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Fiji Time: 6:43 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Pageant winner stands up for charity

Repeka Nasiko
Saturday, November 10, 2012

MISS Earth New Zealand 2012, Gloria Blake has been confirmed as one of the special guest stars at the 2012 Style Fiji Fashion charity show in Nadi next month.

Miss Blake, whose father hails from Savusavu in Vanua Levu, is said to be proud to be part of the event that raises money for the Nadi Hospital.

Born Gloria Ofa Blake, the 20-year-old is pursuing a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation with a double major in Exercise Science and Nutrition and Physical Activity.

Although born in New Zealand, Ms Blake says she is proud to be a Pacific Islander with links to Fiji and Tonga. She says her grandmother was also from Fiji.

She was crowned Miss Earth New Zealand 2012 in June which also gave her the chance to represent New Zealand at the 2012 Miss World beauty pageant in Mongolia, China.

She also used her opportunity as a contestant in the Miss Earth New Zealand pageant to support, raise money and awareness for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, a charitable trust that was established to provide rebuilding funds for Christchurch and the Canterbury region following the devastating earthquakes of 2011.

Of her efforts, Ms Blake said she managed to raise more than $2000 for her chosen charity.

She will represent New Zealand again at the Miss Earth 2012 in Vietnam next month.

Despite her obvious success, Ms Blake still remains true to her Pacific heritage and especially her links to Fiji.

"My connection to Fiji is very strong. My father is Fijian and hails from Savusavu and my maternal grandmother is also Fijian and was born and raised in Suva.

"As far as I am concerned I have a respect for the influences that have shaped me and the Fijian culture, people and society is part of that," said Ms Blake. And to show her support, Ms Blake will bring her star power to the Style Fiji Fashion Show. Organisers of the event, the Project Bula Mai committee, said they were happy to have Ms Blake as part of the event and looked forward to having her support in raising funds for the Nadi Hospital.

This year, PBM hopes to raise $100,000.