Miss Mansfield said she will “never forget” her trip after she jetted across the Atlantic as a special ambassador to one of Mansfield’s sister cities in the USA.
After winning the Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest 2018 in March Bethany Wigley flew to Mansfield, Ohio, home of the Miss Ohio competition.
As she arrived home from her stateside trip of a lifetime, Samworth Academy pupil Bethany, 17, said:”It was amazing. I can’t even describe it in words.”
Bethany was flying the flag for Mansfield alongside her chaperone for the trip Amy Beilby , Miss Mansfield and Sherwood Forest 2015.
She said: “Amy knew exactly what to do and where to go and that made it even better.
“There were lots of activities - the highlight was the parade. It is very big in America - each contestant parades in a car and represents their own town. I met lots of people from the community there and saw lots of different people.
“We were there for 12 days and it was lovely.
“I made loads of friends who I will definitely keep in contact with.”
Bethany’s trip was sponsored by the Mansfield Sister Cities Association, which holds a fundraising event each year to fund the flights for Miss Mansfield & Sherwood Forest. Jessica said: “I felt extremely proud to be representing Mansfield, England, at this amazing week-long event.
Bethany said: “I felt extremely proud to be representing Mansfield. I was really honoured to be given that opportunity to go to a different Mansfield.
“I can’t describe the pride and joy it gave me.”
“It was great to get that experience at the beginning of my time as Miss Mansfield - it gives you lots of ideas to support my message throughout the year.”
Bethany’s chosen charity is raising awareness for mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness.
She added: “I was also excited to experience an American pageant and meet the contestants competing to be Miss Ohio.
“The winner then goes on to the Miss America competition. One of the big differences of this pageant is the girls are competing to win scholarship money – Miss America is one of the biggest providers of scholarships in the world.”
“The Ohio winner was Mattilynne Christian and her platform was mental health and suicide prevention, so we were very similar in that regard.
“This opportunity has inspired me to push further than I ever thought to promote my platform and what I’m passionate about, to reach out to more people and connect with all ages in the best possible way. It’s given me motivation to grab hold of my dreams.”
Over the coming months, Bethany has more fundraising events including a Three Peaks Challenge and a Sky Dive. She is also planning further events with Miss Teen Mansfield Lalia Allsop, 16.