Special to the Journal

The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (UMHB) is excited to host its annual TOUCHDOWNS event at Crusader Stadium, in conjunction with Down Syndrome Awareness Month, on Saturday, Oct. 22. Also on Saturday, UMHB will offer its production of the 2023 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant at 7 p.m. in the W.W. Walton Chapel
At 11 a.m., members of the special needs community and their families are invited to attend the tailgate party in the Bawcom Student Union with the UMHB Football team, Cru Cheer, Cru Spirit Band, and Sader Belles. At halftime, athletes with special needs will have the opportunity to score a touchdown, cheer, or dance on the field. Families and caregivers of children with special needs will receive free admission to the game against Sul Ross State University. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. To register your special-needs athlete, visit www.cruathletics.com/touchdowns.
Later that night, the doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the 2023 Miss MHB Pageant. Tickets are available at the door for $7 each. This year’s pageant theme is “A Night at the Disco” and will feature 18 contestants representing various student organizations and residence halls on campus. Maya Allison, senior social work major from Royce City, Texas, is the director, and the assistant directors are Haley Daughtery, senior health science major with an OT concentration from San Antonio, Texas, and Micaiah Kelly, counseling graduate student from Midlothian, Texas.
“The Lord has taught me the importance of community through the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor pageant,” said Maya Allison. “These girls are so uplifting and caring for one another. Seeing this community’s beauty grow this semester has been the greatest blessing.”
The contestants spend five weeks practicing for the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant, beginning in mid-September. Three alumni judges will score each contestant using four categories: interview 30 percent, talent 30 percent, platform 10 percent, and evening gown 30 percent. To learn more, visit events.umhb.edu.

File photo
Special needs athletes enjoy time on the field at last year’s TOUCHDOWNS event at UMHB. This year’s event is set for Saturday, Oct. 22. Families with special needs students will receive free admission to the game but must preregister.