Little princesses attend “A Very Royal Tuesday Storytime”

2 Aug 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

Dressed in their royal best, little princesses and their parents gathered at the Jacksonville USO for “A Very Royal Tuesday Storytime” August 2. 

Approximately 125 children attended the event featuring Miss North Carolina Brittany York, Miss Teen North Carolina Vanessa McClelland and Miss South Carolina Courtney Turner.

“We first heard that Miss North Carolina, Miss South Carolina and the two Miss Teen Carolinas were coming out for National Night Out and they really wanted to do something for the military and with the USO,” said Anne Farrar, a USO intern and coordinator of the event. “A lot of the children have deployed parents and I just think this is a good way to keep them busy and give them something fun to do that is not totally revolved around their parents being gone.”

Children received a free Sleeping Beauty story book, a DVD and other goodies.

Adorned in frilly dresses and costume jewelry, little girls waited in line to have their books signed by the “big princesses.”

A complimentary lunch and elegantly decorated cupcakes by Semper Sweet Bakery were available to all of the guests.

After partaking in the royal meal, children gathered around McClelland for story time.

She started off by reading “Pinkalicious.”

In this book, the main character Pinkalicious loves pink, especially pink cupcakes. Her parents warn her not to eat too many of them, but when she does – she turns pink.

The sparkling picture book, perfect for the audience of young ladies crowded around McClelland, is filled with such favorites as pink bubble gum, pink peonies, pink cotton candy and pink fairy princess dresses and celebrates all thinks pink while showing that being yourself is best of all.

The USO holds a weekly Tuesday Story Time from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

“It’s usually just a small group of Marine wives and their children,” said Farrar. “Most of them get lunch from the café and enjoy story time with their kids. They always get to take one of the books that they read home.”

York said she feels the military and their families are very important to the group of girls and this was their way of thanking them.

“We always think about the men and women overseas serving, but I think people forget about how the families are affected,” she added. “If it makes their day better or them happier because they’re not thinking about missing their loved ones overseas, it’s a good way to spend our time.

By showing the young girls they care, the beauty queens are giving them something to look up to.

“I think it’s very important to (be a role model to these children),” said York. “That’s why I chose to do this. I do a lot of work with organizations such as Special Olympics and I go to schools to try to motivate them to better themselves. It’s important that these kids have a positive influence in their lives.”

For upcoming events held at the USO, call 455-3411.