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First-grader reigning national pageant winner, volunteers with military

Nyomin Dimit, 7, shows the stuffed red panda she bought at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Nyomin won the trip to D.C. as a result of winning the national Little Miss Military Star competition last July. Submitted photo

JEFFERSON TWP — To see her laughing and playing with her stuffed animal collection or planning the “purple farm” she plans on running as an adult, no one would suspect that Nyomin Dimit, 7, has logged 1,113 volunteer hours in veteran causes since July.

Nyomin holds the title National Little Miss Military Star after winning her age category in the pageant of the same name, which was held from July 19 to 23 in Washington, D.C.

Her mother, Jen Dimit, who is a fifth-grade teacher at HIS Kids Christian School, recalls being told after Nyomin won the title that she must complete at least six military- or veteran-related community projects during her 1-year reign.

“I was like ‘Girlfriend, come on. We can do better than that.’” Dimit said.

Nyomin and her mother have worked with Robin’s Home in Butler; Hero’s Angels, which sends care packages to troops; and VA Butler Healthcare, among other military-related groups.

Typically, Nyomin dons a pageant dress, as well as her sash and tiara, and attends a veterans event with her mother to volunteer.

The pair volunteered at a food truck event for Robin’s Home, marched in parades, and helped out at various local VFW and American Legion fundraisers.

Dimit said she and Nyomin have manned raffles and bake sales, sold tickets at the door at various events, cooked, served, or performed whatever tasks were necessary.

Nyomin is proud of a secret project she did at Christmastime, when she purchased toys and gifts for the female veterans and their children staying at Robin’s Home.

The Robin’s Home residents were unaware they were getting the presents, which included coats, clothing, shoes and a hover board for one boy.

“I felt good because I helped them,” Nyomin said.

“I think she realized that some kids don’t get presents at Christmas,” Dimit said. “She made sure those kids had lots of toys and surprises and stockingfuls of goodies.”

The gifts were purchased through donations and a special project carried out by Nyomin and her mother.

“My platform is Ribbons for a Reason,” Nyomin said. “I sell pins for $2.”

Nyomin and her mother hand-make the lapel pins with red, white and blue ribbon to sell at various events.

“She has raised more than $3,000,” Dimit said.

Dimit said many veterans or their families remember Nyomin from a previous event and call her name to say “hello” when they see her in her tiara and sash.

Veterans who meet her for the first time and learn of her dedication to veteran or military volunteer projects often share a sentiment that is normally reserved for themselves.

“They say ‘Thank you for your service,’” Nyomin said.

Dimit said veterans, especially older ones, are surprised that such a young child would spend so many hours volunteering for military causes.

“More than 50% get down on their knees and give her a hug, or shake her hand, and say ‘Thank you for helping us,’” Dimit said.

Nyomin Dimit, 7, in a professional photo taken to commemorate her national win in the Little Miss Military Star pageant in July. Submitted photo
Pageant and prize

Nyomin, who won the state Little Miss Military Star, competed in beauty, Americana wear and service at the national pageant. She also interviewed with a panel of judges.

Nyomin also took the pageant’s National Talent Award for singing “God Bless America” while riding her horse.

The main prize bestowed on Nyomin for winning the national title in her category was a trip for her and her mom to tour the military-related sites in Washington, D.C.

On April 24, Nyomin and her mom traveled to the nation’s capital once more, where they toured the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the White House, Capitol Building, the National Zoo and Nyomin’s favorite, the very top of the Washington Monument.

“We were 500 feet in the air,” Nyomin said.

“We pointed out all the places where we had been on the trip,” Dimit said.

Another special part of the trip was meeting veterans from the Pittsburgh area, including Butler, who had traveled to D.C. in tour buses. The buses unloaded at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

“I gave them all a Ribbons for a Reason pin,” Nyomin said. “I literally ran out of pins.”

“It was really neat getting to thank all of those veterans at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, especially since some of them were from Butler County,” Dimit said.

The pair also spent a half day at Arlington National Cemetery, where Dimit carefully explained the miles of perfectly aligned white crosses to her young daughter.

“It was huge,” Nyomin said of the quiet, yet powerful cemetery.

Nyomin also enjoyed the tour of the White House, and particularly loved a painting of Michelle Obama.

“She said ‘Mommy, do you think I can be like her?’ and I said ‘Yes, I do,’” Dimit said.

Nyomin also was recently notified that she will receive her second Presidential Volunteer Service Award certificate, which is in recognition of her volunteer hours.

Nyomin, who loves taking horseback riding lessons, playing with her stuffed animals and hip hop and jazz dance, could win Miss Military Star in older categories as she grows and continues her volunteer work.

“I just like helping veterans,” she said. “They are the ones who protect us.”

National Little Miss Military Star Nyomin Dimit, 7, of Butler, stands near the oil painting of former first lady Michelle Obama that is hung in the White House. Nyomin won a trip to Washington, D.C. And a tour of a handful of sites there when she won the national title in her age group in July at the Miss Military Star pageant. She and her mother, Jen Dimit, went on the trip in April. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Nyomin Dimit with the presents she purchased for female veterans and their children living at Robin's Home last Christmas. Her classmates at HIS Kids Christian School, in Jefferson Township, helped wrap the items, which she purchased with donations and proceeds from her Ribbons for a Reason program. SUBMITTED PHOTO
National Little Miss Military Star Nyomin Dimit, 7, of Butler, at the Arlington National Cemetery grave of the late Nancy Pakutz, a Butler resident who served as a nurse in the 95th Evacuation Unit in Vietnam and died of complications from Agent Orange. SUBMITTED PHOTO
National Little Miss Military Star Nyomin Dimit, 7, of Butler, competes in the beauty portion of the pageant she won in July in Washington, D.C. SUBMITTED PHOTO
First-grader and Little Miss Military 2023-24, Nyomin Dimit, recites the Pledge of Allegiance at HIS Kids Christian School's Veterans Appreciation Luncheon on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. Laura Welsh/Special to the Eagle
Nyomin Dimit, 7, and her mother, Jen Dimit, with items they collected for the Veterans H.E.A.R.T. Resource Center on Main Street in Butler. Nyomin is the reigning National Little Miss Military Star. Submitted photo

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