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Miss Barbados ready for world

Marielle wilkie officially

crowned as barbados’

ambassador to 2012 pageant

Miss Barbados World 2012 Marielle Wilkie yesterday officially received her orders to represent the island at the Miss World Pageant in China later this month.

It came in the form of a glittering Gala Handover & Fashion Show at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown, St. James at which she officially received her crown from Miss Barbados World 2011, Taisha Carrington, before an audience that included China’s ambassador to Barbados … Lianchaun.

Franchise holder Leah Marville again explained that the decision to select this year’s representative resulted from a date change by the Miss World Organisation, which also resulted in Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica also taking the same route.

“Many other countries, including our Caricom neighbours Dominica and Trinidad, faced this same decision,” Marville told guests. “The Miss World Organisation suggested that Barbados proceed by way of a selection and authorised the choosing of our delegate.

“Marielle Wilkie placed fourth last August, coming out with the Beauty with a Purpose Prize. To arrive at Marielle, we went through a process of elimination, starting with our first runner up and coming down the line, following the criteria of eligibility, capability, possibility and feasibility of the delegates to represent Barbados, as well as their training and continuation of their Beauty with a Purpose projects.

“Our first runner up was released from the organisation to pursue her modelling career and our second runner up is currently enrolled at UWI pursuing her studies. By process of elimination, we therefore arrived at … Wilkie. Both Miss World and the Miss Barbados World organisation are pleased with our delegate and tonight, [and] we ask you to join us as we celebrate her as she goes forward in the next two weeks, to represent this island paradise, we collectively call home, at the Miss World Competition in Ordos, China.”

When she addressed the audience, Wilkie said: “It is my pleasure to stand before you this evening as the newly crowned ambassador for Barbados. They say success is a journey, not a destination, and when this journey began for me over a year ago, I would have never imagined that I would have this honour of being before you as Miss Barbados World 2012.

“Though I did not emerge in the final three on August 28, 2011 at the Hilton Hotel, I can assure you that I possess the poise, determination and aptitude to represent my beloved island on the world stage… At 21 years old, I am an effervescent, adventurous young woman with a love for surfing and an undeniable passion for children.

“I am no stranger to representing my island on an international platform. In 2004 at 12 years old, I had the honour of waving the Bajan flag high, as I competed in the Quiksilver World Junior Surfing Championships in Tahiti — and what an amazing experience that was!

“When I entered Miss Barbados World in 2011, I had the opportunity to learn from a unique group of individuals and to take home with me a wealth of knowledge from our intense developmental training sessions, which included etiquette, stage presence and public speaking.

“Through the platform of Miss Barbados World, I was given a foundation from which to build on my passion for helping children. It was with this, that my charity, The Tomorrow Project was birthed.”

The project is designed to “create a better tomorrow for disadvantaged and severely brain injured children in Barbados” who currently number more than 2,500. Funds raised are used to “help these families pay for the kind of specialised treatment they require, as well as equipment, supplies and personal care that are so vital on a day-to-day basis”.

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