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Ability to keep going despite tragedy shows character

By Victoria Advocate
Feb. 15, 2012 at 9:03 a.m.
Updated Feb. 14, 2012 at 8:15 p.m.


By the Advocate Editorial Board

We want to congratulate all the winners of the Queen Victoria pageant.

And we would also like to thank all those who took the time to participate in this Victoria tradition.

But we especially want to express our admiration for this year's Queen Victoria, 17-year-old Danielle Renee Smith, who came and competed even after learning that a family friend's baby, Evan, had died after being denied a heart transplant several months earlier.

And this is not the first tragedy she has suffered. During her freshman year of high school, Danielle lost her best friend to suicide.

We applaud this young woman for having the courage to move forward despite these potentially crippling losses and finding the strength to take part in a community competition in order to earn the honor of serving Victoria.

As her mother, Renee Smith, said, it was a bittersweet day for them.

To win the Queen Victoria title is wonderful, but to know your friend's baby is being buried that same day makes it difficult to go on. But Danielle stayed strong and continued to move forward, saying she was doing this for Evan. Even when the subject came up in the interview portion of the competition and both Danielle and the judges started crying as she shared her reason for being there that day.

We are proud of this young lady for showing her strength and heart by pushing forward in the midst of difficulty. And we hope that serving this year as Queen Victoria will provide her with many new and wonderful memories.

Congratulations, Danielle, and well done!

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.

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