4th Annual Ms. Wheelchair Illinois Pageant March 12

The 4th Annual Ms. Wheelchair Illinois Pageant will be held Saturday, March 12, from 2 – 4 p.m. at Tinley Park Holiday Inn and Convention Center (I-80 and Harlem Avenue 18501 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park.

This competition will select the most accomplished and articulate spokesperson for the millions of disabled Americans. It also celebrates women who use wheelchairs and have goals, dreams and accomplishments to share with others.

The event is free to all.

In this year’s pageant, incredible women from all over Illinois have applied to be in this competition. These women describe themselves as “tenacious, compassionate, energetic, confident, intelligent, determined, humorous, optimistic and creative.” Their ages vary (21-65), along with their disabilities. They each have goals / ambitions, philosophies about life, the world, politics and the disabled, but most importantly, they each have achievements. These fine women will be judged on their accomplishments, communication skills, and self-perception/projection.

Ms. Wheelchair Illinois 2005 will have the opportunity to advance to the National Pageant in New York in July 2005.

The current Ms. Wheelchair Illinois 2004 is Kim Pate from Virginia, Ill. She holds a master’s degree in education and counseling from Western Illinois University. Pate works as a mental health therapist. She has traveled throughout Illinois this year promoting women in wheelchairs. She spoke at a number of schools and hospitals, was in the first-ever Disability Parade and the Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago. Her platform speech dealt with the lack of incentives for disabled people as they return to work, so this is where most of her time has been spent during the year.

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