Tuesday, 22 March 2016 08:00

Milk River teen earns Miss Teenage Southern Alberta title

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Charlie Long is the new Miss Teenage Southern Alberta and will compete for a national title in Toronto later this year. In this photo, her dress was provided by Bells & Bows and make-up was done by Blooming Beauty. Charlie Long is the new Miss Teenage Southern Alberta and will compete for a national title in Toronto later this year. In this photo, her dress was provided by Bells & Bows and make-up was done by Blooming Beauty. Photo by Buttonfield Photography

When 17-year-old Charlie Long went shopping for a graduation dress at a store in Lethbridge, the only thing occupying her mind was what style or colour of dress she may find for the big day.


That trip turned into deciding which dress to wear this June at her graduation from high school in Milk River, after she competed in the Miss Teenage Canada pageant in Calgary in February, and ended up winning the title of Miss Teenage Southern Alberta.
“The woman who owned the dress shop was one of the judges for the pageant and she recommended I get into it,” explains Long, who now owns a few formal dresses.
While competing in a pageant wasn’t foremost on Long’s mind, and she had never competed in one before, she thought she may as well try it out.
The third weekend in February, she travelled to Calgary to take part in the two-day event along with about 26 other teens. The first day was being judged on bikini wear and a formal interview. The second day was the actual show with contestants parading in their evening gown wear and speaking on their individual platforms they had chosen.
Long spoke about orthorexia, as a friendhad recently been diagnosed with the eating disorder.
“It’s when someone becomes obsessed with a healthy lifestyle,” explains Long, adding many times the person will exercise all the time. “I talked about the struggles people face with it because I think people need to be more aware of it.”
Her friend ended up becoming more isolated, which impacted her social life.
At the end of the competition, Long had been rewarded for her hard work and good speaking skills with the Miss Teenage Southern Alberta crown. In July, she will fly to Toronto for eight days, to compete in the Miss Teenage Canada pageant. She is responsible for funding the trip and her stay there, as well as fundraising at least $400 for the Free the Children organization, which is supported by the pageant association.
At the national competition, along with titles and crowns up for grabs, there are also scholarships and $25,000 in prizes available.
To help raise the money she needs for Free the Children, Long has decided to host a special event that she herself enjoys. She is hosting a Barrel Benefit at the Taber Agriplex on Saturday, April 30. She is gathering donations so a silent auction can also be held, and there will be barrel racing for all ages.
“I barrel race and have horses, and I know how amazing the barrel racing community is and how it comes together,” says Long.
One-third of the proceeds raised from the event which will run from about noon to 3 p.m., will be donated to Free the Children while the other two-thirds will be paid out.
Individuals can enter the day of the event and more information about it is available on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ events/978856995501352/ or listed under Barrel Benefit for Free the Children hosted by Charlie Miss Teenage Southern Alberta 2016.
Long is looking forward to connecting with various groups throughout the next year in her role as Miss Teenage Southern Alberta.
While there are no specific events she has to attend or host, Long knows just having the title will mean the ability to connect with individuals and groups she may not have otherwise.
She knows the importance of giving back to communities.
“I’m more than happy to volunteer for anything,” she adds.
Anyone who would like to connect with her can do so on Facebook under “Miss Teenage Southern Alberta 2016-Charlie.”

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor

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