Ashlynn Patterson, Miss Central Alberta Submitted photo

Pigeon Lake resident named Miss Central Alberta

Pageant winner attributes volunteer spirit to grandmother

A Pigeon Lake woman is using her title as 2018 National Canadian Miss Central Alberta to help better her community and the region through volunteerism and advocacy.

Ashlynn Patterson, 18, was recently named Miss Central 2018 at the National Canadian Scholarship Pageant.

While Patterson has competed previously in the glamour pageant circuit she says she personally enjoys natural pageants more.

“It focuses on volunteerism and what they’re doing in their community,” said Patterson in an interview with the Pipestone Flyer.

“In this all-natural pageant system, we are a sisterhood of amazing girls and women who volunteer in our communities, strive to build confidence, and promote positive body image,” said Patterson in a media release.

Prior to her title appointment Patterson was already volunteering with Free the Children, which enables volunteers to focus on local and global causes.

“For a global cause I chose to support Nicaragua,” said Patterson.

While in high school Patterson served as a member of student council; bake sales and bottle drives were held to help support sustainable income of a Nicaraguan village.

“I’m proud to say I got to help out with those causes,” said Patterson.

“For local causes we did food drives and Operation Christmas Child,” she added.

Moving forward, Patterson hopes to volunteer with Meals on Wheels or Agape Thrift Store in Wetaskiwin.

Patterson explained she plans to look for opportunities and organizations within the community that need volunteers, and that she is looking forward to gaining experience with hands on volunteering rather than solely focusing on “sidelines fundraising.”

Growing up, Patterson’s passion for volunteering came from her grandmother Debbie Swanson. “She is such a role model for me.”

In turn, Patterson is looking to be a positive role model for other young girls and help end the negative stigma that surrounds pageants. “All-natural pageants like the Nation Canadian Scholarship Pageant encourage women to celebrate their natural beauty and volunteer our time to issues within our communities.”

As a National Canadian Regional Titleholder, Patterson will be representing at the National Canadian Pageant held July 2018, in Calgary.

If she is successful in her age division Patterson will become a National Titleholder and will be eligible to compete in an international pageant held in the United States of America, at the end of her reign.

amelia.naismith@pipestoneflyer.ca

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