TORONTO — The newly crowned Miss Universe Canada wants to spend her reigning year working for and educating children.
Chanel Beckenlehner, 25, of Caledon, Ont., was crowned with this year's title last Saturday at Toronto's St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, where 64 women competed to represent Canada.
"I was drawn to this industry and am passionate not only to work as a title holder but also for the organization," Beckenlehner told QMI Agency, in her first interview as Miss Universe Canada.
Beckenlehner says the pageant isn't just about being a "pretty girl" but being a role model for education, sports and in general.
Chanel Beckenlehner is the newly-crowned Miss Universe Canada. (STAN BEHAL/QMI Agency)
One of her favourite parts of the pageant is its charitable support for kids, like SOS Children's Villages Canada — which builds homes internationally for abandoned and orphaned children — and Operation Smile, which provides cleft surgery to children in Third-World countries.
Beckenlehner says this year's pageant raised $130,000 for children's causes.
"The opportunities we have in Canada, I want to share and give to other kids in the world.”
She is planning a humanitarian trip to Nicaragua with Operation Smile.