Story By: Robert Shawn
Mackenzie Dove is not your typical 21 year old. Aside from the fact that she has the unique ability to move her eyes independent of each other, the Clarenville native is an incredibly busy young woman. Balancing her time between school, work, and volunteering, Mackenzie also holds the distinction of being the current Miss Newfoundland and Labrador.
Earlier this year, encouraged and inspired by two previous title holders, Mackenzie competed in the 2017 Miss Newfoundland and Labrador Pageant, eventually impressing the judges and being named the winner.
“Miss Newfoundland and Labrador is a lot more than just a girl in a crown and a pretty dress.” Dove says of the position. “They’re smart. They’re community oriented. They’re role models for women in our province.”
Mentioning the ability to use Miss Newfoundland and Labrador as a way to help promote and support community events is something that inspired her decision to apply for the competition. Since then, she has used the prestige of the crown as a way to bring attention to a cause that is near to her heart.
Upon arriving in St. John’s in 2014, with aspirations to become a hospital pharmacist in the area of chemotherapy and oncology, Mackenzie began volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society – Newfoundland and Labrador Division, assisting with the planning, promoting and organization of the Society’s annual Relay for Life fundraiser as Co-Chair.
In Memory Of…
From there, Dove began spending time at Daffodil Place, a facility run by the Canadian Cancer Society for those who travel in order to seek treatment, and working hands-on with those battling the disease at the Health Science Centre. “I volunteer weekly in the Living Room, fitting patients with wigs, turbans, and breast prosthesis. I help out wherever I can.”
Dove’s devotion and commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society and their initiatives stems from her intense love of family. In 2002, Dove’s grandmother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells responsible for producing antibodies.
“She was my role model in life. She was sweet and kind to everyone she’d meet.” Dove recalls. “Her passing in 2010 really changed my life and every year at the Relay for Lie, I do it in memory of her.”
This tragic event helped push Mackenzie on a path that would influence her decision to pursue a career that would help and benefit those going through similar experiences as her grandmother. Today, she is in the third year of studies at Memorial University’s School of Pharmacy.
Now half-way through her reign as Miss Newfoundland and Labrador, Mackenzie shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In addition to smaller fundraisers, such as selling daffodils, Mackenzie is already booked for two big upcoming events for the Canadian Cancer Society.
“I’ll be at the Daffodil Dash on Nov. 18 as a volunteer and as Miss Newfoundland and Labrador, and I’ll be at the next Relay for Life as Co-Chair and Miss NL. The Cancer Society has been really supportive in helping me and wanting me to use the title to help promote them. I’ve been really lucky to be able to put the two together. It’s been a great partnership and I feel like it’s been really helpful in bringing attention to the cause.”
The Canadian Cancer Society’s first annual Daffodil Dash is a 5 km run (or 1 km walk) scheduled for November 18th at Bowring Park in St. John’s. Registration is currently open to groups and individuals.
Relay For Life
The St. John’s Relay for Life is a 12 hour team event scheduled for Jan.27, 2018. Teams of 10 or less alternate walking laps around the gym at MUN’s Physical Education Building, with games, prizes, activities and live music sprinkled in between. Registration info is available at www.cancer.ca/relayforlife. Last year’s Relay raised a total of $30,000.
All proceeds raised from both events will benefit the Canadian Cancer Society – Newfoundland and Labrador Division, aiding in research, support and prevention strategies for those living with cancer in our province.
For more infoon the Daffodil Dash, visit them on Facebook, on Twitter and Instagram at @DaffodilDashNL, and online at http://www.cancer.ca/daffodildashstj
For more information on the Canadian Cancer Society, visit http://www.cancer.ca