Wigan pageant queen's charity plan

Lilyanne being crowned
Lilyanne being crowned

A Wigan girl has shown how beauty pageants aren’t all about appearance after her involvement raised £1,000 towards a children’s brain cancer charity.

Lilyanne Rigby, 13, was given the title of top junior teen when she won the overall category in her age group at Miss Paragon International, held in Cardiff.

She was also a champion for her chosen charity, Abbie’s Army.

Each contestant was interviewed by judges who scored them on their presentation on stage but also their successes in helping a worthy cause of their choice.

After reading about Abbie’s Army and their research work towards finding a cure for a rare brain tumour known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), Lilyanne began fundraising by organising her own charity pageant and online beauty competition.

The Golborne High School student, who lives in Leigh with parents Carianne and Brian Rigby, and younger brother Ethan, has been taking part in pageants for four years but this was the first time she had entered the Paragon International.

Carianne, Lilyanne’s mum, who was with her every step of the way, said: “I’m most proud of her for the fundraising she did, especially at her age to be organising events. She was even a compere at the pageant and created the event on Facebook to get the interest.

“I have spoken to her and she doesn’t want to stop here, but wants to carry on doing these parades as fundraisers for other charities.”

A total of £9,000 was raised by the 30 girls who took part in the pageant for a multitude of charitable institutions.

Out of the 10 girls in her age category, Lilyanne was rewarded with a secret retreat in a surprise location abroad for her family later this year for her efforts.