Kayla Helferich, 8, of Summerville, has been named one of three finalists in Prevent Blindness America's national "Most Beautiful Eyes" contest.

Kayla, a student at Windsor Hill Art Infused Elementary, has Down syndrome. One of the characteristics is Brushfield spots on her eyes, which look like white sparkles, said her mother, Michelle Helferich.

As a finalist, Kayla and her family -- mom, dad Joe, and little brother Lucas, 3 -- won a weekend in Chicago to attend the annual Prevent Blindness awards banquet on Nov. 18.

"Kayla is most excited about flying and staying in a hotel," Helferich said.

The winner, who will be named at the banquet, gets a $25,000 college scholarship and will serve a year as the face of Star Pupils, Prevent Blindness' children's eye-health program. Second prize is a $4,000 scholarship and third place gets a $2,000 scholarship.

"The whole experience has been very fun, so even if she comes in third, it doesn't matter," Helferich said.

The other finalists are Hailey Verrill, 4, of Maine and Lyla C. Zaragoza, 2, of Oklahoma.

The first round of voting took place on Prevent Blindness' Facebook page. The top vote-getters from each state advanced, and a panel of celebrity judges chose the top three.

For more information visit preventblindness.org or the Facebook page or call 1-800-331-2020.

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or on Facebook.