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Billie Takaki Lueder

Photo from Billie Takaki Lueder

Photo from Billie Takaki Lueder

Three former Miss Hawaii winners have teamed up to revive Miss Hawaii’s Princess Program, which focuses on all three of their platforms: Promoting Character Development, Adversity Builds Character and Peer Mentoring.

It’s been four years since Miss Hawaii’s Princess Program was implemented, and Billie Takaki Lueder (Miss Hawaii 2000) wanted her daughters to experience something truly amazing.

Her oldest daughter Randie, 7, participated at the age of 4, and now her daughter Reese will get to experience what it’s like to be a princess, as well.

“It’s going to be neat for her to participate again,” she says of Randie, “because she’s going to get a different experience this time.” Randie had such a good time when she competed that Lueder wanted to give Reese that same experience.

Lueder, communications director for Honolulu Community College, knew she couldn’t take on this program alone, so she recruited Candes Meijide Gentry (Miss Hawaii 1999, president of Gentry-Pacific Ltd.) and Jennifer Hera Pimentel (Miss Hawaii 1998, third-grade teacher at Ewa Beach Elementary) to help her out.

The program kicked off May 17 with a special charm school, where the 19 princess participants were partnered up with a Miss Hawaii contestant titleholder as a mentor. Charm school covered posture, social graces, etiquette and walking like a princess. In addition, they learned about scholarships, service and giving back to the community — pampering, manicures and hairstyling also were part of the agenda.

Coming up for the Miss Hawaii princesses is the May 23 crowning ceremony at Honolulu Community College. The ceremony runs from 4 to 5 p.m. and entry fee is $5. “That’s their day to come dressed in a pretty dress and have their hair done,” Lueder says.

Each participant will receive a mini version of the Miss Hawaii crown, as well as a certificate. This program officially kicks off Miss Hawaii Week, which concludes May 30 at Hawaii Convention Center.

Lueder believes that these princesses are the future leaders of our community, and she understands that having a positive female role model is important for little girls.

“This whole program is about building self-confidence, building personal character and being mentored by role models. That’s what we’re trying to promote,” she adds. “The crown is a powerful tool. It becomes a microphone, to where people will listen to not just a pretty face, but to someone who is smart and knowledgeable, and has some influence when they talk about certain things.”