WATERVILLE – Shilow Viner is fulfilling her family’s dream as she sets her sights on the Miss Teen Maritime International 2018 competition.
She is the first in her family to participate in a pageant, deciding to give it a go after her mom encouraged her to think about it.
Viner, 13, is a student at Berwick, and said she’s now beyond excited to represent the area as Miss Teen Kings County at the competition.
“None of my family ever got to do this. So for them, and for me, I thought it might be cool to try it,” she said.
Finding the right dress
Viner is getting suited up for the competition and has already chosen her pageant dress she’ll show off in Moncton, where this year’s competition will be held May 16-20.
It’s a fiery-red ball gown she came across while modelling for the Delformals’ recent Under the Stars fashion show.
She said she and the dress “clicked” as soon as she tried it on.
“I tried on a few dresses for the show, and they were all really pretty, but didn’t click. This one did, and I knew that as soon as I tried it on,” she said.
Delformals is now one of Viner’s sponsors for the competition, for which she is aiming to raise $1,500 to help with expenses.
The family is holding two fundraising events – the first, a ticket auction April 15 at West Side Charlie’s in New Minas, and the second, a craft and bake sale April 22 at Berwick’s Windermere Hall – to help raise those funds.
“There are lots of things going on, and we’re trying to fundraise – it’s pretty hectic,” said Viner.
Seeing and doing new things at competition
The Viner family could not be more excited as their daughter gets ready to take the stage in May.
Parents Joey and Nellie Viner are both feeling very proud.
“I’m pretty excited that this is happening to my daughter. Nothing like this has ever happened to anyone in our family, so it makes us happy seeing her getting involved,” she said.
“For her to go through this and go to different places and meet different people – it’ll be good for her.”
Viner is feeling nervous as the days leading up to the competition fly by, but is excited to befriend her fellow contestants, including other girls running locally, like Miss Teen Waterville.
“That’s going to be the best part – meeting the other girls, talking with them, and learning from them,” said Viner.
If she wins the title, Viner said she wants to donate her prize money to Alzheimer’s in the name of her aunt, who is living with the disease.
“She and I were really close, and that’s all I want to do if I win. It would mean a lot to me,” she said.