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Local Girl's Charity Chosen As Beneficiary In Upcoming White Plains Pageant

Mary Grace Henry of Westchester stands in the middle of the current Miss Westchester, Miss Teen Westchester, Miss Hudson Valley and Miss Teen Hudon Valley. Photo Credit: Contributed
Mary Grace Henry of Harrison recently visited Kenya, according to her organization's Facebook page. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Reverse the Course Facebook page

WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – A local organization that helps young women has been selected as the beneficiary of the People’s Choice fundraiser for the 2014 Miss Westchester and Miss Hudson Valley Pageants.

Harrison 16-year-old Mary Grace Henry founded the nonprofit group Reverse The Course .  Henry, a student at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, Conn., will get to present the People’s Choice award at the pageant on Saturday, Aug. 3 at 4 p.m. at the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

“I am really excited to attend the pageant though, at 5'2”, I might need a step ladder to crown the People's Choice winner,” Henry said in a statement.

The People’s Choice Award is given to the contestant who receives the most votes from the general public, in which voting takes place during the weeks leading up to the pageants.  Contestants are encouraged to campaign for Reverse The Course for this honor.  Each vote costs $1 and all funds go to the charity.

The Reverse The Course Foundation was established four years ago by Henry.  Her charity provides tuition, boarding, uniforms and textbooks for girls primarily in Africa who are living in extreme poverty and are at risk for early marriage, a press release said.

"I am honored that Reverse The Course Foundation was chosen to be the Miss Westchester and Hudson Valley Pageants People's Choice charity,” said Henry in a statement. “This Pageant is so much more than swimsuits and evening gowns. Each of the contestants works hard to highlight and support their communities, volunteering many hours of service throughout the region.”

The Miss Westchester and Miss Hudson Valley Pageants is put on by New York Crown Productions. “It is so important for Miss Westchester & Miss Hudson Valley Pageants to partner with a charity each year which fosters community participation,” said Laura Giannone, executive co-director for the pageants. “Our contestants have an opportunity to learn about the charity, work individually to make a difference for that charity, and finally to work together to achieve a common goal. And Reverse The Course is a perfect choice. It allows our contestants to help other young women.”

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