Photo Gallery: Fifth Annual Big Hearts Pageant

Saturday's event raised $35,000 for Extra Special People, far surpassing the organization's goal.

More than 1,200 tickets were sold to the fifth annual held at in Athens on Saturday.

The event raised money for . and specifically will fund tuition for summer camp for special needs children and young adults.

Vince and Barbara Dooley welcomed the crowd and 50 contestants took to the stage, competing in four age categories: Special Little Miss/Mr., Special Young Miss/Mr., Special Junior Miss/Mr., and Special Miss/Mr.

Tyler Boykin, Cutler Bleecker, and Joseph Whitaker emceed and Ms. Senior Athens 2011 Annette Barfield, , Miss Georgia USA 2012 Jazz Wilkins, and Miss Warner Robins 2009 Channing Wood served as judges.  Dozens of volunteers assisted with everything from staging contestants to selling t-shirts to helping in the silent auction room.

The pageant winners were:

  • Special Miss and Mr.-  Suzanne G and and Adnan C.
  • Special Junior Miss and Mr.- Kimi G. and Nathan N.
  • Special Young Miss and Mr. - Lyric R. and Connor B. 
  • Special Little Miss and Mr. - Shannen R. and Charlie L.

Every contestant was crowned-- along with the winners in each age division-- to show appreciation of each individual's unique beauty. There was also a Chick-fil-A People's Choice award, which was given to 11-year-old Garrett H.

The evening concluded with the song "Love Is," a group number performed by all of the contestants.  (Watch the video!)

said she was overjoyed by the support of the community and the pageant's many sponsors. The goal for 2012 was to raise $30,000, up from $20,000 in previous years.

"I am elated to announce that with the pageant alone- silent auction, people's choice, items sold and tickets we raised $35,000," she wrote on the organization's Facebook page on Sunday. "To that, I give you all a triple-- Hip hip HOORAY, Hip hip HOORAY, Hip hip HOORAY!"


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