Cloverdale’s Lesley Seitz has been selected to compete in the Miss Universe Canada pageant this August.
The 24-year-old will be one of 55 to compete, with women from across the country participating. It will be her first pageant — she entered the running because she “wanted to do something more for others and have a new change in [her] life,” she told the Reporter.
“What I love about pageants is the charity organizations you have the privilege to work with. By competing, you are able to provide a voice for peoples, charities, companies, and organizations who are close to your heart and may never have been able to receive national awareness otherwise,” she said.
Seitz heard of SOS Children’s Villages — an international charity that provides homes to children and youth in 134 countries, including Canada — through the Miss Universe Canada Organization.
She then had the opportunity to visit a village in her hometown of Cloverdale, and to “hear some of their stories.”
The 2.5-acre Surrey village opened in 1999, and provides care for foster children and their families. The village has 12 foster homes and five transition suites, and provides programs and support services for at-risk youth, including counselling, homework clubs and a transition to adulthood program.
“These children are given a whole new life by being in the villages, and truly have a feeling of home,” said Seitz. “SOS Children’s Villages [are] very close to my heart because every child deserves to have the feeling of love, and have a home to go to.”
Each Miss Universe Canada delegate is charged with fundraising in support of a charitable cause. Seitz’s goal is to raise $5,000 for SOS Children’s Villages through a tennis social.
The tennis social fundraiser will take place on Sunday, July 7 at The Tennis Centre in Surrey, located at 5891 144 Street.
Everyone is welcome, regardless of tennis experience, Seitz said. Attendees are asked to bring water, a tennis racket and non-marking runners.
The $55 admission includes a three-hour tennis training session, match play, lunch provided by Vera’s Burger Truck and a gift bag. There will be a raffle with prizes, with chances to win wine tastings, restaurant gift cards and more.
For more details, or to purchase a ticket, visit eventbrite.ca.
The pageant will take place in Toronto in mid-August. The preliminary round will be on Aug. 15, and the finals on Aug. 17.
Seitz is taking dance lessons, yoga and has learned runway skills in preparation for the event. Arranging the upcoming tennis social is also helping build organization, public speaking and marketing skills that she will need if she is crowned Miss Universe Canada 2019, she said.
The crown comes with responsibilities. The title-holder must “provi[de] a voice for charities, a heart for understanding, and [be] a person young people everywhere can look up to as what it means to be Canadian,” she said.