Young Sudburian Preslee Brown is asking for her hometown’s support as she takes part in the Junior Miss Galaxy pageant Aug. 21.
The Canadian Galaxy pageant will be held over the weekend of Aug. 21-23. Over the three day period, contestants will have rehearsals, interviews, a PJ party and a final competition.
The events will take place in Toronto, where the winner will also be announced.
The 11-year-old is a student, a dancer, a charity campaigner and last year’s Miss Preteen Greater Sudbury.
If you’d like to support young Preslee visit the Facebook voting polls for the contestants here. In order to access the polls, you must request to join the group before voting.
Preslee has always been a performer from a young age, according to her mother Kara Lepki.
“I remember her being two years old, and she had a drum set, and she would set up her little stuffed animals and her little toys in front of the drum set and perform for them,” Lepki told Sudbury.com during a phone interview.
The world of pageantry was foreign to Lepki. It wasn’t until last year when she finally decided to give it a chance during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her daughter ended up winning the title for Miss Preteen Greater Sudbury for the Greater Sudbury Youth Ambassadors.
Last year’s Sudbury’s youth ambassadors pageant model was different due to the pandemic. And while they cancelled the in-person event, they were able to offer a virtual experience for contestants.
Brown’s internet submissions ended up crowning her as a winner in both the talent and social media category. For the talent category, she compiled and edited an array of Tik Tok dances that awarded her that particular title.
Performing isn’t the only important aspect of pageantry — neither is beauty. The world of pageantry accumulated a stereotype of being vain, but that’s not what it’s all about.
Lepki said that the pageant world not only opened doors for her daughter to socialize with a variety of people, but also work on projects that truly matter to her.
The mother believes that the Junior Miss Galaxy will be a good experience for Preslee to immerse herself into the community and gain overall life skills.
As Sudbury.com spoke with Lepki about Brown’s journey over the last year, it became more clear to me that it takes a certain, passion-driven individual to be a part of this process.
This year alone, Brown has contributed to more than 20 different charities within the Sudbury community. One of the campaigns she ran was with the Canadian Blood Services, encouraging people to donate plasma that could save a life — the same way it did for her father.
Preslee Brown’s father Jeff Brown was diagnosed with a rare disorder called GBS (short for Guillain-Barre Syndrome) seven years ago. GBS is a neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system affects the nervous system and can cause full-body paralysis.
Eventually, Brown was hospitalized for five months due to the disorder paralyzing him.
“So while he was in the hospital, he received what’s called IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin Treatment) therapy,” Lepki said.
“So what that is, is plasma that has been donated. So he had two rounds of that, which essentially gave him the strength to be able to, you know, learn to walk and do his rehab.”
Preslee, who was only three-to-four-years-old at the time, still remembers that part of her life vividly. For Father’s Day this year, she decided to organize a blood plasma campaign and set the goal of 100 donations. She surpassed her goal by almost doubling it.
“For us to be able to, you know, try to obtain more donations, I think is huge,” Lepki said.
“The plasma centre only has been open in Sudbury for I think a year in August. And they were actually the first one in Canada to open so I think it's huge to bring awareness to this centre. And you know, have people go donate because it saves so many people.”
To find out more about donating plasma, visit the Canadian Blood Services website here.