Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Shawn Richards and Director of Culture Troy Mills joined family, friends and well-wishers at a welcome ceremony held at the V.I.P. Lounge at the R. L. Bradshaw International Airport.
Director Mills said he was proud of the young woman. “She would have left here last week as the reigning St. Kitts-Nevis Carnival Swimsuit Winner and she has now added to that [the Ms. Venus Model] title so we are here to welcome her and thank her for being a very proud Ambassador of the Federation,” Mr. Mills stated.
The pageant, designed for swimwear winners from across the region, was held in Anguilla on June 22, at the Landsome Bowl Cultural Center. Hanley was joined by contestants from St. Maarten, Grenada, the Dominican Republic and host Anguilla, which had two entries.
Deputy PM Richards also congratulated Ms. Hanley and paid tribute to the St. Kitts and Nevis Development Bank, which partnered with the National Carnival Committee to facilitate the young woman’s participation in the show.
“The bank in particular has been helping persons to develop themselves, not just through financial support but by coming onboard in activities such as these to see our own young people be able to develop themselves,” Minister Richards said.
Ms. Hanley thanked the officials and said her experience was quite rewarding.
“It was intensive, but I remained humble, and each time I went out on stage I did my best,” she said, noting that the first night was especially challenging, as she did not win any of the segments. “I came prepared on the second night, and I dominated.”
She added that in spite of the competitive nature of the show, the young ladies formed meaningful bonds and established friendships.