A disgrace!

A Barbadian pageant franchise has come under fire from one its overseas participants, who is accusing the local owners of running off with her money, a charge vehemently denied by the pageant organizers.

South African Katryn Celliers claimed that in June 2016 she paid US$2,000 to Stephanie Chase, the executive director of Miss Humanity International, to cover franchise and entry fees for two contestants to compete here.

In a strongly worded letter sent to Barbados TODAY, Celliers, the reigning Miss Humanity International, questioned the integrity of the organizers, as no pageant has been held since she won back 2014.

“I paid US$2,000 in June 2016 and was given a discount after negotiating to bring two delegates. This included the franchise fee and entry fee to send both girls to compete in Barbados. The girls were to be given accommodation and meals during their stay. However it has been postponed a total of seven times, if not more – who can keep up? – and she refuses to give us a refund, stating the entry form says no refunds,” wrote Celliers, who competed as Barwise, but is now married and no longer uses her maiden name.   

Celliers charged that the recent spate of gun violence here was the latest excuse given by Chase for the latest postponement on August 17.

According her, Chase, the former holder of the Miss Barbados World franchise, said that “over the past few weeks Barbados has been grappling with high levels of vicious crimes and that the country was facing a national shutdown.

“I spoke to friends I made in Barbados and they all said that the crime is definitely not so high that one should cancel an international pageant a few days before it happens,” the South African pageant promoter declared.

She stated that in 2017 alone the event was postponed three times, leaving her out of pocket after she paid the airfare for the two delegates.

She also claimed that her many phone calls to Chase had gone unanswered and the Miss Humanity International Facebook page was shut down after myriad messages in search of answers.

“The Miss Humanity International Facebook page got deleted. I was blocked on Stephanie F Chase’s personal Facebook as well as her other pages. One of the models that was supposed to compete decided to drop out and lose her flight money. The other girl was still very excited and she worked for two years straight, hosting many charity projects in preparation for this pageant. She spent thousands on her garments and grooming to get herself ready for an international pageant, just to have her dreams crushed,” she lamented, while stating that a delegate from Trinidad and Tobago had expressed similar concerns.

“As a result we lost our flight money of ZAR26,000 [the currency code for the South African Rand], which is about US$1,980. Why would she block her former winner, not respond to our messages or emails weeks on end, while we can see her posting on Facebook daily?” Celliers questioned.

Barbados TODAY attempted to visit the Miss Humanity International Facebook page and website, but they both had indeed been deleted.

However, a spokesman for the Miss Humanity International organization dismissed Celliers’ comments as a “slanderous personal attack on the pageant founder”, telling Barbados TODAY in an email that a decision was taken in 2015 not to hold the event, and it was not publicized that year.

According to the spokesman, plans were well under way to host the event in 2016, but financial problems got in the way.

“In 2016 planning began in earnest by our team. However, due to lack of sponsorship based on the economic landscape of Barbados and the high costs of producing such an event we took a decision not to.

“Franchise holders from around the world understood our expressed concerns because they too were experiencing financial challenges due to lack of sponsorship. Though we made significant strides to host this event during the CARIFESTA period, the Miss Humanity International organization did not host the pageant on the scheduled date due to a saturated market as a result of the numerous events held during that period,” the spokesman said in the email response to questions from Barbados TODAY, while revealing that plans were in the works to host the event in Trinidad and Tobago.

The pageant organizers also strenuously denied that other franchise holders had expressed similar frustrations, stating that they had received nothing but support and understanding from participants.

“We have received nothing but encouragement and support from franchise holders around the world. The Miss Humanity International franchise holders in England, United States of America, Venezuela, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Barbados have all expressed sentiments of gratitude for our constant communication and efforts of transparency.”

The Miss Humanity International competition was founded here in April 2003 with the “sole purpose to promote and raise awareness about humanitarian causes worldwide”.

colvillemounsey@barbadostoday.bb

30 Responses to A disgrace!

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan August 30, 2017 at 12:18 am

    Waiting for the other side of this story…. Hmmm. I’d very much like to hear about this pageant which had to be cancelled because of gun violence here

    Reply
  2. ch August 30, 2017 at 12:59 am

    Where is the contract and is there a no-refund clause?
    If not, the money should be refunded.

    Reply
  3. Katryn Celliers August 30, 2017 at 1:17 am

    I am shocked to see how she would try to cover it up. If you can’t host a pageant for 3years at least give us a refund. Why should I loose my flight money for her incompetence to cancel few days before. Its also the first words we hear of it possibly being held in Trinidad and Tobago, If they communicate so openly why did we have days of no response, I have all the proof and Ill share it. I have proof of payment and the agreement. There is no personal attack, I am simply raising my concern as we have planned since 2015 and up to today it hasn’t happened. How can she take our money and postpone years on end?
    I have a big modelling academy and this is no way to work with your winner or entrants. I host 10 pageants a year and I’ve never postponed no matter what, work harder for sponsorships, find a sollution or refund if you can’t deliver on your promises

    Reply
  4. Itz Queen
    Itz Queen August 30, 2017 at 2:32 am

    Well well ,a disgrace to Barbados .we have an international thief

    Reply
  5. Reality August 30, 2017 at 2:50 am

    Stephanie Chase no surprise. If its not a white man from another country out of pocket it’s a Lady from another country. Hey lady gotta pay that mortgage.

