Carroll County 6-year-old pageant queen collecting donations for senior living community

Emily, who is 6 years old and attends Kathryn Winn Primary, was named Miss Star in December.
Emily, who is 6 years old and attends Kathryn Winn Primary, was named Miss Star in December.(Carroll County Schools)
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 9:31 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Carroll County 6-year-old pageant queen with special needs is doing her part to help the community.

Emily West has a genetic condition called Sjogren Larsson syndrome, which prevents her body from creating fatty acids. The condition affects her skin, intellectual abilities and speech. She had two brain lesions in the womb and was born with cerebral palsy.

According to her teacher, Emily functions at about a three-year-old’s level.

Emily competed in Amerifest Kentucky Festival’s Pageant, which is specifically geared toward children with special needs. She was named Miss Star in December.

“I like pageants,” she said with the aid of a communication device. “I like to dress up … pretty pink dress.”

Emily’s next pageant is on November 11 in Lexington. Part of the next pageant is composed of a humanitarian section.

“I feel like this is a way for Emily to show just because you’re different, you’re still beautiful the way you are,” Emily’s mother, Taylor West, said.

This week, Emily will collect donations for the residents of Fairview Place, a senior living community.

Suggested donation items include lip balm, adult coloring books, colored pencils, hygiene items, crossword puzzles, crackers, hard candy socks, throw blankets, puzzles and activity books. Donations can be taken to Kathryn Winn Primary School all week, where a collection box will be in the school’s foyer.

Emily and her mother chose this project because of how close Emily is to her three great-grandparents.

This is our way to help out in the community but also represent her grandparents,” Taylor said.

Emily, her mother and her teacher are working on Emily’s walking skills. She was initially going to compete in the pageant in a wheelchair, but recently got a new walker.

“She’s the center of attention in our classroom,” Emily’s teacher said, noting all the other students in her class want to walk with Emily or help her with her communication device.

Later in the year, Emily will also host a collection of gloves for the needy.