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Beauty with a Purpose

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2010

Miss World & Beauty With A Purpose

Alexandria Mills - United States

Alexandria Mills was crowned Miss World 2010 on the 30th of October. In the run up to the final she had already been part of a successful relief effort in Hainan Province, China; the home of the 2010 Miss World final. The Province had seen the worst rainfall in decades, which resulted in terrible flooding. Alexandria joined other contestants in handing out aid packages to the grief stricken local population, donating much needed funds to the local population to help them get back on their feet. A charity auction of items brought by the contestants of the 2010 competition, coupled with generous donations from individuals whose attention had been brought to the developing situation, raised a further eight million RMB (£750,000) for the Hainan Relief.  Miss World Chairman & International President of Variety Julia Morley told the Mayor:  “We were very sorry to hear about the big problem you are having with the flooding.  We send our love on behalf of all the nations around the world. “

After winning the crown, one of Alexandria’s first humanitarian visits was to the “I Have a Dream Foundation” in Miami, USA. She had a chance to meet some of the students who had benefitted from the foundation’s efforts to provide support for disadvantaged children through academic programs. The foundation offers year-round support, counseling and after school educational programs aimed at helping them succeed at school and progress to higher education. Alexandria attended the foundation’s 15th Annual Charity Gala Dinner, an event which succeeded in raising over half a million dollars for the Foundation.

The New Year saw Alexandria and 1st runner-up & Miss World Africa Emma Wareus embark on their first major world tour, visiting countries across the globe, starting in the USA in the city of Buffalo. Once a major steel producing and automobile manufacturing city, it has significantly suffered economically due to the downturn in these industries. Together they visited many local organizations which received support from Variety, The Children’s Charity. They paid visits to the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, the “Lt. Col. Matt Urban Center Youth Program” and the H.O.P.E. Centre, a community support facility for inner-city children and families.

These visits gave Alexandria an insight into the causes which directly benefit from Beauty with a Purpose and Variety fundraising activities, and also to raise moral and create lasting memories for many disadvantaged individuals. One such lasting memory belongs to Gracie Joyce, the 2011 Variety Kids Telethon Celebrity Child. This young child had been receiving care at the Women & Children’s Hospital, and received a special visit from Miss World, who spent the afternoon chatting and playing, and was even given the honour of wearing the Miss World crown and sash.
Discussing their work in the city on WKBW TV, they were joined by Chris Collins, the County Executive, who proclaimed January 13th 2011 Miss World Day in the City of Buffalo and County of Erie in honour of their efforts.

Alexandria returned to China next to attend the “Love Hainan, Beautiful Hainan” donation ceremony. With the situation still critical in flood hit Hainan, Beauty with a Purpose along with the Shanghai More Love Foundation had raised a further 1.6 Million RMB to go towards the restoration and reconstruction of areas which were wiped out by the flooding of the previous autumn. This was Alexandria’s first return to the island since the Miss World Finals, and she was once again joined by Miss World Africa Emma Wareus, with Miss world 2007 Zhang Zilin also attending.

Malaysia was Alexandria’s next stop, and another occasion to present worthy causes with funds’ raised through the Miss World Organisation. The “Hope for Children” program launched its “1 Million Sewing Machine for India” project, marked by a donation of 150,000 RMB. This project aims to improve the lives of needy and underprivileged children around the world. The trip was also marked by the official launch of Malaysia’s national competition, and a reunion of Alexandria and Emma with Thanuja Ananthan and Manasvi Mamgai, Malaysia’s and India’s Miss World 2010 representatives.
In the Philippines Miss World joined the Philippines’ National Organiser Cory Quirino in visiting beneficiaries of Miss World fundraising, including the Pediatrics ward of the Philippines General Hospital. Upon this visit, Miss World Chairman Julia Morley donated $5,000 to the parents of Sunshine Sison, a very young child in desperate need of a heart by-pass, with no one to turn to for help. This life-saving intervention was greeted with relief and joy from Sunshine’s parents, who spent time with the Miss World delegates with their young daughter.  Alexandria also visited the Tuloy Street Foundation, which offers a safe haven for homeless children, providing assistance for over 10,000 children since its inception in 1993. Speaking of her time there Alexandria said "Visiting the Tuloy Street Foundation was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life. I am a really emotional person but it was an experience that really touched me. All the children there had been through so much and had been given a second chance, and I felt such a positive energy there. When they sang for us and blessed us, I could feel my eyes watering and I tried to hold them back, but I couldn’t stop myself from crying! And then some of the children started crying – tears of joy – so the little girls gave us big hugs and offered us tissues!"

The final location in January was Australia, where Alexandria took part in the “Bush to Beach” holiday program, which receives substantial support from Variety. Heading to the north of Sydney, they took part in the annual event which hosts Aboriginal children from the rural town of Brewarrina. Many of the children come from impoverished backgrounds, and have never even seen the sea before. This enriching experience was brought to life with the help of Alexandria, Miss World Africa and Sophie Lavers (Australia 2009) who were on hand to be a part of their adventure. Speaking of the event, Alexandria said "The kids were so excited, running on the beach and just being kids.  We really take these things for granted, so to give them the opportunity to take an adventure and see something they wouldn’t normally be able to is wonderful."

