Entrants show beauty more than skin deep
If you see Miss Taranaki contestants shaking a bucket before the final gala evening, they will be fundraising for the Taranaki Health Foundation.
Miss Taranaki, to be crowned on February 18 at the Quality Hotel Plymouth International, will be an ambassador for the region and the health-supporting charity.
Foundation general manager Bry Kopu says the organisation was honoured to be chosen as the charity for this year’s pageant, which includes Miss Teen and Junior Miss.
‘‘We were particularly thrilled to connect young women from all over the region with our projects that will directly benefit children and young people’s health and well-being in Taranaki,’’ she said. ‘‘To have 33 young ambassadors championing children and young people’s well-being on our behalf, raising money and community awareness is wonderful.’’
Every cent raised by the young women will go directly to one of three projects that will benefit Taranaki children and young people’s health and wellbeing.
The Open Minds Project supports enhancements to the Taranaki Base Hospital’s mental health in-patient unit, which has a special adolescent area.
‘‘Secondly, there’s a secret new well-being project to be launched this year at Base Hospital,’’ Kopu said.
From Hardship to Hope, is the third project. This supports children, young people and their families when they are acutely unwell and need assistance.
The entrants have also been raising awareness of the projects and doing individual fundraising.
‘‘So, if you see these positive young women in our community with their fundraising buckets, please encourage them and drop a coin in to make a difference today,’’ Kopu says.
First-year judge Valentine Fernandes, who was Miss Taranaki in 2016 and is studying to be a nurse, knows first-hand how much support is needed by families facing health crises and youth facing mental illness.
Crowned Miss India New Zealand last September, she was the foundation’s entrant into Dance Like No Other, to raise funds for the highly successful We Heart Taranaki campaign. The other two judges are Sam Bennett and Kushla Rosser, Miss Taranaki in 2003.
The charity to benefit last year was Gabby’s Starlit Hope.
Miss Taranaki 2017 Miss Taranaki was Jenna Bellve (right). She is seen with runner-up Cassy Woller.