The Rutland community has a contestant for the Kelowna Lady of the Lake pageant.
The Uptown Rutland Business Association is sponsoring Bethany Kover, a Grade 11 student at Rutland Secondary School.
Bethany described herself as a caring individual, who started volunteering at 10 at the local YMCA and at the Child Care Centre when she was older.
“I decided to join (the pageant) because I wanted to get better at public speaking,” she said, adding she also wanted to get involved with the community.
The girls have already been through their first sponsorship event where they donned their sashes.
“During the first speech at sponsor night I was super nervous,” she said.
Not normally shy with her friends, she wanted to gain confidence in a crowd by joining the pageant, she said.
Bethany’s mother Audra Kover, said Bethany has always been involved with volunteering and is proud of her daughter.
“She’s that kid who will do anything to help somebody,” she said.
Bethany is one of eight contestants competing to earn the title of Miss Kelowna. The pageant consists of five publicly judged events: sponsor night, a speech and talent show, a fashion show, presenting a historical tea, and the final evening judges.
For the talent show, Bethany thinks she’ll perform a dance, after being involved with dance in her school
Her main goal with the events is to develop confidence.
“When I walk into the room I want to feel (confident.) I was bullied in the past and it kind of put me in a box,” she said, adding she had feelings of anxiety in the past.
Bethany is currently invoked with the Wellness Team at RSS, which speaks to kids about anti-bullying and she has the other pageant contestants who support her and help overcome her nerves.
“I feel really comfortable with the other girls. We get along really well together. It’s nice to have people to support you. I really appreciate that,” she said.
Being an active member in the community is another part of Miss Kelowna.
Bethany attended a Knights of Columbus’ annual dinner and didn’t know what to expect.
“I didn’t know what I was going in for but I ended up sitting at a table with the mayor,” she said.
The contestants will also be volunteering at local events including the May Days parade and the Canada Day celebration.
The final pageant is held in July and the winner will travel across B.C. and to Washington to participate in floats, she said.
“You’re kind of the face of Kelowna,” said Bethany, adding you also get to travel to Japan as well as earn scholarship money.
She thinks Japan would be a cool adventure as Miss Kelowna is a participant of a Japanese festival in Tokyo, she said.
Ambassador coordinator Betty Cleland said the program’s “mission is to mentor young women, enabling them to learn new skills and empower them.”
Candidates partake in weekly training sessions, listen to guest leaders from the community, learn social media safety and more, she said.
“We want to highlight the diversity of training. Some people think this is a beauty pageant, it’s not,” she said.
Miss Kelowna will be chosen on July 14 at the community theatre.
Bethany hasn’t decided on what her future entails, whether it’s an early childhood educator, following in her mother’s footsteps as a hairstylist or working in the health field, but she knows she wants to help people.