Queens for a Cure sets stage for breast cancer awareness

Puyallup: Jazelle Wyrick, 2, wins title and will tour events throughout year

of the HeraldJanuary 15, 2014 

Jazelle Wyrick, 2, won in her age division at the Queens for a Cure pageant last November in Renton at the IKEA Performing Arts Center.

QUEENS FOR A CURE/COURTESY PHOTO

It was a proud moment for Jessica DeArmond of Puyallup when her 2-year-old daughter, Jazelle Wyrick, won a title in her age division in November at the Queens for a Cure pageant.

“Throughout this year, my daughter has the honor of raising awareness for breast cancer and wearing her crown and banner at different events,” DeArmond said.

Queens for a Cure, now in its fifth year, is a nonprofit organization that educates young women about breast cancer and empowers them to spread awareness while they raise money for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure.

“The older generation tends to take notice of the younger generation when they talk about these issues,” said Nicole Miller, whose 13-year-old daughter, Kennedy Miller, co-founded the organization when she was 9.

Kennedy and a friend, Victoria Knight, started the organization after they each shared real-life experiences. Nicole Miller’s cousin died of breast cancer when she was 26.

The Queens for a Cure pageant is held each November. Since 2008, the pageant has raised more than $100,00 for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure, which occurs on the first Saturday of June at the Seattle Center.

The pageant awards girls in eight age divisions. Nicole Miller said there also are awards for talent queen, three top fundraisers and for the Queen of Queens.

The Queen of Queens award is given to the one who receives the highest number of points in the previous year. Nicole Miller said points are given for things like how many events a queen organized to whether they appeared on TV or in a newspaper.

Queens for a Cure has been rated the top fundraising organization for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure for four consecutive years. This year, the organization anticipates it will donate more than $25,000.

“In addition to raising money at the pageant, we’ve been starting to get matching funds from companies,” Nicole Miller said. “The great thing to see is the different ways girls fundraise. One girl went door-to-door, collecting pennies. Another girl had a silent auction.”

DeArmond and her daughter plan to collect donations from friends and family members. Their goal is $150.

DeArmond said her family has not been impacted by breast cancer. She said it brings her joy that she and Jazelle can help those who may be less fortunate.

Along the way, Jazelle is picking up interview skills and social skills, DeArmond said.

Jazelle and the other queens will be at the Humane Society’s Stunt Dog Experience from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Pantages Theater in Tacoma.

More online

To learn more about the Queens for a Cure program, visit queensforacure.wix.com/queensforacure.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at andrew.fickes@puyallupherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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