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Meet the contestants for Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake pageant happening Friday

The Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake pageant will take place at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Friday.

The pageant consists of five publicly judged events including sponsor night, a speech and talent show, a fashion show, presenting a historical tea and then the pageant's final evening which happens on Friday.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the final evening of the pageant when The Lady of the Lake and Kelowna's Princess will be crowned.

The Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake Society aims to mentor young women of Kelowna, enable them to learn new skills, and empower their leadership.

NowMedia asked the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake contestants more about themselves and how the program has influenced them, this is what they said:

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Amanda Curatolo, and I will be in grade 12 at Okanagan Mission Secondary School this fall.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
The Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake ambassador program has helped me grow as an individual in a multitude of ways. I have gained confidence, improved my public speaking abilities and learned how to better carry myself in a professional setting.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I really enjoy volunteering, especially within my own community where the impact is directly seen. I have done various volunteer work with Girl Guides, The Sons of Italy, WE Charity and at school. A few examples are fundraising, preparing and serving meals for Inn from the Cold and the Gospel Mission, tree planting, collecting garbage and Soles for Souls shoe drives.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Exploring nature in our beautiful city has always been a favourite activity of mine, such as hiking different trails and swimming in Okanagan Lake.

Describe yourself in one word.
To describe myself in only one word, I would say that I am determined. I commit myself to achieve my goals to the best of my ability, while also making a continuous effort to better myself and my surrounding environment along the way.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me is experiencing the coming-together of individuals who are filled with so much positivity and desire to change the world. Witnessing people putting their entire hearts into their efforts and sharing their stories always leaves me inspired and motivated to do the same. Attending social justice events and hearing speakers is definitely when these feelings occur, a major time being last summer at Me to We Take Action Camp.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Madeline Bishop and I just graduated grade 12, I was homeschooled and now I am off to UBCO.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
I don’t even know where to begin! I’ve changed so much during the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program. My confidence has soared and I feel much more comfortable speaking to people now. My mom will joke with me sometimes and say I’ve learned how to use my appearances but in all seriousness what I’ve learned most is how to maneuver through social situations. It has definitely come in handy more than once.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I volunteer at the H2O on a regular basis, working in child and youth services doing the Boys in Action program. I also like to help out at the Okanagan Autism Association!

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Definitely going to the beach. I moved here from Edmonton six years ago (a very, very cold place!) and I still can’t get over how amazing it is to be able to just grab a towel and go swimming with friends all summer.

Describe yourself in one word.
Unexpected!

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Once, when I was volunteering at the H2O centre, an autistic child in my group started breaking down because another child wasn’t playing a game right. None of the other volunteers knew what to do so I helped calm him down by playing Battleship with him until his parents came to get him, (he beat me every single time!)
When his parents got there he told them how much fun he had with me. I was told them about how he had beat me every time and what a good kid he was. They almost started crying because they said no one had ever taken the time to understand him before that. At the end of the day, he left with a paper fortune teller, a Battleship winning streak, and two happy parents and that’s the important part!

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Jennifer Werner I attend Aberdeen Hall Preparatory school and will be entering grade 12 this upcoming fall.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program has helped me grow as an individual in many ways. First, this program has taught me how to step out of my comfort zone and simply go out and try anything that my heart may desire. I learned the important lesson to live life in the present while also having a plan for the future that is open to change. From the speech training given, I find myself much more comfortable speaking in public and easily able to adapt to different social situations that previous to the program I would have completely avoided. Lastly, this program demonstrated to me the power of acceptance in the form of friendship, I have formed bonds with all the girls and many I would have likely never met. I have grown into a person who is much more aware of the amazing people you can meet by going out and trying new things, entering a program or lesson and even enjoying community events. The possibility for new friendships is endless.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I currently volunteer at my Dojo, teaching kids and will have fun with them throughout this year’s summer camps. I have also signed up to volunteer at the Kelowna General Hospital.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
There are so many amazing activities to experience in Kelowna from hiking, cycling, swimming, rock climbing and the list goes on. However, I have to say my absolute favourite activity apart from hanging out with my family and friends, would be karate. Karate is one of my deepest passions in life and I couldn't see my life without it. Not only does it teach people self-defence but its main goal is to develop the characteristics of being a respectful and caring member of society.

