How one Sunderland schoolgirl takes the crown to raise thousands for charity
A Sunderland schoolgirl who has raised more than Â£5,000 for charity this year hopes to show beauty pageants aren't just about wearing a tiara and a ball gown.
Quinn Lownie, six, has been taking part in beauty pageants since she was four years old.
But its not just about wearing a tiara and a pretty dress on stage, the pageants promote raising money for charity and doing your bit to support your community.
This year the youngster has raised £5,406 for a number of charities with the help of her mum 41-year-old Ashleigh Lownie.
The fitness instructor, who lives in the Red House, said: “She takes part in charity pageants, it’s not just about getting up on stage it’s about going out in the community and doing what you can for charity.
“The main charity we’ve raised money for this year is the Ronald McDonald House, since June we’ve raised £3,700.”
Quinn, who attends Northern Saints Primary School, took part in her first pageant when she was four and now finds herself in the final of Belle Pageants which take place in April next year in Spain.
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“She’s really involved in the community,” said the proud mum.
“She collects old toys and donates them with her own to charity ships such as Save the Children and Sue Ryder.
“We make a collection for a local food bank and collection of slippers and pyjamas for patients at Sunderland Hospital.
“The pageants she enters are all about making the children aware that you should be out there and helping the people in your community - that is what is more appealing for me.
“I think it’s teaching her something that’s really worthwhile.”
The youngster has also been short listed for Natural Beauty Pageant Fundraiser of the Year award.
This is the first year that Ashleigh has kept a running tally of how much they’ve raised which has now topped £5,400.
They’ve hosted charity events, raffles and bag packs as part of their fundraising ahead of the final of the Belle Pageant next year.