Jacaranda girl still loves Grafton

SHE has ridden elephants in Bali and snorkelled around the Caribbean, but for Grafton girl Alison Smith, there is no place like home.

“I think Grafton is really going ahead, with the shopping centre and new pubs and places to eat,” she said.

“I love being close to my family.”

Alison, 24, is the most recent Clarence Valley woman to nominate to be the 2009 Jacaranda Queen.

A medical receptionist at Queen Street Clinic, Alison is being sponsored in the quest by her employer.

She said she enjoyed reading, spending time with her family and friends and cheering on the Grafton Ghosts.

Alison said she considered entering the Jacaranda Queen competition several years ago on the advice of her friends, several of whom have been involved in the past.

It was only after her mum Julie and dad Gary encouraged her to get involved this year that Alison decided to throw her hat into the ring.

She said she wanted to hold a number of different fundraising events, including some aimed at children.

“I'd like to have something for kids to get involved in, like a kids' art day,” she said.

Although Alison is still brainstorming ideas, she said she also thought a theme night and a golf day would be good ways to raise money for the festival.

Whatever the outcome of the festival, Alison said she was looking forward to simply being involved in Jacaranda events, especially her two favourite days, Jacaranda Thursday and the Venetian Carnival.

“I really want to raise a bit of money for the committee and have a good time doing it,” she said.



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