Wed | May 24, 2017

Jamaica ready to host Miss World

Published:Monday | May 25, 2015 | 5:00 AMDavina Henry
Laura Butler (left) poses with Miss Jamaica World 2014 Laurie-Ann Chin.
Reigning Miss Jamaica World Laurie-Ann Chin (right) enjoys some girl talk with Soyini Phillips.
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With three Miss World titles under the belt, Jamaica is now ready to host the Miss World Finals, according to Laura Butler, Miss World franchise holder for Jamaica.

Butler, who acquired the franchise in 2013, believes that though it will prove costly, the benefits to be derived are innumerable.

"Discussions have been had before, but the Government has asked me to reopen discussions about hosting the pageant here. This could do wonders for Jamaica. All the reality show producers would also see Jamaica in a new light. This is a wonderful opportunity," she told The Gleaner.

She added that Julia Morley, CEO of the Miss World Organization, has also expressed interest in having the Miss World Finals in Jamaica.

sufficient space

"She viewed some of the hotels here and she concluded that we had sufficient space to host it. There are more than 130 countries competing, plus media, plus family and supporters who would also be in attendance, so the fact that Jamaica can facilitate all these people is testament to the fact that serious discussions need to be had," Butler said.

But aside from the cost, production is also a huge factor for the pageant. According to Butler, she already has a great production team in place, who are ready and able to rise to the occasion.

She also revealed that Jamaica is ranked fourth in the overall Miss World standings. "We only work with the best. We are ready. My team is ready," she added.

In the meantime, as part of this year's activities, Jamaica will play host to the reigning Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, along with Morley, for the MJW Grand Coronation finals in Montego Bay on August 15.

"We are looking forward to hosting the ladies here in Jamaica and highlighting some of the best things that Jamaica has to offer. We have an exciting itinerary planned for our guests, along with our contestants, which will include a Miss World welcome dinner. We also anticipate a spectacular coronation show with our production partners and team, which we hope will produce a potential winner for the Miss World 2015 competition," Butler said.

cash and prizes

This year, contestants will be vying for $15 million dollars in cash and prizes, and university scholarships.

Last year's winner, Laurie-Ann Chin, chose the McCam Child Care and Development Centre as her project. To date, it is the largest Beauty With A Purpose Project, costing over $4 million.

This is the first autistic model classroom in the country, designed to help children with mild, moderate and severe autism. It will also be used as a training facility to help educators, parents and the community, to better understand and assess the learning methodologies employed, by observing the children through one-way mirror.

"Chin's passion to help the children has ignited not only our team, but also our partners at Ashtrom who donated the building, Herzog (another company) that contributed to the project, and GB Energy/Texaco sponsored the classroom furniture. The Miss World Organization and, by extension, Miss Jamaica World, stands by their motto, 'Beauty With A Purpose'," Butler said.

sponsors and partners

Major sponsors and partners for this year's staging of the event include The Gleaner Company; Flow, who will be carrying the live broadcasts of the grand coronation; Phase 3; SportsMax Limited and CEEN, the University College of the Caribbean; GB Energy/Texaco; and MAPCO.

According to a release, the major goal this year as hosts is to market Jamaica and its facilities in a way that will make the Miss World Organization seriously consider Jamaica as host country for a Miss World Final.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com