While most other local kids are engaged in summertime activities this weekend, Dava Corcoran, a 12-year-old Springs student, will be donning her floor-length evening gown, and no, she isn’t attending one of the plethora of black-tie benefits on the South Fork. She has been chosen as a state finalist in the National American Miss Pageant, to be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Marriott Hotel in Brooklyn.
Dava, who is entering seventh grade next month, is “totally excited” about the pageant, which is held for girls ages 4 to 18 in five age brackets. She will be competing in the 10-to-12 division, along with other young ladies from across New York State.
Dava’s dress is purple, “with jewels on it,” she said. She purchased it, along with a suit for the interview portion of the pageant, at T.J. Maxx in Manhattan.
The National American Miss Pageant awards $1.5 million a year in scholarships, cash, and other prizes, and keeps its activities and competitions age-appropriate. There is no swimsuit competition, and girls under 12 are not allowed to wear makeup. The pageants are, according to the organization’s Web site, “dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders.” Emphasis is put on developing self-confidence and learning good sportsmanship, along with setting and achieving personal goals.
The winner of this weekend’s pageant will receive a $1,000 cash award, the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses, and air transportation to compete in the national pageant in California.
“They pay for your airfare and your hotel-ing,” Dava said with excitement.
She said the interview part of the competition was “pretty easy,” with a lot of questions, such as “If you were a superhero, who would you be?”
Dava’s answer to that is “Wonder Woman. She can do everything by herself. She’s pretty independent.”
Dava’s favorite activities include figure and synchronized ice-skating, swimming, skateboarding, and biking. She won the President’s Physical Fitness Award for 2011 from the Springs School, where her favorite subject is social studies. She also enjoys volunteering for the Special Olympics and Most Holy Trinity youth group functions. She professed a strong love of reading and writing poetry, and art, and was her school’s recipient of the High Tide Award for her poetry.
Eileen Corcoran, Dava’s mother, lives in Springs with her daughter and works as a bookkeeper at Gosman’s Dock and Restaurant. Her father, Nick Corcoran, lives in Hampton Bays.
“I’m so exited about this weekend,” Ms. Corcoran said with a laugh. “But I know I just have to let it go.” She recalled Dava’s performance in the fourth-grade school opera, when her daughter played the part of Princess, the show poodle.
To get to where she is, Dava had support from a lot of sponsors: Gosman’s Fish Market, Paul Ellen and Mario Casciotta, Patricia Brickley, Mary Bridges, Joseph Hendler, F/V Sea Wife, Karl, Betsy, and Ashley Avallone, and Phil, Chris, and Fred Rhoads.
Friends and family know Dava for never missing an episode of “America’s Next Top Model,” and also for loving her three dogs and five cats.
Dava would like to be a “model or an ice-skater” when she grows up. But for now, she’s concentrating on the opportunity to walk the runway during this pageant weekend.