By Flynn Bush
At the Westin on Saturday night, the expectation was that Mariah Tibbetts, the reigning Miss Cayman Islands Universe would be there to make an appearance, take her final walk as queen, and to crown the new queen. It is the custom for an outgoing queen to do these things and, on this night, Mariah was present to do as such. Then something happened.
At these annual pageants, the focus placed upon the reigning queen is in relation to the service she has given over the past year. How she represented our country is on display, and the good she has done is highlighted. These serve to inspire us all; and it is usually the case. However, on this evening, Mariah did something to fill everyone with warm fuzzies and inspiration at the same time.
Mariah Tibbetts over the past year has shown on many different occasions how her reign has made a positive difference in the lives of others. With her chosen platform as cancer and cancer awareness, she especially made valuable contribution to the fight of this debilitating disease. She even used the story of her older sister who is a cancer survivor. Inspiration was flowing constantly for the entire year; and yet, more was to come.
As Mariah took her final walk, she made the announcement that she would be donating her hair to a young cancer patient here in Cayman. Then, right on cue, a stylist appeared and assisted her by cutting over a foot of her locks off. “There is not a dry eye in this place,” emcee Annika Conolly remarked at that moment. As a member of the audience at that moment, I can attest that no truer words were ever spoken, as all were wiping their eyes and smiling.
So, once again, Mariah managed to remind us of the value of a queen’s influence, and of the need for us to seek to improve the lives of those around us. Now that Mariah’s reign has come to an end, I challenge everyone reading this to remember and try to live up to her example. Let us help where we can, and how we can, and whomever we can. In doing that, we make the world a better place for all. Thank you for all of your inspiring service, Mariah.