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Miss Shining Star
Welcome, below are just a few pictures from our past pageants
and at the bottom of the page, you can find all the
paperwork to become part of the 2017 pageants.


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  2. pageant, special needs, autism
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  8. disability, special needs, autism, pageant
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Embassy Suites Knoxville

Hard Knox Pizza

Rothchild Catering

Click the picture to support our sponsors. 

Our pageant director Rhoni Standefer can be reached via email for all questions

Welcome to the pageant        Application                             Hotel information

January update info


Every girl wants to be a princess!
OPEN DOORS TN is proud to provide an opportunity for girls with disabilities to be able to have their moment to shine on stage by providing the Miss Shining Star pageant at no charge for girls ages 4 to 99.  We go to great lengths to make this an enjoyable experience for not only the competitors,  also for their families.  The pageant provides a wholesome, non-judgmental environment suitable for all types of disabilities, featuring each girl in the competition in her own unique way. 

Although winners are selected in various areas, each girl that does not win a major title is awarded the title of princess, receiving a personal presentation on stage while being crowned and receiving her trophy.  No girl leaves the competition empty-handed.  After each princess is honored, each age division honors the overall recipient of the Miss Shining Star title, two runner-ups, Miss Photogenic (selected from the picture they enter prior to the pageant) and Miss Inspirational (selected by the staff honoring the girl they feel represents the true spirit of Miss Shining Star).  Judges are carefully selected from current and former pageant winners, media personalities, and public celebrities, all of whom have expressed a sincere interest and endearment to those with disabilities.  They are coached to make their selections based on each girl’s performance on stage in regard to their individual disability.  Scoring is never based on clothing, hairstyles, etc.  The staff of Open Doors TN honors the decisions of the judges as final, based on the guidelines that are set up specifically for the pageant.

Girls are also offered a separate opportunity to display their talent in a separate talent competition prior to the pageant.  A winner is selected in each age group, as well as an overall winner (top winner in all age groups combined) and these five girls are invited to perform their talent during the pageant competition.  Their talent scores, however, is not considered as part of their pageant scoring.  Those not winning in their age division will be honored as a finalist and receive a “finalist” trophy.

We encourage all attire, makeup and hairstyles to be age-appropriate.  We go to any extreme possible to make this opportunity available to ANY girl with ANY type of disability.  We do not require the ability to communicate, walk, etc.  Every girl has the opportunity to compete in their own unique way.

We welcome your questions and suggestions and hope that you will encourage those interested to consider being a part of Miss Shining Star!  We want to make this the most fun, exciting time possible as they discover they truly are royalty in our eyes!

Watching them shine!

Rhoni Standefer
Pageant Director 


Rhoni with her husband Grant