Mele’ Alivia is a winner of one of the Mini Supreme State Titles at The Florida State Pageant. According to Mele’s mom, Ashlee Denielle, “One of the benefits to winning is having the opportunity to host a community benefit.”

They have chosen to spread the word on Sickle Cell Anemia and plan to hold the First Annual Sickle Cell Awareness Benefit on Sunday, September 13 at the Boys and Girls Club of Brandon, located at 213 N. Knights Ave. The Benefit will also include a beauty pageant beginning at 11 a.m.

“Unlike diabetes or cancer research, Sickle Cell Awareness and research doesn’t get much publicity, but it is just as severe and important as the others. A good friend of ours has a beautiful little girl who fights this illness daily. She is a fighter and doesn’t let it keep her down. We are #TeamTootie.”

The beauty competition is free, and all ages are welcome to compete. The attire for this event is formal wear; any fancy dress or Sunday-best outfit. For $15, you can participate in an extra event; a “Casual Wear” (off the rack) competition. Winners in each event will receive a beauty crown and banner.

They are looking for vendors to participate, and tables are available for $50. Half of the vendor monies will be donated to the Sickle Cell Association.

Donations of items for event raffles are also being sought. All of the money collected from raffle ticket sales will be donated to The Sickle Cell Association of Hillsborough County.

There will also be a program book. Card size ads for businesses cost $30. Each business that buys a vendor table, donates to the raffles or buys an ad will be added to the website.

Admission to the Pageant and Vendor Expo is $15 for ages 12 and up. The cost is $5 for ages 6-11 years and free for kids 5 and under.

For more information on this event, please email

For more information on the Sickle Cell Association of Hillsborough County, visit

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.