Welcome to our first blog as Titleholders!
As the year winds down, the excitement is ramping up for the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest. Jess and I have spent the month of November being involved in community events, and starting our journey as 2024 Titleholders.
Firstly, Jess and I would like to say a huge thank you for this honour. We are so excited for the year ahead and hope to make the Wagga Wagga Community proud. I am so excited to be sharing this journey with Jess as we have been friends since the beginning of high school and I am so proud of her. We definitely have some big shoes to fill following Kate and Haylee, they are amazing leaders and representatives of Wagga Wagga and we couldn’t be more proud of them.
What a night! It was Saturday 4 November, when memories were etched forever. All the six Entrants, dressed to impress, gathered at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery. We kicked things off with a cool ride up and down Baylis Street, thanks to the Wagga Wagga Vintage and Veteran Motor Club. Then came to the Crowning Ceremony at the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, with each of us escorted by a member of the Australian Air Force Personnel - their support of the Quest never ceases to amaze me.
The night was all about the culmination of 8 months of dedication, community service, supporting our beneficiaries and personal growth. We were all so proud of the efforts we had made, and the money we raised for our four amazing beneficiaries this year, Ronald McDonald House, Carevan, The Leisure Company and Sarah Lloyd Scholarship Fund. Each of us Entrants have been making our mark on the community, from creating and running amazing fundraising events, offering to sell raffle tickets at the last minute to beneficiary visits, we have been all over the Wagga Wagga community, enjoying and embodying the spirit of the Quest.
The moment came when Dr Joe McGirr approached the microphone to announce 2024 Community Princess, Jess Barclay was announced! Shortly after, the Honourable Michael McCormack announced Miss Wagga Wagga 2024, “Velika Hayes”. The room echoed with applause and cheer, every clap a testament to the hard work of not only the Entrants and newly titled but also their families, friends, Quest sponsors, and the irreplaceable supporters of the Quest. Let's not forget the incredible Miss Wagga Wagga Committee who worked tirelessly to ensure that every event was a great success.
The Celebration Dinner held at Quest sponsor The Wagga RSL Club, was the cherry on top! The Australian Army Band Kapooka set the mood with their fantastic live music, and Nayz Cakes outdid themselves with a delicious cake. The highlight of the night for me, was being able to handover our funds to our beneficiaries. Seeing how thankful they were truly made my heart so full.
November was full of incredible moments. We started with media interviews, speaking about our experiences as Entrants in the Quest and how we were feeling now that we had become Titleholders - although it still hadn’t sunk in! We had fun hosting raffles at the Union Club Hotel, and we were honoured to be invited to the 'Welcome to Wagga Wagga' event! We loved being able to welcome the newest members of Wagga Wagga and know they will love their lives here!
Remembrance Day was particularly special, laying wreaths and honouring our heroes. I also was lucky enough to get invited to The Leisure Company Annual General Meeting - so much happens behind the scenes! We attended a heartfelt Citizenship Ceremony, welcoming new faces to our magnificent nation. Finally, we wrapped up with the Country Hope Family Christmas Party.
This past 8 months, being part of the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest has been an absolute blast. It has given me incredible opportunities and experiences that I will forever cherish. What shines even more are the friendships,meeting the other lovely Entrants, forming bonds, and creating memories with these ladies has been incredible. I'll be forever grateful to the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest and everything that it has provided me - I wouldn't trade it for the world.
We are so honoured to be Titleholders for 2024. The next 12 months are going to go so fast and we are ready, and so excited to take on every opportunity presented to us and support the community that we know and love so much. We are looking forward to being more involved in the community, volunteering, and representing the Miss Wagga Wagga Quest as well as the City of Wagga Wagga.
Jess is ready to fill you in on what we got up to in December in our next Blog!
I hope you have a lovely Christmas.
Miss Wagga Wagga 2024