From left: Miss Silver Star Rotary Mackenzie Kuziw, Miss Kal Rotary Bridgette Peterson, Miss Johnston Meier Insurance Georgie Currie, 2017 Princess Silver Star Meghan Townley, Queen Silver Star LVII Jordynne Tomiak, Miss Paradigm Naturopathic Medicine Angitha Mriduraj, Miss Downtown Vernon Association Saira Abid, Miss Vernon Volkswagon Jennifer Blake and Miss We Care Home Health Services Mariya Blades. Watch The Morning Star for candidate profiles starting in November. (Parker Crook/Morning Star)

Silver Star royalty grateful for opportunity

Queen Silver Star Program hosts open house at Schubert Centre June 6

It isn’t easy, but that’s half of the fun for Queen Silver Star Excellence Program candidates.

Queen Silver Star LVIII Angitha Mriduraj and Princess Mackenzie Kuziw have been hard at work volunteering with various programs and attending a myriad of community events. And they love it.

The Queen Silver Star Excellence Program is hosting an open house at the Schubert Centre June 6 at 7 p.m. Anyone interested is invited to attend to hear more about the program.

“It [the program] definitely pushes you to the limit. You get what you put into it,” Mriduraj said. “If you put in all that you have, you get a lot back.”

The program is open to women aged 16-18 who live in the North Okanagan. Throughout their time with the program, candidates take classes on various different subjects and have the opportunity to volunteer and give back.

“My favourite thing was having the opportunity to take all the classes we did,” Kuziw said. “That was really fun and you learn so much.”

Related: Queen Silver Star crowned

This year, seven girls battled for two crowns handed out at proclamation in February. And even though five candidates didn’t win, Mriduraj said all seven made lifelong friends.

“You really get to know each of the candidates,” said Mriduraj, who will pursue a science degree at UBCO and study medicine.

Kuziw agreed.

“You really are friends. I would never have known Angitha and now she’s one of my best friends. I mean, we match all the time,” Kuziw laughed.

As part of the program, the candidates are matched with Little Misses who also attend several classes and community events.

“They’re a ball of fun. They have so much energy, too much sometimes,” Kuziw laughed about the Little Misses.

After being crowned queen and princess at proclamation, Kuziw and Mriduraj were front and centre stage for the Vernon Winter Carnival.

Related: Pirate theme for 2019 Vernon Winter Carnival

“It was an experience I never would have to to go through (otherwise),” Mriduraj said of the Winter Carnival.

“It’s so fun. It goes by so fast,” added Kuziw, who intends to pursue a career as a dentist in the military.

Since Carnival, they have continued to make public appearances at a myriad of events, including talks at schools and the Lavington May Day celebrations.

“It’s an experience you will never forget even if you don’t win,” Kuziw said.

Kuziw said she knew about the program from a young age and idolized the Queen and Princess.

“I’ve known about it since I was a kid,” Kuziw said. “That (seeing the royalty) was the highlight of going to the parade.”

Mriduraj, on the other hand, had alternative reasons for joining.

“For me, it was kind of an impulse,” Mriduraj said of her motivation to join the program. “My mother said, ‘You have to do something.’”

And now she’s the Queen, the girls laughed.

At the open house, program spokesperson Coleen Noel said she hopes for a minimum of 10 applicants this year.

“It’s a great experience. These girls have to be open to being the best they can,” said Noel, who has been with the program for about 14 years. “I truly do believe in it. Just to have the ability they have to grow.”

The royalty agreed.

“Just drop in that application. Just do it,” Mriduraj said.

“Just take that chance,” Kuziw added.

Applications to the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program close June 10. For more information about the program, visit vernonwintercarnival.com.


@VernonNews
parker.crook@vernonmorningstar.com

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A teary-eyed Mackenzie Kuziw accepts her Princess Silver Star LVIII title, along with being named Miss Congeniality, during the Queen Silver Star Excellence Program Proclamation and Coronation Thursday at the Schubert Centre. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

Newly crowned Queen Silver Star LVIII Angitha Mriduraj gets a congratulatory hug from her Little Miss Vernon Winter Carnival Princess buddy Darla Smith during Thursday night’s Proclamation and Coronation at the Schubert Centre. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

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