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4th October 2016

Paula Abbandonato - Miss Wales director - October 2016

I often get asked what do you get to do if you’re in the Miss Wales competition – and what I like to think is that the final walk, you know the one, the fab dresses, sparkling lights, big smiles and a crown for someone is just the celebration of all that’s gone before. I’m writing this blog at the same time as selecting the finalists for Miss Wales 2017 (entries are still open if you’re tempted) and already the opportunities are stacking up. A number of the Miss Wales girls are involved in Cardiff Fashion Week this month. Some will be walking the runway; others have modelled at a business expo promoting the event; some have taken part in a live window display with Ty Hafan and others will be working with the hair and make-up teams perfecting the signature looks for Cardiff Fashion Week this year. Cardiff Fashion Week is arguably the biggest fashion event in Wales – being in Miss Wales gives girls the opportunity to be more than just an audience member. This month, a number of former finalists will also be helping me with the Wales Care Awards in Cardiff City Hall. A fabulous black-tie event where we celebrate the very best care sector employees in the company of Welsh government ministers and a host of other VIPS. Those girls – along with others I have grown to know, love and trust - have the opportunity to work with me in promotional roles throughout the year at all sorts of events which help their bank balance as well as their confidence! I know that the diary for the Miss Wales 2017 finalists is going to be a busy one. Those already on board have done their first fundraiser for Beauty With A Purpose which was a sponsored walk around Cardiff Bay. They already have Christmas sorted – a fabulous dinner at Giovanni’s restaurants and they are planning another fundraiser called Beauty With A Bounce! It involves trampolines….watch this space! And of course, there’s the three day final in April to look forward to which will be here before we know it. Last year the girls also got to be filmed on Cardiff’ Winter Wonderland, be VIPs on BBC Wales Scrum V programme and arranged their own special events as part of our FAB FEB FUNDRAISER to raise money for disadvantaged children. So that’s what you get to do if you make it to the Miss Wales final! If you become Miss Wales, well, your year will be like no other with photoshoots, special events, VIP invitations and of course the amazing Miss World experience with young women from around 100 countries around the globe. So that’s why the final walk is a celebration of all that’s gone before and a curtain raiser that lies ahead for the lucky one. But, as the saying goes, it’s not the destination, but the journey that counts. To start any journey, it takes one small step. Here, it’s the apply button on the Miss Wales website …. a scary step or so I’m told, but sometimes you just have to do it anyway. Be brave and good luck – the rest will be a walk in the park :)

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