South Surrey’s Cheryl Schindler never viewed herself as one to enter a pageant.
“Never in my life,” the single mother told Peace Arch News Tuesday.
Yet here she is. A small business owner, Schindler is a contestant of the Miss BC pageant.
Schindler said she hopes to use the pageant as a platform to raise awareness of Big Sisters of BC, with the intention of getting more women to join the cause.
“When I first saw the pageant, I wasn’t joining because it’s some sort of beauty contest or anything like that – I’m way too old for that,” the 47-year-old said.
“I thought it was more of an opportunity to gain a stronger voice in being able to provide for my community.”
Schindler became a Big Sister two years ago after making a New Year’s resolution to give back on a personal level.
Through her company, Outsource Marketing, Schindler has participated in several charity causes and collected food for the Surrey Food Bank.
“But I felt I needed to do something personally, oppose to just getting my company involved. Joining Big Sisters was a great way for me to personally give back.”
Schindler started Outsource Marketing after taking a break from working years in the business development, architectural firms, accounting firms, engineering firms and contracting business.
She was working long hours, she said, and her son, who is now 20 years old, was playing rep hockey.
“I don’t know if you know what that’s like, but you have to be at the rink at 5 a.m.”
Outsource Marketing, which now employees 12 people, has reached a point where Schindler has more free time to do what’s important to her, she said.
“To do more for my community. I’ve been fortunate in my business being successful, but I don’t want to take that for granted. We’re lucky… Now I think it’s time to give back.”
B.C. residents can vote for a candidate for the People’s Choice Award at http://blackpressdeals.secondstreetapp.com/Miss-BC-Peoples-Choice-Awards/gallery/?category=1582640
Voting closes June 21, and the winner will be announced during the pageant on July 3 in Fort Langley.