Queen of Hope Pageant showcases strength in face of cancer

Published 12:13 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

RESERVE — The Queen of Hope Pageant is more than a pageant, it’s a mission, organizers say.

The pageant, celebrating its 15th year in 2018, spreads awareness and raises funds to find a cure for cancer. The mission is personal to everyone involved, especially this year’s queen, Layla Ruffin, and teen queen, Hailey Louque. Their inspiration for competing and winning their titles was no further than their own mothers. Both queens’ mothers are cancer survivors.

“Being Queen of Hope XIV was so special to me, because I always attended the pageant just as an observer and last year I built up enough courage to participate,” Ruffin said. “I did it for all the people battling cancer. Last year at this time my mom was fighting, and she overcame and conquered. The cause is a great one, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hopefully be a Queen of Hope queen.”

Layla Ruffin, Shelly Ruffin, Kim Louque, Teen Queen of Hope Hailey Louque carry the survivor banner at last year’s St. John Parish Relay for Life.

Organizers said the brave and beautiful ladies represent Queen of Hope, the people of St John the Baptist Parish and survivors with great devotion and pride.

This year’s pageant will be held March 4 at St. Peter Catholic School in Reserve, consisting of several divisions for girls of all ages and boys 0-3 years, beginning at 1 p.m. Attire for contestants ages 0-12 is parent’s choice.

The pageant for Miss, Teen and Ms begins at 4:30 p.m. Teen Queen of Hope XV contestants should be between the ages of 13-16, Queen of Hope XV contestants should be between the ages of 17-23 and Ms Queen of Hope contestants should be 24 years and up and/or married.

Teen and Miss contestants only will have interviews at St. Peter Catholic School the day of the pageant beginning at 10 a.m. Please arrive by 9:45 a.m. to register. Attire for the interview is “Sunday best” and the pageant is formal wear.

The entry fee for the Baby thru Junior Miss pageants is $50 and the entry fee for Miss, Teen & Ms is $75.   In addition, one can enter the Covergirl competition at a fee of $5 per picture. The deadline to pre-register is March 1.

Entries for all divisions will be accepted at the door, but a $5 late fee will be applied. This year the pageant will also accept sales of Relay for Life luminaries as an alternate form of entry fee.

All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.

For an application or information, call Angie Lehrmann-Klibert at 504-858-2462 or Katie Lehrmann-Boylan at 504-214-3062. They can also be reached at queenofhopepageant@yahoo.com.