Miss Burbank to print names of charity donors on her pageant dress


A local pageant contestant is planning to use the upcoming Miss California USA as a platform to raise awareness about and funds for charities near and dear to her heart.

Brenda Sarai Zuniga, who is Miss Burbank 2019, launched a campaign at the beginning of this month called “Brenda’s Dress,” in which those who donate to a charity she is sponsoring can have their name printed on the dress she will be wearing during the competition next month.

The four organizations and charities Zuniga is helping support are Help Steve Help, Smile Train, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Insomniac Cares-Bahamas Relief. All donations will go toward one of those organizations.

“I’m going on stage to such a large audience, so why don’t I use this opportunity to raise funds and create a positive movement where we’re helping others and giving back?” Zuniga said.

Zuniga is working with John McNichol, an artist and founder of the nonprofit Regular Hero, to create the dress.

The names of each donor will be printed on a skirt that will go around the dress Zuniga plans to wear during the pageant.

The amount donated will determine the size of each donor’s name on the dress, Zuniga said.

“It’s a way to acknowledge those that have donated and a way for me to thank them for helping these causes,” Zuniga said. “It’s definitely something that no one has ever done before in the pageant world, and I hope this is the beginning of a norm in the pageant world. I’d love to see more of this.”

Zuniga, a comedian and philanthropist, said she thinks her charity campaign is a way to shed light on the positive impacts pageants can have on others as well as showcase what strong, independent and confident women participating in competitions can do for those less fortunate.

“Women are making a positive change in this world,” Zuniga said. “This is just a way for me to shine light on who we really are and to hopefully end the misconceptions that [surround] pageants.”

Those who are looking to make donations to the “Brenda’s Dress” campaign can visit The campaign will end on Jan. 10.

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