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Pint-sized pageant princess raises $1,800 for ailing friend

Brooklyn Daily

Windsor Terrace pageant princess Vanessa Acquafredda is a cutie — inside and out.

The 10-year-old National American Miss Pageant state finalist held court in her crown and sash outside Weichert, Realtors—The Franzese Group in Dyker Heights on Sunday, selling a gold mine’s worth of cakes, cookies and brownies for her ailing friend and pageant competitor, 11-year-old Gianna Vittorini, a former Miss New York tragically stricken with a chronic neuromuscular disease called Myasthenia Gravis, whose devastating symptoms include drooping eyelids, double vision, altered speech and problems swallowing food.

Vanessa set up shop inside the realty office of her aunt, Janine Acquafredda, where realtors Anthony and Kim Franzese and their staff went to bat for the girl on a mission, helping her to coordinate a benefit bake sale, and calling upon pedestrians and clients to cough up cash for a worthy cause.

It was truly a mission accomplished — by the day’s end, $1,800 had been raised for “G’s Girls,” a non-profit established by Janine Acquafredda for Gianna, with proceeds going to the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America for treatment, research and community programs.

Vanessa’s compassion for a rival pageant contender bowled over Anthony Franzese.

“The most remarkable thing about Vanessa is that there was this girl who came and took her title, and the kid still cared about her to do something nice,” he said.

For the big-hearted tweenie, who graduated from PS 230 in June, it was simply a case of lending a helping hand.

“It felt really good to do something for someone else,” she said, bubbling with joy over the loot — a portion of which she raised by putting her best foot forward in the Tri-State Myasthenia Gravis Walk in June.

Vanessa is poised to wow judges on the pageant circuit, too.

She will participate in the Miss New York Pre-Teen finals on Aug. 13 and 14 at the Brooklyn Marriott. The winner will go on to compete in the nationals in California.

We’ll be rooting for you!

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