By Scott Calzolaio

Staff Reporter

The Milford High School auditorium was transformed to a hall of unmatchable talent on the night of April 8, as students in the Best Buddies program showed off their creative sides, with flair.

After a two-year delay, the 7th “Annual” Best Buddies Sweetheart Pageant was deemed a hit by all those in attendance.

From singing and dancing to speed-Legos and wheelchair tricks, the talent at the pageant was diverse, keeping the audience’s energy levels high.

Best Buddy Mark Mancuso played a beat on the djembe, a West-African drum during his performance. Later on, he exclaimed with excitement, “We finally did it!” referring to the two-year wait.

His fellow Best Buddies had a similar sentiment; Senior Thiago Pena said “it was the best night ever,” after his singing act.

Local company Accent Limo even took each pageant participant on a limousine ride around the block, so everyone had a chance to walk in on the “Red Carpet.”

Local hair stylists, Kelsey Conti and Carolyn Federico, and make-up artist Libby Lit offered their services free of charge, making each contestant glow on stage. Additionally, flowers were donated by 77 Blossom Shop and Katydid Florists.

“Everything for these kids was awesome,” said special education teacher and event organizer, Alexis Forgit. “They really had an amazing experience.”

Best Buddies is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and the largest organization dedicated to helping individuals with developmental disabilities pursue everyday life.

“It’s about making sure that our individuals with intellectual disabilities have a space to show off how truly amazing they are,” she said. “The fact that Milford has such an amazing community that supports them really shows them that they matter to the community.”

Pictured are all of the contestants, judges, and hosts of the 2022 Best Buddies Pageant. (Contributed photo)