After a busy start to the year, Alexandria had a month to regain her energies before she joined the team of the 49th Annual Variety Kids Telethon in Des Moines, Iowa, on the 6th of March. The event was broadcast live for 24 hours with a variety of celebrities taking it in turns to host individual segments, including Alexandria. The telethon raised funds for the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo among other charities in Western New York, many of which Alexandria had visited earlier in the year. The event raised over 3 million dollars, a bumper year with many more pledges than previous years. Her time in the area also included further visits to beneficiaries of Variety, to see how their good work was put to use.

In March Alexandria travelled to Korea for the official Launch of the Korean chapter of Beauty with a Purpose. The tour began with a trip to a Hyundai department store for a charity event on behalf of Children’s Aid Foundation, announcing special events to raise funds, and donations from customers. The Seoul National University Children’s Hospital was a moving experience for Miss World and the other representatives, where they spent quality time with children suffering from cancer and their relatives who have been supporting them through these difficult times. The official opening of the Korean Beauty with a Purpose culminated with a press conference and Charity Gala Dinner with over 500 attendees. The importance of the charity was made clear with a number of speeches from key dignitaries, including Miss World and Chairman Julia Morley. Alexandria commented on how her work with Beauty with a Purpose was the best and most rewarding part of her role as Miss World. 2010 2nd runner-up Adriana Vasini was another attendee who said “Before coming to Miss World, my work with Beauty with a Purpose was about making lives better, and now, as a doctor, my professional life is about making lives better too. I love working with children, as every day I can take their smiles home with me. Now, coming to Korea, I can take home the smiles of the children from another country as well."

Chicago was the next stop, with the 2011 Variety World Conference and the. This was a week of presentations and award ceremonies for those crucial to the efforts of Variety’s work, and gave Alexandria a chance to learn more about the workings of the charity. She was also on hand to lend her support at more events. She took part in the “We Serve the Kids” lunch, where children from various organizations which receive support from variety are invited to be waited on by a whole host of celebrities as they enjoy a fun-filled meal occasion, resplendent with fairground games, circus skills, arts, crafts, face-painting and musical entertainment.

The humanitarian awards were handed out at the Grand Ballroom on the final night, with the Chicago Cubs receiving the Humanitarian Award for their local and international charitable work. Alexandria was invited to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th inning stretch of their next game, but sadly poor weather postponed the game. However this didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, and Alexandria returned in June to perform the song to a packed out stadium, supported by two Variety-supported children, whose dreams were brought to life with this unforgettable experience.

Alexandria and Emma (Miss World Africa 2010) were also invited onto WGN Radio’s ‘Sports Night’ show to recount their experiences over the past 6 months and their work with Beauty with a Purpose and Variety.

July saw Alexandria travel to a new continent, and Emma return to her own, as they both made their way to Kenya for a trip to campaign for the eradication of jiggers, a painful illness where parasites infect mainly children’s feet, causing swelling and immobility. Natasha Metto of Kenya brought this issue to the Miss World Organisation’s attention with her Beauty with a Purpose project, which won her the Award at the 2010 finals, but the Anti-Jigger campaign did not begin there. Cecilia Mwanga (Kenya 2005) upon returning from the 2005 Miss World Final felt energized by her experiences, and set about working to make a change in her local society. Working with Stanley Kamau Maina, the pair began their anti-jigger campaign. Cecilia reached out to Natasha Metto to help achieve a wider audience. Because of her work, Beauty with a Purpose travelled to Kenya to see what they could do. Joined by Natasha Metto (Kenya) and Vanessa Goncalves (Venezuela) they got firsthand experience of the problem, visiting sufferers of the condition and bringing attention to this preventable disease. They spent their time teaching young children the merits of hygiene and distributed potassium permanganate solutions which can eradicate the jigger flea parasites within 2 weeks. Because the jigger fleas thrive in dusty conditions, a tree planting ceremony was also held in the Karura Forest, to help combat growing deforestation which creates the ideal environment for the fleas to survive. The occasion saw the winner of the 2010 Beauty with a Purpose Award, Natasha Metto, presented with a £10,000 prize from the Miss World Organisation, which will go towards her continued work with the anti-jigger campaign. The campaign aims to eradicate jiggers by 2015 and Miss World’s visit was the beginning of the Miss World Organisation joining the fight against jiggers.

September saw a return to the Philippines for Alexandria, and the Beauty with a Purpose Charity Gala, held at the Fiesta Pavilion of the Manila Hotel, on the 13th of September. The event was opened by a performance by the Miss World Philippines contestants, and included a silent auction of a range of paintings, sculptures and pieces of art donated by renowned artists and individuals. The funds raised by the gala, several million pesos in total, went towards the Tuloy Street Children Foundation and the Philippines General Hospital.

Alexandria finished her Miss World humanitarian efforts where she began, at the Charity Dinner of the Miss World Finals, where national gifts from the competing countries are auctioned off to raise funds for Beauty with a Purpose. With over £100,000 raised, it was a successful end to Alexandria’s reign as Miss World.

Special Features

Each week, BWP will present a new in-depth report on one of the many charity projects worldwide that has benefitted from the work of Julia Morley and the support of Beauty with a Purpose. Keep watching this space for more details on these special features.

  

MISS WORLD
MR WORLD
MISS TEEN WORLD

Julia Morley

Julia Morley MESSAGE FROM JULIA MORLEY

CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE MISS WORLD ORGANISATION

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