A PORT Elizabeth lifestyle guru's commitment to creating awareness about a variety of needy causes and espousing both inner and outer beauty have made her an ambassador of the Cancer Association of SA (Cansa) in the Eastern Cape – and given her a shot at next year's Mrs Universe title.
Candice-Leigh Everard, 31, was chosen following her fine showing in a national beauty competition. Well known in fitness pageant circles, she was named second princess in the inaugural Out of Africa Winter Queen competition in Paarl last week. A former Herald Miss Port Elizabeth entrant, Everard's performance has earned her the right to participate in the international Queen of Hope pageant in Minneapolis, United States, as well as the Mrs Universe event next year.
Everard's involvement in the competition came when she was approached by director Rietha Kruger, who noticed that she was involved in several charity projects in Port Elizabeth, including Aurora and Love Story.
"I have been doing fitness pageants for the past few years, so it was great to do a beauty pageant again," Everard, who runs Azarel Health and Wellness in Walmer, said. I decided to accept Rietha's invitation because my business, which is about creating awareness about natural nutritional health, and my charity work went hand in hand with what the pageant is all about."
Everard said a highlight had been working with Cape Town-based Sheryl Linda Long, an honorary lifetime member of the Queen of Hope pageant.
"I have the next 11 months to prepare for the competitions in the US. I will have to raise R50000 for charities in that time, so her advice will be invaluable."