Dreaming of Jacaranda's crown
AFTER a year reporting the highs and lows of the annual Jacaranda Queen quest, The Daily Examiner’s own cadet journalist, Anastasia Vlastaras, is in the running for the crown.
Miss Vlastaras, 19, was the Examiner’s chief Jacaranda Queen correspondent last year, and she is now the first candidate to nominate for the 2010 competition.
A born and bred Grafton girl, she is already spilling over with ideas to raise money for her beloved Jacaranda Festival, the main aim for candidates.
“We fundraise to keep the festival going – it takes between $60,000 and $80,000 every year to keep it running,” Miss Vlastaras said.
Boarding at a Sydney high school for her Year 11 and 12 studies, Miss Vlastaras returned to Grafton in 2008 to start her career at The Daily Examiner.
She said the “anonymity” she experienced while away from home taught her the value of living in a tight-knit community like Grafton.
“As you walk down the street here, you say hi to every second person. It’s nice.”
Miss Vlastaras also grew to appreciate Grafton’s “little quirks that make it special”, especially the Jacaranda Festival.
“There’s nothing like it in a large city – it’s very unique,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to giving back to an event and a community that I love.”
Kicking off her fundraising efforts will be a raffle of two full pages of advertising worth $8893 with her sponsor, The Daily Examiner.
Local businesses can expect Miss Vlastaras to be doorknocking soon in her bid to sell tickets.
Also on her fundraising calendar will be a “girly” trivia night, an autumn picnic raffle, an old house tour and high tea during Heritage Week, and a band night.