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Wheels of Dreams: Ms. Wheelchair Iowa to be Crowned Saturday

PHOTO: Ms. Wheelchair Iowa 2013 Tasha DeGroote plays basketball and competes in track and field events. She spent her year-long reign inspiring other people in wheelchairs to pursue sports. Photo credit: Judy Hoit
PHOTO: Ms. Wheelchair Iowa 2013 Tasha DeGroote plays basketball and competes in track and field events. She spent her year-long reign inspiring other people in wheelchairs to pursue sports. Photo credit: Judy Hoit
March 14, 2014

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The stage is now set as women from across the state gather in Iowa City on Saturday for the crowning of Ms. Wheelchair Iowa 2014.

State director Judy Hoit says the goal is to bring more visibility to those with disabilities and she explains that it's not a beauty pageant.

"The contestants are judged on their achievements and accomplishments since the onset of their disability,” she explains. “And once they are crowned in Iowa, then they go on to compete in the Ms. Wheelchair America pageant."

The Ms. Wheelchair America pageant will take place in August in Long Beach, Calif.

Iowa's state competition will be held at the Eagles Lodge in Iowa City.

In addition to the national competition, Hoit says Ms. Wheelchair Iowa will also spend the next year speaking across the state, highlighting issues important to individuals with disabilities.

"And each titleholder normally has a platform that they kind of focus on,” she says. “Sometimes it has to do with transportation, sometimes it has to do with employment for people with disabilities, and they really become a spokesperson."

The reigning Ms. Wheelchair Iowa is Tasha DeGroote, who plays wheelchair sports and used her platform to encourage others to get active as well.

This is National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.


John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA