One of my favorite Council appointments is being the liaison to the Trail Ambassador Program. I have been involved in a small capacity with this program for many years both representing the City of Trail and as a community volunteer.
I would like to provide you with some background on this wonderful program in order to give you a better understanding of the history, structure and achievements gained by the participants and how this program impacts the lives of those who go through it.
The Trail Ambassador Program is nearing the completion of its 2011-2012 season.
The program is designed to enrich the lives of young women through personal skills and development. In addition, the roles of the candidates and of the reigning royalty include the positive promotion and representation of the City of Trail.
Every Sunday and Thursday from October through May, Trail Ambassador candidates meet at Trail’s Selkirk College to go through many different training initiatives gaining knowledge from guest speakers on topics such as public speaking, interview skills, local history and much more.
In addition to the classroom style training, the candidates volunteer at community functions which teach them the importance of giving back to their community.
The program was formerly called the Trail Queen’s Program and has been a long time tradition in the City of Trail dating back to the early1930’s when Miss Trail was chosen based on beauty and popularity.
The focus of the program now has changed dramatically with a larger emphasis on providing young women with a safe environment in which to develop life skills.
When these young women enroll in the program, the transformation is like watching a young child learning to walk and talk.
They are all so different at the beginning but as they progress through the program they become lifelong friends and learn skills they will carry forward to all aspects of their lives. Interaction with the public is a large part of this program and it opens up areas in their lives that will allow them to become “leaders.”
The coordinators of the program, Michelle Epp and Bev Benson are former participants and were eager to revive it after the six-year hiatus between 2002-2008.
The work these two individuals do with these young women is commendable and I thank them for their time and dedication.
This year, 11 candidates are vying for the honour of being Miss Trail and Trail’s Princess, the most since the program was revived in 2008.
A local business or community service group sponsors each candidate and we were very pleased that an additional five sponsors came on board this year.
The months of training and development are showcased at the Miss Trail Pageant during Silver City Days where the new Trail Ambassadors are crowned.
The pageant is an integral component of Silver City Days, bringing with it royalty and chaperones from an average of 15 visiting communities who participate in the weekend’s festivities.
The Miss Trail 2012 Pageant is on May 11 at 7 p.m. at the Charles Bailey Theatre.
The evening includes talent and speech presentations and the crowning of Miss Trail and Trail’s Princess.
Tickets are $10.00 and can be purchased from the Charles Bailey Box Office or by calling 250-368-9669. I hope to see everyone there.
Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson is a councillor for the City of Trail. Community Comment is written by elected officials in Greater Trail.