Sights set on Miss Teen Canada pageant

Mill Bay’s Mckenna Haz, the Rugby Princess, is aiming to take her tiara to the next level.

She’s earned the Miss Teen Vancouver Island crown and is preparing to go to Toronto in August for the Miss Teen Canada pageant and is now hoping for some financial support from the community to help her get there, some help for the charity Free the Children, which she is supporting and, finally, some votes to help win the title.

Surprisingly, the lovely Haz had never entered a pageant before but participation in this kind of event runs in her family.

On her Facebook page she has shared a bit of history.

"My great grandmother, Joan Clapham, was a Penny Princess and Miss Vancouver Island Runner up 1953 and my grandmother, Denise Wilson, was Colwood Miss Firefighter and Miss Gllangcolme 1972.

"I’ve been fortunate to hear vast stories from my past: social events, opportunities and lessons learned through pageantry. It was fascinating to see the newspaper articles and to see my great grandmother’s and grandma’s accomplishments. It was delightful to see two individuals that I look up too immensely accomplishing the same goals I set forth today."

The Brentwood College student is not a pageant regular herself, though. She’s an athlete, a rugby player and a good one, who has played nationally and internationally for her age group.

Haz won her current title in January. Under ordinary circumstances she would have spent the spring fundraising but health issues made that impossible.

Until now. Doctors have finally given her a clean bill of health and she’s received the okay to go ahead with both her rugby and her pageant plans this summer.

Haz is interested in community work and it’s encouraged by pageant organizers at all levels.

She did well when she ran for Miss Teen Vancouver Island.

"I raised $2,400 for Cardiac Kids. I was the second highest fundraiser in that competition. I’ve also been a charity champion for the Victoria Goddess Run. I’ve raised funds for Kidsport and my aim is also to promote health and fitness for kids."

During a BC Rugby trip to Colombia, she took $2,000 worth of donated equipment to hand out to locals.

Haz is also hoping that Cowichan folks will help her get to the pageant because it’s expensive to attend – $4,500 in fees – and then vote for her once she’s there.

She’s looking forward to her Toronto trip enormously and taking part in the pageant which will include a formal gown competition, a bikini event, speech presentations and even an optional talent contest.

There are $30,000 in prizes available at Miss Teen Canada, a far cry from the ribbon and tiara she won at Miss Teen Vancouver Island.

"We’ll be sightseeing all around Toronto and we’re going to be on Breakfast Television, too," she said.

"It’s gong to be great."

If you’re interested in more details, check her out at www.facebook.com/mckennahaz and missteenvancouverisland. com/where you can read more about her preparation for Miss Teen Canada.

She is also setting up a gofundme page to raise money for Free the Children.