CRANFORD, NJ - Miss Viviana Beckford, age 11, of Hillside Ave School has been chosen as a State Finalist in the National American Miss New Jersey Pageant ( to be held August 15 and 16 at the Hyatt Regency New Brunswick.  Contestants will compete in four overall categories including Formal Wear Modeling, Personal Introduction, Interview and a Community Service Project. Viviana also wants to participate in the optional Talent, Modeling and Spokesmodel contests.

Local businesses may have already met the smiling pageant finalist as she has started her rounds asking for sponsorship. She says, “I want to represent Cranford and let everybody know how awesome we are!” Donations are tax deductible and includes your business name featured in the state program book. Cash donations or donations of goods are also welcome which will be raffled off to cover pageant and optional contest fees, $705.00. Miss Beckford’s sponsors include Rockn’ Joe in Cranford.

Viviana is a member of Girl Scout Troop 40551 which is currently working on their Bronze award, the planting of a registered Monarch Butterfly Station here in town. The Union Township-born and now Cranford resident enjoys making people laugh and her favorite comedians are Carol Burnett and Jerry Lewis. Her passion is dance and has been taking dance lessons since the age of 4, in Union and Clark, and also a year at the prestigious Alvin Ailey School in New York City.

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The National American Miss Pageant System is the largest in the Nation. There is a no makeup policy for girls ages 4 – 12 and emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence and learning new skills. All activities, including the provided training sessions, are age-appropriate and family-oriented.

The newly crowned Miss Pre-Teen New Jersey will receive a $1000 cash award, the official crown and banner, air transportation to compete in the national pageant at Disneyland in California this November, and the chance to represent the great state of New Jersey. Families interested in learning more about this unique and outstanding youth program may visit