GRAVENHURST - First Gravenhurst, then maybe the world.
EXPANDING HER REIGN.
The first-ever Miss Gravenhurst, Suzanne Hunter is now in the hunt to represent her hometown in the Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant, and potentially move on to Miss World Canada later this year.
Photo by Neil Etienne
Suzanne Hunter, 20, who was honoured as the first-ever Miss Gravenhurst during the closing ceremonies of the town’s winter carnival this past February, has another crowning achievement.
She has just been asked to enter the Miss North Ontario Regional Canada pageant, May 10 to 12 in Sudbury this year, and hasn’t been able to wipe the winning smile from her face since. If she can come out in the top five, she’ll then have a chance to move on to the Miss World Canada competition later in the year.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was asked to take part as Miss Gravenhurst; I’m so proud to be going to represent the town and everything we have to offer, especially as the first Miss Gravenhurst,” Hunter said, adding with a laugh, “I can’t sing and I can’t dance, so I am really lucky that I can sew.”
As she did on the Miss Gravenhurst stage during the carnival, she will be presenting a short runway show of clothing she designed and created for her talent portion.
But the contest isn’t all about poise, quick answers, talent and beauty; it is also charity driven and Hunter is hoping the town will rally behind her opportunity.
She explained as part of the contest, the top 15 fundraising contestants automatically move into the top 15 in the competition. Her goal is to raise $3,000 “to show them what Gravenhurst can do and how generous we can be” and reach the top five.
The contestants are raising funds for Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer, which does cover the Muskoka region, stretching north.
Hunter said she has been out about town placing as many pink donation boxes as possible on store counters and is creating some fundraising events to promote the charity.
The young woman said at times pageants have been portrayed in “a very negative way,” but the competitions now focus on community and personal development.
“The pageant focuses on promoting tourism in northern Ontario, supporting local charities and providing young women with a self-development program, offering them training, experience, opportunity and references that will enable them to provide communities with a future that will have enthusiastic and dedicated northern career individuals,” she said.
“And I plan to show Gravenhurst has talented youth and promote this as a place to be.”
Born and raised in Gravenhurst, she is currently taking a BA with a focus on business administration and sociology at the Nipissing University campus in Bracebridge. She said after graduation next summer she plans to take another degree and courses in public relations and event planning.
Hunter will also be spending time later this year helping sponsors North Hair Studios and Dia Jewellers organize the next Miss Gravenhurst pageant in the hope of inspiring more young female talent.
“We’re hoping to bring back the more wholesome and fun idea of pageants,” Hunter said. “I think it would be a great program for Gravenhurst girls to participate in, in the long winter months.”
If anyone would like more information about the pageant or the charity, check out the websites at missnorthontario.com and nofcc.ca.
If anyone would like to help sponsor Hunter’s attempts to raise funds for charity and reach toward the top five in competition by raising the most funds, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.