Jayse Van Rooyen can’t hide her enthusiasm for Ladysmith.
The 20-year-old is representing Ladysmith as a candidate in the British Columbia Ambassador Program, and to raise money for the program, she is bringing the community loves together. She has gathered a group of Ladysmith musicians to play for a fundraiser she is calling Tunes and Tiaras in early June.
Tunes and Tiaras will take place Fri., June 8 at Aggie Hall and will feature live music by the Common Band, Skellig, and Lena Birtwistle with Jen. The Ladysmith Kinsmen will be doing a bar, and there will be door prizes with baskets put together by Van Rooyen’s mother. The fundraiser starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $15 at In the Beantime Café, Salamander Books and the 49th Café.
Van Rooyen says the event started out smaller, as she and Evan Miller, who is in the Common Band, were talking during their class at Vancouver Island University one day about doing a fundraiser. Miller gladly jumped on board, then suggested Skellig, and Van Rooyen asked Birtwistle to participate. All the musicians were quick to offer their time.
“It’s so cool because they’re all volunteering for this event,” said Van Rooyen. “It’s so nice because I’ve been friends with them all for a long time. It’s so nice to have these people behind you and supporting you. I love all those people who are doing it.”
Van Rooyen, who was a Ladysmith Princess in 2010-11 and was named Miss Congeniality that year, is excited for her upcoming fundraiser and grateful to everyone who has helped her organize the event.
“It was amazing how well it came together,” she said.
Van Rooyen says a big thank you to her aunt, Loyola Van Rooyen Buck, who came up with the idea of doing the fundraiser at Aggie Hall and who has helped with posters and tickets.
Van Rooyen is grateful to all the people who have been so supportive of her candidacy, from her Rotary Club sponsors to her friends and family and people she has met through working at In the Beantime Café.
The B.C. Ambassador program is open to any young man or woman aged 17 to 23 who has previously held an Ambassador/Royal title in B.C. Each year, three members are chosen to represent the youth of this province as B.C. Ambassadors and travel throughout the province promoting the program’s mandate of education, motivation and self-esteem.
The program is a perfect fit for Van Rooyen, who is excited for the opportunity to represent Ladysmith and who loves getting out in the community and volunteering.
“This is all in my element,” she said. “I love it. I love Ladysmith, and I love volunteering. This is great.”
One element of the B.C. Ambassador program is the People’s Choice Award, and voting is now open.
People can vote once a day on the B.C. Ambassadors website under “People’s Choice Ambassador” until Aug. 17, and the candidate with the most votes will win a scholarship, explained Van Rooyen.
In the coming weeks, Van Rooyen will be putting donations cans in local businesses, and she is also working on organizing a Beer and Burger Night fundraiser at Cottonwood Golf Course in late June or early July.
All the money Van Rooyen raises will help keep the B.C. Ambassador program going and will fund scholarships and bursaries for the candidates.
“That’s really cool because anything we raise comes back to us ultimately,” said Van Rooyen. “It’s so great they’re so supportive of people wanting to go on to post-secondary education. I really like that because I really like school.”