By Michelle Colesanti

Sickle Cell Disease is often inherited and occurs because there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body causing anemia, a lot of pain, frequent infections, delayed growth, vision problems and more. About 100,000 Americans live with the disease, which is usually diagnosed in infancy.

Ashlee Denielle’s friend’s daughter has Sickle Cell Disease and she wanted to do something to help bring awareness. Her daughter, Mele’ Alivia, was a winner of one of the Mini Supreme State Titles at The Florida State Pageant and Denielle is helping to raise funds by organizing the Miss Hillsborough County Florida State 2017 pageant in Brandon for the second year. The pageant will be held on Sunday, September 25 at the Boys & Girls Club of Brandon, located at 213 N. Knights Ave. and the beauty competition is free. Events are open to contestants throughout Florida, beginners and pros. There is an age 6 and under category and an over 7 category. It is a qualifier for 2017 Miss Florida State finals.

Denielle said, “We do the Sickle Cell Awareness events to help spread awareness for Sickle Cell Anemia. It doesn’t get as much publicity as it should.”

Last year $250 was raised for the Sickle Cell Association of Hillsborough County, and now with two events, the goal is $1,000. Registration for the beauty pageant is from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with a 1 p.m. start. Admission is $15 for ages 12 and up and $5 for ages 6-11 years old. Kids 5 and under are free.

Denielle is hoping that individuals and businesses will be interested in sponsoring this event by donating items to be raffled. Email or

This year, a second family event has been added. Black-N-White Customz & Mele’ Maphia presents The 2016 Stuntin’ For A Cause Car, Truck & Bike Show. The show will be held on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Big Top Flea Market at 9250 E Fowler Ave. in Thonotosassa. Best of Show in each division – Cars, both foreign and domestic, Trucks, Mini or Big Truck, Old School Bikes. Preregistration fee per vehicle is $25 and $35 on day of the event. General Admission is free. There will be raffles and games for the kids. Call 650-4612 or email Money raised will go toward #TeamTootie and The Sickle Cell Association of Hillsborough County.

Previous articleDreams Realized With Opening Of The Art Factory At Winthrop Arts
Next articleSupport The Troops By Participating In The 9th Annual Cards For Troops
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.