Lena Yanbing Ma, a stunning 5'10.5" model/soprano student of Queen's University, won the title of Miss World Canada 2009, in a spectacular event at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in downtown Toronto on Saturday night.
Lena makes history as the first woman of Chinese Origin to win the Title of Miss World Canada. She is now the Canadian representative for the 2009 Miss World Competition, the largest beauty spectacular on the planet, which will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in December, 2009.
Miss World is the oldest surviving major international pageant. The telecast of the final competition is the world's largest live annual beauty pageant television event with global viewers in more than 200 countries. Aside from raising millions of pounds for charities around the globe under the banner of its 'Beauty with a Purpose' program, Miss World is also credited with directly influencing a dramatic increase in tourism in Sanya, China, host of the Miss World finals from 2003-05.
True to the head office motto, "Beauty with a Purpose", Lena and all her fellow contestants diligently fundraised in the months prior to the contest for the Miss World Canada Charity of Choice, S.O.S. Children's Villages Canada, an international organization dedicated to raising orphaned and abandoned children into adulthood, in over 130 countries. This year a whopping $25,781.00 was raised through the fundraising efforts of the delegates. Funds will be donated to the All-Canadian funded Village in Ondangwa Namibia.
Lena captured 2 of the competitions Fast Track awards as well as 3 additional general awards; the most impressive was her outstanding rendition of the classic Andrew Lloyd Webber piece "Think of Me", which brought tears to some eyes in the audience. "She is a lovely, gracious and humble winner, a very strong contender at Miss World this year and we are confident that with Lena's incredible talent, poise, and grace she has a strong opportunity to bring Canada the crown" said Sastee Bachan, VP of Marketing and Communications, at the after party hosted by Houston's.
"The award that is most special to Lena's heart is the Beauty with a Purpose Award, she has done much charity work in the Chinese community" said Dr. Sherry X. Yin, mother of the new title holder. "But now she would like to use the Miss World Canada position to help even more people, any person from anywhere!!" said the elated mother.
Among her prizes for winning the crown are an all-expense paid trip to South Africa for 30 days of touring and performing, a competition wardrobe, daytime accessories by Bittersweet, one year membership at Christine's Fitness and Personal Training, photoshoot with photographer Alejandro Antequera, hair services by the prestigious Fiorio Salons, jewelry from Romika Jewels, and a year's supply of Revlon hair care products.
Lena Ma was crowned by out going Titleholder Leah Ryerse; as the reigning titleholder, Lena will now spend her year preparing for Miss World and making appearances for charity and cultural events across Canada. Show your support Canada for our beautiful contender and make sure to visit www.missworldcanada.com to hear all about Lena's progress!