Miss Achievement Scholarship Program
Isabella Ashley Spirit of Giving Award
Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Scholarship Program is the province’s largest program for young women, which awards individuals for academics, promotion of healthy living, public speaking, community service, volunteer work, environmental awareness and performance-related talents. Among the long list of scholarships provided to deserving participants entering this program is the Isabella Ashley Spirit of Giving Award. This honourable award is presented to the participant who raises the most money for Ronald McDonald’s House Newfoundland and Labrador.
Isabella Ashley was the Honorary Patron of the Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Scholarship Program, but sadly passed away on December 7, 2012 at the age of 91. Crowned the first ever Miss Newfoundland in 1936, Mrs. Ashley was also the mother of 13 children. She was a woman with a genuine spirit of giving and compassion and we are delighted to be the beneficiary of this award in her memory.
Participants entered in the Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Scholarship Program are encouraged to begin their fundraising efforts upon acceptance. The 2017 Winner of the Isabella Ashley Spirit of Giving Award was Victoria Dowden of Torbay, NL.
During the crowning Gala held at Holy Heart Theater on Sunday November 13, 2016, a presentation was made to Ronald McDonald’s House representatives on behalf of the participants who collectively raised an outstanding $16,956. That’s a four year total of more than $101,900! On hand for the cheque presentation, representing Ronald McDonald’s House Charities® Newfoundland and Labrador were staff members, Christine Morgan, Annette Godsell, & Melissa AuCoin along with a house family, Sarah & Michael Short of Deer Lake. The Short Family were guests of Ronald McDonald’s House when their daughter, Isla, was first diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a race type of childhood cancer. Thanks to the support of donations and events like Miss Achievement, they were guests on three separate visits totaling 83 nights. While Isla’s journey is still far from over, with treatments expected to continue into 2017, the Short Family are extremely grateful to everyone that has helped ensure Ronald McDonald’s House was there for them and the hundreds of other families that need it.
Without the community, Ronald McDonald’s House would not be able to provide a home for sick children and their families close to the medical care they need. Ronald McDonald’s House is proud to say that since opening in 2012 they have accommodated more than 900 families dealing with their child’s illness in St. John’s.
“We thank everyone involved with the 2017 Miss Achievement Scholarship Program and those that supported the participants as they raised funds for Ronald McDonald’s House in their community,” said Annette Godsell, Executive Director, Ronald McDonald’s House Charities® Newfoundland and Labrador. “Congratulations to Victoria Dowden, this year’s winner of the Isabella Ashley Spirit of Giving Award and Gabrielle Dupont of Mount Pearl the newly crowned 2016/17 Miss Achievement NL. Events such as these are an amazing reflection of our communities hard at work, helping turn our House into a home for families with a sick or injured child.”
The Gala for 2017 is scheduled for November 2017. Good luck to all those who enter!
Previous Winners of the Isabella Ashley Spirit of Giving Award
2016 – Jamie Lynn Drake of St. Lawrence, NL.
2015- Shauna Griffiths of Ship Harbour, NL
2014 – Bailey Tarrant of Lawn, NL