Anya Mayoss-Hurd’s sign should be fire. The 16-year-old redhead arrived in Canada from Birmingham, England, on the day lightning set Okanagan Mountain Park ablaze. She used the experience in a required speech for the Peachland Ambassador program that led to her coronation as Miss Teen Okanagan at the Miss Teen British Columbia competition. Now that speech is helping to carry her to the Miss Teen Canada finals in Toronto on July 9.

“I wasn’t expecting it, but I’m happy that I’m going to Toronto. I’ve never been there,” say Anya, adding, “I’m a bit nervous about the competition, but I’m really more excited than nervous.” Before leaving for the big smoke, Anya has to raise more than $3,200 to cover her expenses and entrance fees. She must contribute $400 to the event sponsor Free the Children Foundation. Anya has already done work for the organization and believes in its mission to end child slavery and exploitation. She’s held a raffle at the Peachland World of Wheels and all proceeds from a concert starring popular folk performer Papa Tom are helping her on her way. Good luck, Anya. The whole Valley’s cheering for you.—Bruce Kemp

Photo by Bruce Kemp

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