10-year-old pageant queen uses crown to support local children's charity
Hanna Grau is the current Little Miss United States. She started competing in pageants at age 7. She has a charitable platform supporting the Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation by raising money making her Bracelets for Grace. In 2012, she raised $5,000 for Foundation. She has also worn the Little Miss Virginia crown.
Why did you get involved in pageants?
HG: I decided to get involved in pageants to help build my platform for Bracelets for Grace. The idea started when I found out a little girl in Fredericksburg had died of cancer. So I wanted to raise money to help.
What was your first pageant, how did you do, and what did you learn?
HG: My first pageant was at the Fredericksburg Fair. We wore one outfit, modeled on stage and answered a question. I learned that you're not always going to win every single pageant. I really try to have fun and stay true to who I am.
Tell me about winning Little Miss Virginia. Were you surprised?
HG: That one was really last minute. We heard about it really late and we only had a week to prepare for it. I wasn't expecting to win that one at all.
What are the responsibilities of a pageant queen?
HG: I have to make lots of appearances to lots of places. I do most of my appearances to help my platform. I have made appearances at runs, plus a walk for juvenile diabetes. I ran in the one-mile and the 5K for the [Grace Oughton Cancer] Foundation. I also did Via Colori as a fundraiser. I also do lots of fairs and craft shows. You have to make sure you're setting a good example for other people.
What is your goal for helping the Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation?
HG: I'm just trying to help because I know my $5,000 I raised helped them to get the mobile lab so that kids can get their blood work and checkups done there. The kids are missing lots of school because of going back and forth from the doctor. I'm trying to help the [Grace Oughton Cancer] Foundation get new and better items and to donate to the families.
What advice do you have for girls who want to compete in pageants?
HG: Have fun, be yourself, stay true to who you are. Make some memories and new friends. It doesn't matter if they win or lose; they're all winners for just going out there on stage and presenting their platform. If you're going to be in pageants, have a platform or a charity to help other people.
What are some cool places your crown has taken you?
HG: Since being Little Miss United States, I got to go to Las Vegas, Arizona, and California. I went to the Grand Canyon in Arizona and that was fun. I've been to Kentucky for a photo shoot and went to the Daytona 500 where I got to go on the racetrack. I recently got back from Pittsburgh where I got to audition for a movie.
What are some of your hobbies?
HG: I'm a cheerleader so I love tumbling, hanging out within my family, riding 4-wheelers with my cousin and playing with my dog, Toby.
So what's next for you?
HG: After I give up my title of Little Miss United States, I'm going to keep helping with Grace Oughton Cancer Foundation. I'll also compete as a preteen and compete for the Miss Preteen United States. One day I want to be Miss United States or Miss World.