Describe yourself in one word.
Passionate

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The opportunity to learn different people's life story. I have gotten to meet some really incredibly strong and inspiring people, and many have been the kids I teach. You never truly know someone, the reason for who they are and their actions until you begin to learn their story. To be able to listen to so many different stories and to have even had the blessing to have impacted some of them in various ways is truly inspiring to me. It is one of the things that make me who I am and push me to always have an open mind and kindness in my heart.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Chloe Kang, I will be going into Grade 12 at Kelowna Secondary School this fall.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
The Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake Program has helped me grow as an individual by exposing me to new experiences and instilling confidence within me. I would say a big focus of the program is on public speaking. Initially, I had struggled with going in front of people and delivering presentations, for example in a classroom setting. Through the regular training and the events, it has pushed me outside of my comfort zone, I have grown to become more accustomed to these situations and have learned skills that I will definitely be able to use in the future.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I have participated as a helper at the Kelowna Art Gallery during Family Sundays. I would assist in set up, lend a hand to children and families with the activity of the day and then aid in clean up at the end of the day. I really enjoyed it because the program is about encouraging young kids to start engaging in fine arts, which I believe is very important. I have also volunteered with the Lady of the Lake program, as we have helped out with the annual Easter Pancake Breakfast event for 2018 and also volunteered by face painting at the Fat Cat Festival this year.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
My favourite activity in Kelowna would be spending time Downtown. I can enjoy the area both with friends and even on my own. There are a plethora of options for things to do Downtown, such as visiting small businesses, listening to music at different events, relaxing at the Library or even just taking a stroll and taking in the scenery. One of my favourite places, in particular, is the Kasugai Garden, which is so lovely and serene, being Downtown is definitely a great time anytime.

Describe yourself in one word.
To describe myself using one word, I would use ‘enthusiastic'. I love to meet new people and take part in new experiences and I like to think that I always have an enthusiastic approach when encountering these situations.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me is attending a meeting with other youth discussing sustainability. Many of the members are accomplished young people who have done some excellent work in promoting sustainability and making a change within the community. I am admittedly a novice to the issue, but seeing people my age achieve so much with immense passion really inspires me to actively participate in causes that I believe in.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Taylor Hutton and I just graduated from Kelowna Senior Secondary school.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
This program has helped me gain confidence as an individual and feel comfortable with who I am.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I volunteer as a youth leader for the Middle School Youth Group at Trinity Baptist Church. I also volunteered with the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program at the Fat Cat Festival and at the Easter Pancake Breakfast celebration.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
My favourite activity would have to be either archery or axe throwing. It's so fun to shoot for targets and learn new things!

Describe yourself in one word.
Energetic

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Well, I have had the chance to be in an exclusive talent group and that has inspired me to keep doing what I love and to never give up.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Jessica Dolgopol, I am in grade 11 and I go to Kelowna Senior Secondary school.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
It has made a more confident person. Before the program, I was terrified of stages and performing but now as I reach the end of the program I have grown into someone who can confidently go up on stage, speak and perform. I have gained new friends and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I volunteer at the SPCA and PetSmart almost every week. I get to help animals who have been abused or abandoned. I get to help dogs that are terrified of humans begin to trust humans again.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Going to the beaches in the summertime. I like to lay in the sun and relax with my friends. I also love to go swimming in the lake.

Describe yourself in one word.
Caring

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me is watching dogs at the SPCA begin to trust humans again. Getting to sit with a dog that was so terrified of humans you couldn’t touch them at first and then winning them over and getting to cuddle with them, it is a very inspiring moment.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Marissa Nyi, I am in grade 11 and I go to Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
The Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program has helped me grow in so many ways, especially in the way my public speaking skills have greatly developed. Also, my ability to voice my opinions in large groups has grown considerably since I’ve entered the program.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I volunteer at the front desk of the Kelowna General Hospital where I help guests with directions and help discharged patients from their rooms to their cars. I really enjoy it because I get the opportunity to get to talk to, as well as work with, all sorts of people and get to know where they’re from and a bit of their backgrounds.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
My favourite activity in Kelowna is walking through Kelowna City Park with some iced coffee and some friends on a sunny day.

Describe yourself in one word.
If I had to describe myself in one word, I would say I’m loyal.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me was when I was studying in a local coffee shop in Downtown Kelowna a couple months ago. A middle-aged lady walked in with a homeless man and told him to order any food and drink he wanted and she would pay for it. When he got his order he appeared so happy and grateful and thanked the lady before he left. It made me feel so warm and content at that moment to see that despite all the bad things occurring in the world, good people do exist and the little acts of kindness we do can make a big difference.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Tashae Campbell and I am a grade 11 student at Kelowna Senior Secondary School.

