Profile of Cherry Queen hopeful Rachael Smyth
Hilltops born and bred 20-year-old Rachael Smyth hopes to make a real difference in her debut application in the National Cherry Festival Cherry Queen this year. It’s a Smyth family tradition to attend the Festival annually, she said.
“We would stand in the same place every year to watch the parade so it’s very familiar to me. Since I was a little girl I’ve watched, but never thought about entering myself,” Rachael said.
“This year I thought it was a great year to enter, to keep the tradition going, as the current restrictions with COVID-19 certainly made things tough and took the shine off for 2020. I thought we could make 2021 the year. COVID-19 has definitely proven us otherwise but I will stay positive and continue to make things happen for a great charity and prove that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.”
She has witnessed Cherry Queens raise thousands of dollars for the local charities that prop up our community.
For the charity component of the competition, Rachael has chosen to support Young Crisis Accommodation Centre. She hopes to make more people aware of the issues of homelessness and assist the provision of services to those in need.
“I entered the competition to do something positive for our community. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to help our community with the current situation with the coronavirus,” she said.
“There are a lot of people in need of housing in our area. Young Crisis Accommodation Centre does an amazing job assisting those in need of short term accommodation, say for example for domestic violence, as well as long term options for those who are homeless or living in cars.”
While the December Festival will be running in a scaled-back version if at all due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s assured the Cherry Queen/King Festival will take place.
Ms Smyth said she’s trying to keep a “positive vibe” and do the best she can in current circumstances.
“I feel a little deflated as COVID has certainly taken its toll,” she said. “I am unable to do things I had planned due to the lockdown. But I am trying to think outside the box and fundraise online with my online bank transfer set up.” She is running a pie drive as it’s perfect for the cooler weather as part of her fundraising.
“I currently have a few raffles going such as a lolly jar giveaway, Father’s Day raffle kindly donated by Bursons Young and a wood raffle.”
She also has a signed Canterbury Bulldogs rugby league jersey to raffle. Once lockdown lifts, The Australian Hotel will run a raffle for a schooner card, $50 bistro voucher and clothing items.
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