Ashleigh Gisel: Thankful For Experiencing City’s ‘Amazing Sense Of Community’

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From left: Miss Congeniality Meagan Lecompte; Second Princess Rose Fraracci; First Princess Maddie Leblanc; Rose Queen Ashleigh Gisel. (Supplied photo)

By Ashleigh Gisel

Since my coronation as Rose Queen, I have had so many different opportunities and have learned a lot. One of my favourite things by far has been having the opportunity to experience Welland’s amazing sense of community firsthand. Through going to all of the different events throughout Welland I have really realized how lucky I am to be a Wellander.

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Ashleigh and Maddie at the Main Street Bridge the evening it was illuminated yellow as a tribute to Dalton Jacques. (Supplied photo)

Recently, I went to the Main Street Bridge illumination for Dalton Jacques. The bridge was lit up yellow and candles were being lit by people who lined the route. Seeing how many people had come together to support DJ and his family brought tears to my eyes. It was during this event that I realized how lucky I was to be a part of a community full of people who really care for and support each other.

Another event I had the opportunity to go to was the concert on the canal series! I loved this event because it was so awesome to see people from all over Welland, coming together, and having a good time. Being Rose Queen has really opened up my eyes to all of the amazing events throughout Welland. Ultimately, being Rose Queen has given me the opportunity to get involved in my community and discover all that Welland has to offer.

The second thing I am so grateful for is the amazing girls I have been able to get to know! I’ve been able to experience all of this with three amazing girls by my side!

Maddie Leblanc is the first princess. Maddie is one of the most inspiring people I know. She is so driven to make a change in her community. She has a passion for an event she does every year called, On Board, and has continued to make this event more amazing every year. It is because of this, that I look up to Maddie.

Rose Fraracci is the second princess. She is a sweet and intelligent person! Rose has an evident passion for our community! She is at almost every single event our city puts on and I think that is very honorable!

Then last but not least, Meagan Lecompte is Miss. Congeniality. The title definitely suits her. Meghan is one of the sweetest people I know. She will go out of her way to make you smile and is always there to lend a helping hand. Not only have I made three really awesome friends, but I have also learned something very valuable from each of them.

This opportunity as a whole has been such a blessing to me and has been an experience I will never forget. I have really enjoyed it and wouldn’t change it for anything.

Being given the opportunity to be so involved in my community has really opened my eyes to how amazing Welland really is. I have been able to attend so many amazing events and have also been able to meet a ton of people.

Looking back on the year so far, brings me great joy! Although it may have taken me two tries, it was certainly worth it! It has been an honour being Rose Queen and having had the opportunity to get to know this amazing city and the beautiful people in it.

Welland is a fantastic community, one in which anyone can be involved.

 (Ashleigh Gisel,18, writes as Welland’s 2015 Rose Queen. She was asked to pen a piece about the significance of the year to her life. Contestants are now being sought for the 2016 Rose Queen contest.)

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