At age 10 Addison Crocker has a special goal in mind.
The Gander Elementary student is looking forward to representing Gander in the Junior Miss Newfoundland and Labrador Pageant in Carbonear this September.
“I’m looking forward to making lots of new friends and to building up my confidence with all the different events,” Addison said. “I like the talent part — I’ll be doing gymnastics.”
The pageant, which was started in 2017 by TC Pageants — the group that runs the Trinity-Conception Junior Miss Pageant and the Miss Teen Trinity-Conception Pageant — will feature 18 girls, ranging in age from 10-12, from across the island.
This isn’t Addison’s first pageant. At ages five and six, while the family was living in Nova Scotia, she was a contestant in the national Canadian Girl Pageant winning the title of Miss Nova Scotia, and later, the title of Petite National Miss.
Janis Crocker, Addison’s mom, says she and her husband Rodney — who is in the Armed Forces — were initially reluctant to allow their daughter to participate in the Nova Scotia pageant.
“When she first wanted to get involved in pageants when we were in Nova Scotia, we said no,” Janis said, “because you know how everyone has the typical ‘Oh my gosh, no! Pageants are all about makeup and all that stuff.’”
They investigated further and discovered how the pageant worked, and the fact that it was all natural — no makeup — they allowed her to participate. Now they see how pageants can benefit the contestants.
“I think it’s fantastic that she wants to participate in it,” Janis said. “In the Canadian Girl pageant, even at that young age, I could watch how she went from doing her introductions to the time she had to get up and do her talent.
“From the beginning to the end you could watch her confidence just grow, it was an amazing thing to see.”
The Crocker family — Janis, Rodney, Addison, and her brother Devin, 12 —moved back to the province in 2016. Addison has been looking for pageant opportunities ever since. The Junior Miss NL Pageant has the sort of approach and scope the Crockers were looking for.
“This one here seems to be run on the same scale as Miss Canada. They go through an interview process, and they have a whole weekend thing,” Janis said. “They have a full weekend of fun.”
Leading up to the pageant, Addison will be practicing for all aspects of the competition, including public speaking and her gymnastics routine. She will also be spending time making and selling sea glass art pieces to sell to raise funds for the Shriners’ Children’s Charity.
“I think it is a fantastic thing for girls to try,” Janis said, “to not to be frightened to do new things and try new things.”
Addison is looking forward to the pageant, even though she’s a little nervous about the prospect.
“I’m nervous now, but once I get used to it and make new friends, I’ll be fine,” she said.
Addison is the only pageant contestant from central. She is hoping for community support — sponsorships, help with fundraising, or just good wishes, as she moves toward the pageant in September.