsky said.

Backstage before the talent demonstration and closing parade of participants, they gathered in joyful anticipation and celebration — glowing and showing how special they truly are — in every way.

WDHN congratulates each and all who helped make this night happen!