Castlegar event fit for temporary, regional Royalty

Miss Castlegar candidates for 2012 were key attendees for recent Lions Club event

Castlegar Queen committee members (from left) Vienna Ready; Kennedy Lockhurst; Alyssa Martini; Leeza Perehudoff; Samantha Dembowski; Sabrina Broad

Castlegar Queen committee members (from left) Vienna Ready; Kennedy Lockhurst; Alyssa Martini; Leeza Perehudoff; Samantha Dembowski; Sabrina Broad

The Miss Castlegar candidates were out in force at the Lions Club Move-A-Thon Saturday at the Castlegar Community Complex.

Ten of the 12 candidates were in attendance. The 12 have been busy since January rehearsing for the 2012 Miss Castlegar competition, which will take place during SunFest in June.

“The candidates do a very extensive program,” said volunteer organizer Catherine Zaitsoff.

“They do public speaking, poise, modelling, nutrition programs, financial programs, just whatever we can do to help them for when they’re older and have to deal with the world.”

The sponsors for each candidate will not be announced until the beginning of March.

“We’re just meeting with sponsors right now, making sure we can match each candidate up with a sponsor,” said Zaitsoff, who added that there are many benefits for the girls in becoming part of the Miss Castlegar program.

“What we see often with the girls is that if they come in shy or unsure of themselves, or maybe they have a fear of public speaking, by the end they seem to be so much more confident,” she said. “We’ve talked to the girls when they’ve come back from being out in the world. They say ‘Wow, being in Miss Castlegar has really given me the confidence in myself to handle whatever happens out in the real world.’ We are so proud of the young ladies who represent us in the community, do it so well. We know we are always very well represented.”

The current Miss Castlegar, Marie Soukeroff, is not quite ready to relinquish her crown.

Soukeroff has enjoyed her time as royalty and has learned a great deal.

“It’s been a lot fun,” she said. “We’ve been a lot of different cities. We’ve been to Peachland, Penticton, and Cranbrook. I’ve met a lot of different people. It’s been great representing the beautiful city of Castlegar and meeting people from throughout B.C.”

Soukeroff said the training and process has helped her improve in different areas.

“I’ve definitely become better at public speaking,” she said. “It’s helped me a lot, communicating in public and talking to other people.”

The Castlegar Community Centre was the place to be on Saturday as the Lions Club put on their annual Move-A-Thon.

The event featured groups and individuals skate, walk, and/or run at the arena.

“We had four groups come out and they raised money,” said Joanne Baker, secretary for the Castlegar Selkirk Lions Club. “Half the money goes to the charity of their choice and half to the Castlegar Hospice Society.”

There were also many individuals, including Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy, who participated in the event for the second time.

“It’s a good way to raise money for organizations in the community that need it,” she said. “It’s also a fun thing to do with your family. I like that they encourage that. For me, it’s a fun way of getting out in the community and doing something with my Grandkids and niece and my daughter. It was fun. It’s a good thing that the Lions do.”

Columbia Power Corporation paid all expenses for the event, allowing all the money raised to go straight to the charities.