Ladysmith’s newest Ambassador hopefuls had their first taste of the proverbial red carpet during the program’s annual Fashion Show Feb. 16.
The nine candidates, dressed in everything from pajamas to thrift store finds and ball gowns, demonstrated the latest fashions from local businesses to a crowd of more than 100 people at the Eagles Hall.
According to Sandy Weeks, Ladysmith Ambassador program co-chair, the fundraising event is a good icebreaker for the participants to get accustomed to being in the public eye.
“You could tell after each walk down the aisle, they became more relaxed and confident, and that’s exactly what we wanted that night to be,” she said.
Over the next two months, the candidates will be involved in numerous events on which they will be given points. On Coronation night, the points are tallied and the official Ladysmith Ambassador and two Vice-Ambassadors are crowned.
The Ladysmith Ambassador Program is a non-profit organization that works to build self-esteem, promote continuing education through bursaries and instill community spirit in local youth.
It has been going on in Ladysmith for the past 60 years.
This year, the program has a near-new committee, including Weeks, who was crowned Miss Ladysmith in 1986.
The fresh committee has already discussed a variety of ideas, including more volunteer opportunities for the candidates, guest speakers and recruiting for candidates later in the school year so as to incorporate it with another community event such as Light Up.
This year’s candidates will participate in “Uniquely Me” sessions that focus on career development, as well as health and wellness sessions with a local yoga studio.
The committee is also in talks to provide guest speakers in the financial and automotive areas to help the candidates gain skills like balancing personal budgets and car maintenance.
The Ambassadors will go through their one-on-one interviews with the judges in mid-April, with the Speech and Talent Night to take place April 1 at Ladysmith Secondary School (LSS). Coronation Night will take place at LSS April 18.
Weeks says the program has really evolved from a beauty pageant into a program where self-growth and continuing education are the focus.
One thing that hasn’t changed about the Ladysmith Ambassador program is its life-changing potential.
“I really see the value in the program and I want to see it continue so that the youth in our community will have access to this opportunity,” said Weeks. “It’s not even about if you win or not; it’s the life skills you learn and the confidence you build in yourself.”
The committee is open to new ideas and volunteers. To find out more, contact Sandy Weeks at 250-245-5750 or e-mail ladysmith