This past year has been incredible for Dana Wachter, the reigning Miss Hudson Valley 2016 pageant winner. She traveled around the state talking about an issue that's close to her heart: eating disorders.
"I had an eating disorder," said Wachter, 25. "I know now how a teen's eating disorder not only affects the teen, but also her friends and family."
Wachter lives on Long Island but anyone from New York is eligible to compete in the Miss Hudson Valley contest.
By getting help, Wachter got healthy. She believes there's no better role model than a beauty queen to spread the message to other teens who are struggling.
"Whether you're a size zero or 10, it doesn't matter," she said. "What counts is being healthy."As she passes her crown to the next Miss Hudson Valley, Wachter hopes to move on to the next competition, the Miss New York USA Pageant, which will be held at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College Sunday, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m.The Preliminary Swimsuit and Evening Gown Competition is being held of Saturday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m.
"To me beauty has little to do with one's outward appearance but more about how you view yourself," said Wachter. "It's about the confidence you have in yourself that makes you beautiful. You don't have to be a supermodel or on the cover of Vogue to be beautiful."
Wachter, who is third-grade special education teacher in New York City, has raised most of the $8,000 she needs to participate in the pageant. Costs include an evening gown, swim suit, interview suit, hair and makeup and a personal trainer. But she is looking for donations or sponsorship for the last $2,000. The deadline is Jan. 5th.If she were to win the pageant, she'd be the first Hudson Valley contestant to snag the Miss New York USA Pageant. Interested sponsors should contact Wachter by email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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