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May 29, 2002

Miss Belize will wait until 2003 for Miss Universe

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If you’re a beauty pageant fan, you’ll no doubt want to tune in to tonight’s Miss Universe competition. But don’t try to spot Miss Belize in the crowd on stage, because she won’t be there. According to Carolyn Trench-Sandiford of Pageants Belize, Karen Russell, the current Miss Belize, won’t have her moment in the spotlight until 2003. This afternoon, the committee officially launched Russell’s extended reign during a brief banner ceremony at the overpass on the Northern Highway.

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford, Executive Dir., Pageants Belize

“It’s welcoming visitors to the city and it’s also an opportunity that we’ll be using to the launch the year of reign for Karen. Karen was selected as Miss Belize November thirtieth 2001.”

Janelle Chanona

“In tonight’s Miss Universe pageant, Karen will not be representing Belize, that’s because….

Carolyn Trench-Sandiford

“Karen won’t be representing. What most people don’t understand Janelle, is that you don’t just send a girl to Miss Belize, you have to have a license to select someone first of all, to send them to Miss Universe. What happened, as you know, Solie Arguelles has had the franchise for some time; Last year, Solie decided to give it up and she asked us to take it over; we did that sometime in September of last year. We then wrote Miss Universe organisation and they said to us, they have no problem but the franchise is not transferable. So we had to do a pageant then write to Universe and apply for a franchise. We did our pageant on November thirtieth. We then sent up to Universe in December and they said to us that they finished giving out licenses for this year in October, which was one month before we had our pageant but they have given us our license starting 2003. So we will be back in Ms. Universe in 2003 and that is when Karen will be going to Miss Universe.”

According to Trench-Sandiford, beginning in 2003, Pageants Belize will hold the Miss Belize competition in June of every year and will be rotating the location of the event to each district. Pageants Belize is calling on all Belizeans to support the young women who participate in the event.

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