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Westminster 6-year-old wins pageant, shows ‘Congeniality’ to her community

Peyton Waters, 6, donated food, masks, and water to the Manchester Volunteer Fire Company. She's pictured here with members of the department, from left, Scott Gross, Vanessa Kidd, Anna Greenwalt, Gary Eppley and Jeremy Sperlein, along with Elwood the dog.
Peyton Waters, 6, donated food, masks, and water to the Manchester Volunteer Fire Company. She's pictured here with members of the department, from left, Scott Gross, Vanessa Kidd, Anna Greenwalt, Gary Eppley and Jeremy Sperlein, along with Elwood the dog. (Courtesy Photo)

A 6-year-old girl from Westminster is taking her recently won title of Miss Congeniality seriously and meeting new friends by making donations around the community.

Peyton Waters, who attends Carroll Christian Schools, earned her title competing virtually in her age group of the East Coast USA Pageant last month, according to her mother Nicki Jenkins.

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Since then, Peyton has taken stock of her belongings and made trips around Carroll County to give away things she doesn’t need anymore. She’s dropped donations at Goodwill in Westminster and at a Planet Aid box in Upperco, and she’s stopped at the fire station in Manchester to give out treats.

“I gave them goodies. I gave them Kit-Kats, Crunch bars, cookies, and all that great stuff,” Peyton said. “Because they work so hard.”

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Peyton also donated chips, water, and masks made by her grandmother, Margaret. She visited the fire station Sunday and met the unofficial company mascot, Elwood the Great Dane, owned by company volunteer Anna Greenwalt.

Peyton Waters, 6, gave donations to Manchester Volunteer Fire Department and met the unofficial company mascot, Elwood the Great Dane.
Peyton Waters, 6, gave donations to Manchester Volunteer Fire Department and met the unofficial company mascot, Elwood the Great Dane. (Courtesy Photo)

“We’re very grateful that she thought of us,” said Greenwalt, who has been lifelong friends with Peyton’s family. “We can definitely use it.”

Donating her possessions isn’t new to Peyton, but lately, the interactions mean something more.

“Being stuck inside with coronavirus, I’ve been trying to find things she can get out to do,” Jenkins said.

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Peyton likes to wear her pageant sash when she drops off donations. It says “Miss Pennsylvania” because Peyton was allowed to compete in the Pennsylvania competition virtually, Jenkins said. The pageant allowed contestants from various states to enter in their virtual competition, and Peyton chose to represent Pennsylvania, as the Maryland competition had already been held. Jenkins decided they would not attend the Maryland competition since it was held in person.

Peyton Waters, 6, won the title of Miss Congeniality in an East Coast USA Pageant competition in June. She's been making donations of clothes and toys around the Carroll County community. Peyton is pictured here at a Planet Aid donation box in Upperco.
Peyton Waters, 6, won the title of Miss Congeniality in an East Coast USA Pageant competition in June. She's been making donations of clothes and toys around the Carroll County community. Peyton is pictured here at a Planet Aid donation box in Upperco. (Courtesy Photo)

“I like being there in person ... because I get to make friends and be on the stage,” Peyton said.

Her next pageant, planned for September, will be on the national level and will be held in New Jersey, Jenkins said. Coronavirus-related precautions, including mask policies, will be in place.

Peyton encourages other children to donate clothes and toys, too, “because it’s nice for people.”

Her next plan is to donate pet supplies to the Humane Society of Carroll County. Peyton wants to help the animals, and if she gets to pet a dog in the process, then that’s just a bonus.

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