    Reply
  6. Eugene Lavine
    Eugene Lavine August 30, 2017 at 3:16 am

    Oh dear.

    Reply
  7. Charly Bamboo
    Charly Bamboo August 30, 2017 at 4:23 am

    M

    Reply
  8. Michelle Griffith
    Michelle Griffith August 30, 2017 at 5:53 am

    Hmmmmm

    Reply
  9. Shana Vanderwolf
    Shana Vanderwolf August 30, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Disgrace!!

    Reply
  10. Sherlene Phillips
    Sherlene Phillips August 30, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Sue them! I would not be surprised if it is true. I know models who go and do shows in Barbados, get promised to be paid and dont get a cent. Sue dem!

    Reply
  11. Ashlee Prince
    Ashlee Prince August 30, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Karon Phillips

    Reply
  12. Shar Llah
    Shar Llah August 30, 2017 at 6:18 am

    Not another thiefing scandal stefanie

    Reply
  13. Sonia Romain
    Sonia Romain August 30, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Just refund back the money…To Whom It May Concern.

    Reply
  14. Shas Justshas
    Shas Justshas August 30, 2017 at 6:37 am

    Criminals

    Reply
  15. harry turnover August 30, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Sue the ORGANIZER.Clearly ALL the blame lies at the foot of CHASE and if you can’t get JUSTICE in Barbados TAKE IT TO THE CCJ.

    Reply
  16. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner August 30, 2017 at 6:57 am

    It’s becoming increasingly tough to trust anything or anyone from Barbados,contractors taking folks money and then burning them and this plus many other cases of shady slimy dealings over the years.

    Reply
  17. Ziggy Blessed
    Ziggy Blessed August 30, 2017 at 7:01 am

    Respond Stephanie …….(listening)

    Reply
  18. Kimberly Simmonds Vaughn
    Kimberly Simmonds Vaughn August 30, 2017 at 7:43 am

    Sue for everything. Money that was paid, flights, cost of outfit

    Reply
  19. Katryn Barwise Celliers
    Katryn Barwise Celliers August 30, 2017 at 8:24 am

    Yes it’s so unfair towards me as a winner after working so hard to build their brand! And my poor South Africa Delegates are crushed. She never responds my emails and knew I was going to expose her if she postponed again thats why Im blocked on all her pages! So sad! She gives the pageant industry a bad name! I even inboxed on her other page “The Chase Files” but no response. So sad!

    Reply
  20. Princess Hawkesworth
    Princess Hawkesworth August 30, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Shakira Walcott-Smith

    Reply
  21. Sherlock Holmes. August 30, 2017 at 9:50 am

    Deal with this matter now Miss Chase it is out of hand. Sometimes it is better to communicate than to litigate.

    Reply
  22. Realist August 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Stephanie Chase give back this lady her damn money. You know that you don’t have the money, clout or sponsorship to produce a competition of this magnitude. Why hang your hat where you can’t reach it? You live in Barbados Ms. Chase; the struggle is real. Give back the money and sit down.

    Reply
  23. Morella Frederick August 30, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Such a disgrace!!!!! After you lost the franchise for an international pageant you mess up again. You should be banned from having pageants or even being associated with any pageants in Barbados period…..

    I have been producing an international pageant in Barbados for the past 2 years and have been very well supported by my people and local businesses.

    There is crime every where in the world but that never stop events from happening.

    PLEASE STOP GIVING BARBADOS A BAD NAME AND DELETE PAGEANTRY FROM YOUR VACABULARY

    Reply
  24. Carol Tanner August 31, 2017 at 12:32 am

    Frauds should go to jail.

    Reply
  25. Sheraton Brooker August 31, 2017 at 6:45 am

    It’s a disgrace that this article wasn’t edited properly. That’s what!

    Reply
  26. Inside Scoop August 31, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Not a single person on this comment board has asked this lady to produce the contract which outlines the terms and conditions of the franchise. She is white and from abroad so automatically she is the victim and Stephanie Chase is the criminal. Can Barwise explain what caused this breakdown? I highly doubt that she would openly admit that she applied for a franchise received it, held her national event, used the franchise and her title to raise hundreds/thousands of dollars but still did not pay the franchise fee. I doubt that she would admit that the money she used to pay for her franchise fees was solicited from the parents of her delegates who have demanded the money back from her. Miss Chase is right not to communicate with this lady or any of her cohorts. Take it to court Miss Barwise evidence is the only thing that matters in court not slander or raw emotion. while you are at it shouldn’t you have returned the crown which has an alleged estimated value of 7500usd from the time you broke your title holder agreement by getting married ad pregnant? If you so desperately need money sell the crown. Don’t hold on to the crown for sentimental.

