TAMPA -- Robin Lally step a rhinestone crown atop Andrea Sensiero’s head.

“Gorgeous,” Lally said with a smile.

A purple sash draped over Sensiero’s new black dress. The words “Miss Fearless 2018” shimmered in gold. She stood in her first pair of high-heels with confidence.

“All ladies can be beautiful,” she said with a smile.

That’s the mission for Lally’s non-profit, Help Us Gather, which is perfectly shortened to HUG. Lally started it in November 2017 hoping to connect people with special needs to social events and activities. This weekend, HUG will host its first “big event”, the 2018 Beyond Beautiful fashion event to celebrate exceptional women of all abilities.

“I just like the idea of women supporting other women and I also like the idea of kind of taking away the boundary of ‘you’re beautiful because…’ and ‘You’re beautiful this way’,” said Lally. It’s like, we’re all beautiful and mixing these things together will have a really powerful message.”

Lally started HUG because of her brother, Rick Farr, who has autism. He recently moved to Florida to be closer to Lally and her family. They see each other practically every day.

“I’m learning basically through HUG that I have autism but autism doesn’t have me,” said Farr. “It’s something that doesn’t get my down anymore because so many people like my sister care about me.”

The Beyond Beautiful night will feature title-holding beauty queens, glamour stations for hair, makeup and accessories, a fashion show that emphasizes qualities of inner beauty, and more. It’s open to women ages 14 and older. Lally expects 200 people to attend and 80 of those people to have special needs. Saint Paul United Methodist Church is hosting the event in Largo.

HUG will hand out awards to four special needs women in the categories of Miss Fearless, Miss Powerful, Miss Inspirational, and Miss Charitable.

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