Sweetheart of Sam Steele Mia Miles and Princess of Sam Steele Madeline Gauthier

Cranbrook Youth Ambassadors crowned

All candidates will be given the opportunity to participate as part of a wider ambassador team, led by Sweetheart of Sam Steele Mia Miles and Princess of Sam Steele Madeline Gauthier

Pictured above: Sweetheart of Sam Steele Mia Miles and Princess of Sam Steele Madeline Gauthier

The coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of a lot of Cranbrook’s annual traditions in 2020. But one is back on track.

Cranbrook’s newest Youth Ambassador team was officially crowned Friday night, Oct. 23, during an Awards Ceremony for this year’s six youth ambassador candidates.

Sweetheart of Sam Steele Mia Miles and Princess of Sam Steele Madeline Gauthier will lead the ambassador team for 2020/2021; and in a unique twist this year, all candidates will be given the opportunity to participate as part of a wider ambassador team.

“We had such an outstanding group of young women in the program this year, and their experience was profoundly impacted by the pandemic,” saidSweetheart Program Coordinator Karin Penner.

“We felt it was important to create a more formal opportunity for them to continue to be involved and gain new experience through the program in these unique times.”

The Awards Night celebrated all six of this year’s Youth Ambassador Candidates:

• Ruby Garrett – sponsored Ladies Auxiliary to the Fraternal Order of Eagles

• Ashlyn Patterson – sponsored by the Colombo Lodge

• Mia Miles – sponsored by the Sunrise Rotary Club

• Makayla Gallina – sponsored by 2 Day FM

• Naomi Hall – sponsored by Sugar Town Quilt Shoppe

• Madeline Gauthier – sponsored by the Rotary Club of Cranbrook

In addition to the awards presentations, the evening featured a video showcase of the candidates’ speeches and talents, formal introductions of each candidate and a farewell speech by the outgoing ambassadors Faith McWhirter and Sheila Martine.

Naomi Hall took home the Public Speaking Award, Mia Miles won the Talent Award and a $250 scholarship, Madeline Gauthier received the $500 Community Awareness Scholarship and the Support a Sweetheart gift. Jason Tischauer won the Support a Sweetheart prize.

The candidates started the program in January, well before the pandemic hit. For the first time in the 55-year history of the program, the self-development and leadership side of the training had to shift to a digital platform and the pageant, normally held in June during Sam Steele Days had to be postponed.

While the Awards Night looked different, the Sweetheart Committee took a creative approach to not only complete the program with the candidates, but showcase their outstanding achievements. A video was shot over several days, with the generous support of the Cranbrook History Centre, the Dwelling Place and videographer Ronnie Robinson.

The Sweetheart Youth Ambassador Production and Awards Night video will be provided in the coming days to the candidates’ friends and families and linked off the Sweetheart’s website for the community to view.

“We would like to thank everyone who stepped up to support our candidates and the program this year as we navigated through uncharted territory,” Penner added. “It was wonderful to be able to honour each of our candidates last night and we are excited for the year ahead as Cranbrook will be so well represented by these outstanding young women.”

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