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Nov 28, 2001

Seven vie for Miss Belize title

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Since 1966, the Miss Belize pageant has meant many things to many people, myself included. And with the stage set for Friday night, we’ve got a preview of the latest group of aspirants looking for a place in the history books as well as a shot at some material rewards.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Confidence is a key to success in the Miss Belize Pageant and the seven young women are helping each other to overcome the fears.

Tiffara Reynolds, 18 years old

“It is important for us to get to know each other, find out about each other. We are fellow contestants, but we would also like to be friends so we can help each to excel so that we can get to the level of those contestants that are going up for Miss Universe. Also, it gives us an opportunity to know our country because, for example today we went to see the Prime Minister, we spoke with him, we spoke with Deputy Mayor Shoman. It gives us a chance to know something before you go there, so that if that judges ask you something about your country, you know.”

Lovette Nunez, Secretary, Pageants Belize

“I think that all of our delegates are lovely and I have been interacting with them, they are wonderful, they are beautiful inside and outside. They are full of life and spirit.”

Some of the ladies are no strangers to the stage. Stephanie Young, after being crowned Queen of the Bay 2000-2001 decided to try her luck in Miss Belize.

Stephanie Young, 21 years old

“It gave me an opportunity to see that I am talented and I can express myself furthermore. So I decided to compete in the Miss Belize pageant to express this creativity that was inside of me that I always wanted to bring forth. I think that this pageant will allow me to do just that.”

Nefretery Juan, 25 years old

“I’ve represented Belize in various international pageants in Brazil, Ecuador and in Honduras, and I think I have the experience already in pageants. It’s a little bit different as you guys may know that I did Miss Belize in ’95 and it’s totally different. I think this year they have more preparation, we’re doing a lot more rehearsals.”

Miss Belize has been restructured, so the event is now more than just about glamour and selecting a representative in the Miss Universe pageant. Pageant’s Belize, organiser of the contest, says the new programme reflect their concerns about world-wide issues like global warming, poverty, child abuse and AIDS.

Karen Russell, 23 years old

“I believe Miss Belize represents more…not just beauty…that’s why I’m participating, because we’re moving into a new era. The committee wants us to be more aware of the realities of life so that when we go international we’ll be able to not only be a delegate, but a representative of our country, using our beauty and intelligence.”

The young ladies say they are not only pleased with the change, but believe their participation will encourage youths to make positive decisions in life.

Amanda Young, 18 years old

“I wanted to become a role model for the youths of Belize, because many of them are in need of a role model, someone they can look up to, someone that will give them comfort when they need it.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Becky how have you girls been getting along with each other.”

Becky Bernard, 20 years old

“I think we have been getting along really well. People have been very supportive. Say for example you don’t have something you might need, you just go to another person and ask if they have it and they’d say go ahead and borrow it. They’ve been really nice and supporting each other very well.”

Jacqueline Woods

“Jessica, you young women have been involved in a number of social activities, and of course Friday night is the pageant, but what you think you’ll remember the most?”

Jessica Heusner, 18 years old

“Probably our visit to Maruba Resort. It was a wonderful once in a lifetime experience because I don’t think I’ll have the time to go back there again. We had massage and mud baths. We were papered and it was lovely.”

No matter how well all the young ladies represent themselves, there can only be one winner. One person who knows what it takes to capture the crown, is the reigning Miss Belize, Shiemicka Lashone Richardson.

Shiemicka Lashone Richardson, Miss Belize 2000

“My advice to all the contestants is definitely to be yourselves. Always be yourself, it’s so important. And my advice to the one who leaves with the crown, is you’re only going to get out of it what you put in, so just put your best foot forward and everything that you want and you want to do for everyone else will definitely be able to come through.”

We wish all seven contestants the best. Reporting for News 5, Jacqueline Woods.

Miss Belize gets underway this Friday night at the Belize City Centre. The show starts at 7:30. Tickets can be bought at Record Shack, Tambran Music Depot and Stone and Baron for fifteen dollars reserve, ten dollars general admission and three dollars for children.

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