Sherai Campbell, founder of the ‘Youth of Three Hills Community Club’, has been crowned Miss St. Mary Festival Queen for 2023. The announcement was made during the Parish Coronation held on Saturday, June 3, at the Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria. Scores of supporters, sponsors and well-wishers were on hand to witness the splendid affair.
Newly crowned Miss St. Mary Festival Queen 2023, Sherai Campbell is flanked by 1st Runner Up- Tadwaine Wilson (left), and 2nd Runner Up- Kevaughna Brown at the Miss St. Mary Festival Queen Coronation held on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at the St. Mary Anglican Church Hall
The event, organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), was held under the theme, ‘The Jamaican Woman: Strong, Dignified, Creative’.
For her victory, Campbell received a cash prize of $75,000 courtesy of Ruban Construction Boutique Ltd. and gift packages. She was also adjudged Most Culturally-Aware receiving $25,000 courtesy of Bob’s Supercentre, Most Active in the Community receiving $25,000 courtesy of Ruban Construction Boutique Ltd. Most Poised receiving $10,000 courtesy of B&M Essential Auto Imports Ltd., Best Performance receiving $25,000 courtesy of D&R Woodcraft Traders and a $20,000 Gift card courtesy of Likkle Brawta.
Contestants in the 2023 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission St Mary Festival Queen Competition strike a pose at the Sashing Ceremony held at the Anglican Church Hall, St. Mary on Friday, May 26. The entrants (from left) are Sherai Campbell – Miss Three Hills, Kimaria Henry – Miss Retreat, Kevaughna Brown – Miss Robins Bay, Dexanie Wood – Miss Oracabessa, Tadwaine Wilson – Miss Annotto Bay.
Second place in the competition went to 19-year-old Tadwaine Wilson who was also adjudged the Most Popular on Social Media. She received $50,000 courtesy of Bundah & Son’s Construction Ltd. along with several gift packages, and a $10,000 Gift card courtesy of Likkle Brawta. In third place was 18-year old Kevaughna Brown, she received gift packages, $25, 000 courtesy of B&M Essential Auto Imports Ltd and a $5,000 Gift card courtesy of Likkle Brawta.
“I decided to enter this competition because I have a love for pageants. I entered my first pageant when I was in grade three. JCDC got my attention in 2012 when Kemesha Kelly, [now Kemesha Kelly Swaby], was crowned the Miss Jamaica Festival Queen. I watched it every year after that… I admire the way the Queens carry themselves and are able to influence people positively”, Campbell said as she reminisced on her journey to becoming Queen.
In response to the question, “How does it feel to be the winner of such a prestigious competition? Campbell responded, “It’s truly exciting. I feel like I have accomplished a major milestone of mine. I had a lot of people counting on me, telling me that they really wanted me to get the title and they were really supportive, so I feel pleased with myself to know that I was able to fulfill the expectations that these persons had for me.”
As a youth advocate, Campbell has participated in various youth-centered initiatives organized by the St. Mary Parish Youth Council. She also serves as a host on ‘Talk Up Yout’, a popular radio programme and at the community level she established the ‘Youth of Three Hills Community Club’.
“The Club started in 2021 during the COVID Pandemic when most youth were engaged in online learning… There are many skilled and talented youth in my community and I wanted that to be highlighted and to form like a fraternity. We carry out tree planting and ‘clean-up day’ activities in addition to other projects organized by the St. Mary Parish Youth Council.” Campbell explained.
The 21-year-old is confident that she will win the national title in August. She said, “I am motivated to go into Kingston and to give my 100% best…knowing that it’s not just my family, friends and well-wishers who are supporting me and rallying for me but it’s a whole parish. I feel so compelled to put my best foot forward, brush up on every aspect of what is required to become the Queen and go out there and do my best. I know I have it within me to definitely get the crown this year. St. Mary has not held the crown since 2018 so I feel so determined to get it back to our parish.”
She further notes that the Festival Queen title gives her the opportunity to reach more youth, not just in St. Mary but nationally, as well as it adds credibility and allows her to have additional influence.
JCDC St. Mary Parish Manager, Sanya Maragh, credited the success of the event to the kind support and assistance of local and national sponsors. She listed Ruban Construction Boutique, B&M Essential Auto Imports Limited, Bundah and Sons Construction Limited, D&R Woodcraft Traders, Bob Supercenter, Sound Dynamics, St Mary Municipal Corporation, Phoenix Vision Centre, Supermed Family of Pharmacies, Promo Prints, JB’s Flowers &Things, Giant Family Mart, Likkle Brawta, D&S Interior Decor Flowers & Gifts, Lovely Spot, Park Way Pharmacy, Glammed by Cotton Kandii and Bandoo Events Solutions as the major local sponsors, alongside other local sponsors and donors. The National Sponsors for this year’s Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition are: Excelsior, Airports Authority of Jamaica, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority, Jergens, J.F. Mills, Mega Marketing, Playtex, Stayfree, Bioré.
The Miss Jamaica Festival Queen Competition is a signature programme of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC). It focuses on leadership, appreciation of the role of women, culture, creative talent, and community involvement. It is open to young women between the ages of 18 and 25.
St. Mary’s Coronation brings the number of Parish Queens crowned in this year’s staging to two. Clarendon also crowned its Queen on Saturday, June 3, at the Hotel Versalles in May Pen. She is Shanecia Daley, a radio personality and student of the University of the West Indies.
PARISH CORONATION CONTINUES
On Saturday, June 10, Hanover will crown its winner at the Bioprist (formerly Jockey Factory in Lucea and St. Thomas will crown their Queen at Colonel’s Cove in Morant Bay. Both shows start at 8:00 p.m. Manchester is also gearing up for its Coronation which will be held on Sunday, June 11 at Belair High Auditorium in Mandeville beginning at 7:00 p.m.
The other scheduled shows are: Trelawny and Kingston and St. Andrew on Saturday on June 17; St. Ann and Westmoreland on Sunday, June 18, and Portland and St. Elizabeth on Saturday, June 24. The parish shows culminate in St. James on Sunday, June 25.
Admission is free. However, persons attending are required to have tickets to enter the venue. These are available at the respective JCDC Parish Office island wide.
Most shows will be streamed live on the JCDC’s website and highlights of each show will be posted on the JCDC’s Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages.
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