    Sha Liah – Has Stephanie Chase ever stolen anything from you? If this lady is so much of a thief why has no one ever taken her to court/ why has she not been charged? You mean that the woman is a nobody but still you can’t get her locked up?
    Realist- do you know Miss Chase personally? You sound very acid. She is hanging her hat where she can’t reach? It is people like you who are a reminder that it is the black man that don’t want their own to succeed. She has been producing the event out of pocket and quite well so who are you to tell her to stop?

    MORELLA you are the disgrace. Exactly which franchise did Stephanie Chase lose? If memory serves correctly she handed the franchise over to Leah Marville the same year this pageant made its debut. There is nobody in Barbados who has held a international franchise as long as her or have their delegates do as well since Linda Felds in 1974. Check the facts don’t hate. You should delete pageantry from your vocabulary. No one has ever heard about you producing any international pageant – which countries do your delegates hail from? Of course you would cleverly use this situation to toot your on horn however rusty that horn is.

    Delegates all over the world create scandal for producers sad that this happened on Barbados doorstep but Miss Chase don’t give up. The people that think you don’t have the clout or sponsorship wished they had this pageant concept. Move the event out of Barbados if you have to. Target international investors. It is clear those black bajans hate your guts for even trying to better yourself. You from a village. You are not supposed to be anybody special. If some people could kill you they would lady.

    If some of these people used the same energy to fight child abuse, domestic violence, corrupt politicians or businesses that owe the government money Barbados may be on the up and up but you have to admit this little scandal was good entertainment.

    Reply
  27. Inside Scoop August 31, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Katryn Barwise nobody really cares about you by the way. This is only a story because Chase is involved and bajans hate their own
    but you Missy should know that when you tell lies you should remember the order in which you tell them. You were planning from 2015 but your pageant was in 2016 and you paid your non refundable franchise fee in 2016.
    The fee for having this exclusive franchise for South Africa is X
    This fee is UNREFUNDABLE
    (See also related provision in CLAUSE X below
    Any and all bank charges, relative to the Franchise fee, shall be for the account of the Franchisee.

    X expressly reserves the right to postpone, change the venue or even cancel Y For reasons such as a b c d e f g

    If those girls had come to Barbados ad start using social media to say how scared or unsafe they felt
    you same bajans would still blame Chase so she can’t win.

    HIre a lawyer, get into court let the public know what is the outcome. Until then people could wait until 2019 for the next game of thrones season.

    Reply
  28. Aunty Jan August 31, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Ms Chase has charisma, integrity, intelligence and beauty to let anyone or any situation get her down ,you bajans are always trying to cut her throat , stop being jealous , stop hating and build Ms. Chase up she has done Barbados proud when she won back in 2001 but she knows the truth her back is broad ,God is on her side and no weapon formed against her shall prosper and every tongue that rise up against her shall be condemned and that my friends is bible do Ms Chase keep you head up and keep stepping later for the haters.They don’t know you so I say to them on your behalf , kiss which part the sun doesn’t shine that by the way is your a**, hahaha

    Reply
  29. Katryn Celliers September 1, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Mr or Mrs Insider Scoop
    I will gladly send you my proof of payment and all the messages where Stephanie said we should postpone 2015, therefore my national event was feb 2016! We were granted more time to raise sponsorships as our event did not raise enough money to pay entry and franchise fee for 2 delegates. I have all the proof, I sent it all to Barbados Today, they wouldnt publish it if they didnt have all the facts.

    I indeed dont even have a formal Contract! Ive won many big titles with contracts, Miss Humanity Int only has a short form we signed. Any title holder has a 1 year reign! Can you do maths? I won Aug 2014 my duries Ended Aug 2015! She never hosted the pageant again up to today! I am not obligated to stay the title holder one day past my year! I got married March 2017 count the years my friend loooong after my duties ended! I am now 14 weeks pregnant and blessed! I have no obligations towards MHI not since Aug 2015!

    I asked if I should send the crown back got no response up to today! So don’t talk when you clearly have no facts. That crown is also not worth 7500 USD its plastic! But Ill gladly send it back once I receive my Refund.
    I will not explain anything further You clearly must be a friend to Chase and Thats fine, but whats wrong is wrong! Postponing over 7times is proof enough that this pageant will not happen and we paid to have a pageant in 2016 it did not happen, we want our money back as she couldnt deliver what she was selling, simple as that!

    Reply

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