How has the Miss Kelowna of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
The program has helped me grow as a person physically, emotionally and mentally with skills such as etiquette, self-defence and area knowledge for Kelowna. It has helped me learn about the importance of a community coming together as one to make it a better place; it also helped me with organization and time management.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I volunteered at the Fat Cat Festival where I walked in the parade and participated in face painting, Parkinson Recreation Centre where I helped with the Back-to-School Bash and participated in some of the children activities such as bean bag toss, face painting and handing out school-bags, and at Steph’s Sweets Delights where I help serve food and wash dishes. I also volunteer at KSS, we have had a lot of events where students raise money for a charity. I have helped to plan one of the events where we raised money for cancer.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
My favourite activity in Kelowna is dancing.

Describe yourself in one word.
Creative

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspirational that has happened to me was cancer week at KSS, just being there and hearing everyone's story and helping to raise money for cancer research was just unforgettable. I really learned and have grown from it.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Olivia Solano and I will be into grade 12 at Kelowna Senior Secondary in September.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
The Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program has helped me grow in so many ways. I have improved my public speaking, learned how to present myself in a professional manner, how to defend myself and my values, and I even though I've never driven, I learned how to maintain a car and change a tire! This opportunity has truly taught me so many life skills and has helped me mature into a better person. I am truly grateful for this experience.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I have volunteered at the Canadian School of Ballet by assisting young girls' dance classes. I find it to be a privilege to be a part of their growth as a dancer and as a person. When I was a young girl I always looked up to the volunteers in my class, they were my role models. I am so lucky to be this figure for other girls like me. I have also begun to volunteer at fundraising events for Kelowna General Hospital and I hope to continue and do more for the KGH Foundation.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
My favourite activity in Kelowna would have to be Parks Alive! in the summer. I love going downtown with my family, getting an ice cream from Moo-Lix and watching the entertainment in the park.

Describe yourself in one word.
Passionate. That's me in a nutshell!

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me was playing the role of Clara in the Nutcracker 2017. Ever since my first time being in the Nutcracker when I was six years old, I dreamed of becoming Clara. Ten years later, there I was taking a final bow on stage in my dream role. This experience really showed me that hard work does pay off and that dreams really do come true when you set your mind to it.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Simranjot Bansal, I have successfully completed grade 11 and I’m excited about my grade 12 year at Kelowna Senior Secondary school.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
The Lady of the Lake program is one of the best opportunities I've ever received. It has really changed my perspective and outlook on life. Through this program, I was able to immerse myself in the training, rehearsals and events that took place. I got to learn new things that I never expected to. There was a time when I couldn’t get up on stage; however, the Miss Kelowna Lady of Lake program has taught me to overcome this fear and present my ideas on stage with confidence. I've truly become the confident young lady I once aspired to become. Not only has the program boosted my confidence, but it expanded my learning. I have learned about public speaking, etiquette, leadership and much more! I’m grateful to be able to take this learning for a lifetime.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I volunteer at various organizations, I’ve volunteered at the blood clinic, retirement homes, children’s festivals and much more. I constantly strive to grab every opportunity there is to spend time with my community while giving back. Through school, I’m a part of a social club that raises funds and awareness for local and global causes. I’m passionate about serving the community and I plan to continue to give back in the future.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
One of my favourite activities in Kelowna would be taking a hike up at Knox Mountain Park, Kelowna’s largest Natural Area Park. I adore the natural beauty it holds. Each time I hike up, I’m reminded of how fascinating mother nature is, and how much Kelowna residents value it. Knox Mountain Park embodies a huge variety of wildlife, and being able to witness it and read about it gives me pride in our city. One of my hobbies is photography and while hiking, I love to take pictures of the breathtaking view of Kelowna and appreciate its importance. I love to explore and Knox Mountain Park gives me the opportunity to do exactly that!

Describe yourself in one word
Determined

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
There have been many moments in my life, where I have been inspired. By living in such a beautiful community that works so hard I’m bound to be inspired each and every day. However, the most inspiring thing that has happened to me is when I volunteered with senior residents at a retirement home. I got to spend time with them and realized how brave they were to be able to live without their family. They felt incomplete but they always had a smile on their face, and that’s what has really inspired me. Hope is what keeps the seniors cheerful and I learned that no matter how bad the situations may be, never give up and have faith in hope.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed.</who>

My name is Faith Bigam. I’m going into grade 11 in the fall and will be attending George Elliot Secondary school next year.

How has the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake program helped you grow as an individual?
It’s made me more outgoing and helped me develop more connections within the community.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I am a volunteer at the MS Society of Canada and the Arthritis Society.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
I enjoy hiking on the local trails.

Describe yourself in one word
Compassionate

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing is having the privilege and opportunity to show people with MS and Arthritis that they aren’t alone in their battle.

For more information on the upcoming event, click this link.



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