She may not have won the Miss Jetset Magazine contest this year, but Niagara-on-the-Lake resident Lisa Jeffrey feels like a winner.
After leading her category through the first four stages, Jeffrey was eliminated in the semi-finals on Feb. 12, placing sixth in her group. The contest is now down to the final four contestants, and the winner will be announced Feb. 25.
The winner of Miss Jetset Magazine earns a spot on the cover of the internationally distributed publication, a pictorial and article inside, and a $50,000 prize. But the votes also raise funds for a childhood cancer charity. Jeffrey’s supporters helped her raise $2,500 US toward the Andrew McDonough B+ (Be Positive) Foundation.
“I was very happy about that, and I feel that I had incredible support from family and friends,” she tells The Local.
“The article (in the Feb. 4 edition of The Local) helped a lot, too. I had a lot of people reach out to me to say how inspiring my story (volunteering in New York City after 9/11) was.”
She also credits her brother, a vice-president of a bank in Louisiana, for spreading the word and gathering support for the cause down south. But the bulk of her votes came from the NOTL community, with many of them accompanied by encouraging messages. Jeffrey is very thankful for that support.
When asked if she would enter the contest, or a similar one in the future, Jeffrey says she would give it some consideration.
“It took a lot of time, almost two months, which I found to be intense, but it was a good experience,” she says.
“Because all votes had to be done on the website, it made things difficult for those not online to vote. If I did something again in the future, it would be of a different sort.”
Though she did turn to Facebook to drum up support during the contest, through her own profile and via the NOTL 4 All group, she admits that she may have been able to improve her chances of winning by expanding into other social media platforms. She just created her own Twitter account on Jan. 29, a few days before the quarter finals began.
“My family is proud of me,” she says, “and it all turned out well. I’m okay with how I finished, for sure.”
Without having to spend time on the contest, Jeffrey continues to help care for her mother at the St. Catharines Hospital. She pays daily visits to Glenda, who cracked her skull after a fall on Thanksgiving weekend and remained in a coma until just after Christmas. Jeffrey says her mom is doing much better, but still fighting some congestion in her lungs.
As well, in the meantime, Jeffrey has turned her focus toward fighting against illegal coyote hunting in the rural areas of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
She started a Facebook group called Niagara On The Lake Coyotes a few years ago. The members of the group aim to support the protection of coyotes in the area, and also advocate for peaceful coexistence between humans and the animals.
“There’s this one group of hunters,” Jeffrey explains, “who have deceivingly gotten on the group page and posted some pictures of dead coyotes, and have been bullying members of the group.”
Furthermore, some of these hunters have encroached on private land in their desire to shoot coyotes.
“It’s a safety concern,” she tells The Local. “It’s not about whether you support hunting or not. A lot of people have contacted me about hunters on their property without permission.”