The next stop is Tampa, Florida for Mary D’Eon, the reigning Miss Massachusetts U.S.A. Ambassador Junior Pre-Teen who will compete for the national title of Junior Pre-Teen U.S.A. Ambassador.
Mary won the state pageant on March 10, which is the birthday of her grandmother, the late Mary Scalia, a legendary activist and community leader in Chelsea.
“I felt really happy and excited when I won the title,” said Mary D’Eon, daughter of Chelsea High School Class of 1983 graduate Phyllis Scalia-D’Eon
and Rick D’Eon.
Mary’s parents, older brother Joshua, and uncle Mark Scalia Jr., were in attendance when the Saugus third grader received her state crown and sash at the pageant at the Hilton Hotel in Woburn.
In Tampa, Mary will join the other state winners and participate in an interview before a panel of judges, an on-stage interview, and casual wear, formal wear, and talent competitions.
For the talent portion, Mary will sing “Castle on the Cloud” from Les Miserables and perform a solo dance to “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” from the Disney movie Mulan. She has been taking dance lessons from the Sheila Rosanio School of Dance.
Mary said pageants are “fun” but she’s also enjoying the opportunity to perform community service.
“I love being with everyone, meeting new friends, and being on stage,” said Mary. “It’s fun.”
She is volunteering her time at PACE, which is a senior drop-in center, a noble effort which has to please her grandmother, Dorothy D’Eon, former executive director of the Chelsea Senior Center. She has also donated books, toys, and games to her pre-school in Peabody and books and videos to the Saugus Public Library.
“Dorothy is so pleased and so proud of Mary,” said Phyllis Scalia-D’Eon.
Mary said she was proud when her classmates and teachers congratulated her for winning the state title. She also performs with the Theater Company of Saugus and is scheduled to participate in a talent showcase this weekend.
Phyllis Scalia-D’Eon, a former CHS cheerleader with a radiant, outgoing personality, said the pageants have helped her daughter become more confident.
“Mary acts differently since winning this crown,” said Phyllis. “She presents herself better and has more confidence. She gives more elaborate answers to questions now.”
The pre-teen beauty queen has to make an introductory speech at the national pageant and she said she’s planning to tell the audience about how historical her home state of Massachusetts is.
And there may be another national title in Mary’s future. She is traveling with the Sheila Rosanio School to Atlantic City for the dance nationals later this month.
Bill and Linda Carafa of the Carafa Funeral Home have made a donation to help sponsor’s Mary trip to the national pageant in Tampa. Jayne Brooks has made a donation in honor of the late attorney Richard I. Clayman.