A MEMBER of the Rhyl Royal family is heading stateside this summer in the hope of clinching another crown.

Ysgol Brynheddyd pupil Grace-Leigh Lewis, aged eight, will represent the United Kingdom in the Little Miss category at the Pure International Pageant in Columbus, Ohio from Sunday, July 5 until Friday 10.

After being named Rosebud for last year’s Rhyl Carnival, Grace Leigh was inspired to try her hand at competitions for the first time last November, when she was named Miss Royal Beauty at a pageant in Llandudno. This year, she added to her run of success by winning the Little Miss United Kingdom at the second national Pure competition in Daresbury, Cheshire in January.

Rhyl Journal:

Grace-Leigh Lewis on her Rhyl carnival float in 2019 with Cymru Petal Olivia Mae. Picture: Phil Micheu

Chloe Davies, Grace-Leigh’s mother, said: “Grace-Leigh doesn’t stop talking about going to America, and is so keen to fundraise the money to get her out there.

“She just always wanted to go to America, it’s always been her dream as she watches a lot of American things so just going the USA is mind blowing for her. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Pure International Pageants started as a United States based organization in 2011, and places emphasis on contestants of any age, nationality, or religion competing while representing its #BeTheImpact initiative as an international community service project.

Across the five days of the competition, which seeks to encourage finalists to take part community-service activities, Grace-Leigh will compete in a number traditional activities including modelling and an interview.

Since becoming Rosebud last year, Grace-Leigh has been involved in a lot of projects for charities in North Wales in addition to fundraising for the carnival.

Rhyl Journal:

Grace-Leigh's helped add presents to the 2019 North Wales Superkids charity drive

In the space of three months she became vegetarian for Cancer Research UK, made ‘hot choc cones’ and ‘reindeer dust’ for the Salvation Army in December, took part in a bake sale for the Samaritans and aided toy collection for North Wales Super Kids.

To help Grace-Leigh get to the competition, Rhyl businesses have repaid her fundraising efforts by donating items for a series of ongoing online raffles on facebook.

A £1,000 fundraising campaign has also been set up, while her dress for the competition has been supplied by Rhyl Carnival Association volunteer Paula Roberts.

Miss Davies added: “Grace-Leigh is also holding a bag packing fundraiser at Heron Foods in Rhyl on Saturday, February 22 if anyone would like to come show their support.

“Grace will continue to fundraise and once she has reached her target for America she will then split the rest between Salvation Army and Ysbyty Glan Clwyd’s children’s ward.”

To donate to the campaign, which has raised £50 to date, click here.