WINNERS of the sectional prizes in the recently held Miss Universe Jamaica beauty pageant received their awards and cash during a presentation held at the AC Hotel Kingston on Saturday.
Some pageant sponsors, representatives of entities that provided prizes, including cash, as well as those who assisted with paying for the trophies, were also in attendance.
Dr Sandra Swaby is the owner of Harmony Health Clinic and Medical Spa.
"A lot of people don't understand the journey that these girls have to go through, that spiritual journey, and honour it. And I saw it this year," said Dr Swaby.
She added, "I like all forms of female expressions and Miss Universe Jamaica is a very important platform, and I would've volunteered anyway if I wasn't approached to participate as a sponsor."
Dr Swaby disclosed that her business has received positive feedback from the public since her participation in the pageant.
"The feedback from our participation has been great. They felt that it was a perfect fit, and the energy of the girls is just the type of energy that we like to embody — humility and awesomeness and connection — and I felt that through the girls," she shared.
The Altruism Award, which was won by Zasha Kae Dennis (Miss Toyota Jamaica), was sponsored by Hemaluxe Limited. Dennis was unavoidably absent as she was working on her altruism project. However, a representative from Toyota Jamaica accepted the award on her behalf.
Emma Subratie is the owner of Hemaluxe Limited.
"We are a small company and Brand Jamaica is very important to us. The Altruism Award is very dear to my heart because I also do get involved in volunteer work. I believe in skill set development, job creation, and developing our economy — and we have so much talent here in Jamaica," said Subratie.
Subratie explained her decision to get involved in the pageant.
"I saw an interview with Mark [McDermoth, national director of the Miss Universe Jamaica Organisation] and the stuff that he was saying about the pageant came up, and I thought how interesting it was. I love my country so much and anything to support it, I will. The pageant fosters so many intelligent and beautiful women who champion the cause to represent Jamaica and to lead the way as mentors for all the young ladies who want to achieve their goals in a meaningful way on a global platform. So, this was a fantastic way to do that."
Edwin Bruce is the owner of Prince D'Bruce Perfuming.
"I readily agreed to participate when I was approached. It's not something I had to think about [as] our brand encompasses beauty and everything that has to do with fashion," said Bruce.
He shared that he will be extending his association with the pageant by making the new queen, Toshami Calvin, the face of his company's brand.
"She will be developing her own perfume and she'll come into our lab and decide on the notes of her perfume and the layering. So, the association continues," he said.
With the exception of the swimsuit parade which was held at Bahia Principe Resorts in Runaway Bay, St Ann, all of the activities surrounding the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant as well as the grand coronation were held at the AC Hotel Kingston.
"It was a terrific association overall and for us, one big thing is we are big into giving back to the local community. The AC hotel is the premier spot in Kingston right now and we believe it was one of the greatest accomplishments for us. It was a joy partnering with the Miss Universe Jamaica pageant and we are ready to partner again next year," said Andre Harris, hotel manager.
The winners of the sectional prizes and those who were in attendance at the function were: Rachel Silvera – Most Photogenic; Essence of Style Award – a tie between Shanique Singh and Toshami Calvin; Best In Evening Wear – Toshami Calvin; Best In Swimwear – Rachel Silvera; Spirit of the Pageant – Toshami Calvin; Congeniality – Kasey Graham; and People's Choice Award – Brittny Hutchinson.