Alyssa Cutler, recently crowned Miss Teenage Avalon, is using her time and tiara to give her new foundation a boost.
To win the contest, Cutler had to show proof of leadership, community involvement, and volunteering. “I had to have a platform that I could promote and build on. My platform is the importance of family.”
It was family tragedy that inspired her to co-found the Jennifer the A. Cutler Foundation. “The Foundation is a family-based charity that was inspired from my mom, Jennifer Cutler,” Alyssa says.
“She was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago. The cancer spread to her bones, and 5 years later it took her life. My mom was always a family woman. Growing up we would take family vacations, creating some of the best memories I have today. I would love to do the same thing for another family.”
And that’s precisely what the Jennifer the A. Cutler Foundation aims to do. Cutler says its main goal is to send a family, with either the mother or father going through cancer treatments, on a family vacation.
The destination will be Disney World. “Disney is a family spot for everyone of all ages,” Cutler says. “Growing up, my parents took my brother and me to Disney world. It was the best experience I had traveling. Looking back at the pictures with Cinderella and Mickey Mouse I can’t help but smile.”
So Disney seemed like a suitable place to send a family. “We are extremely close to our fundraising goal, to be able to send a family away. We are hoping our fake prom event will reach our goal.”
The Fake Prom fundraiser is an all ages event taking place Oct. 7th, at the Knights of Columbus. “We want people to break out their fancy clothes and old suits and come out for a dance and have good time.”
Money has been raised in various ways, from donations, to two annual tea parties in the spring. “One in Centerville (where my mother was born) and one in St. Johns. We held our first ones last spring. We are now selling tickets on a quilt.”
Currently, Cutler says they’re giving “Love and Care Baskets” out to cancer patients. “The baskets are full of goodies for the cancer patient and the entire family. These baskets go out across the province. A member of our board of directors personally gives out the baskets.”
Her inherent interest in charities and community spirit are what drove her to enter the pageant in the first place. “I love getting involved in the community, and this was a way I could do that. By entering, I got to learn about different events and charities that happened all over the province.”
Cutler is representing Newfoundland at the Miss Teenage Canada National pageant coming up this August. ” There’s a lot to do leading up to the competition,” she says, including fundraising efforts for charities, attending events in line with her platform, being graded on her social media presence, as well as her blog on the Miss Teenage Canada website, and preparing an essay, a talent, and a speech about her platform.
To learn more about the Jennifer the A. Cutler Foundation, visit: http://www.jenniferacutler.ca