By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
The COVID-19 novel coronavirus may have changed the way that many organizations and events are occurring, but the pandemic has also given Miss Grayson’s Outstanding Teen Jasmine Webb a novel way to raise charitable funds for the Miss Kentucky Teen pageant – selling designer face masks.
“With everything going on, you have to wear masks anyway,” noted the teen, who made the masks alongside her mother and their neighbors.
Every participant in the Miss Kentucky Teen pageant is required to raise charitable funds for the Children’s Miracle Network. The minimum each participant must raise is $250, a number the 16-year-old high school junior was already close to achieving within an hour of setting up Friday morning, in front of Ralph’s Food Fair. Selling the masks at $5 each, she had already sold two dozen and raised $120. But since the pageant has been pushed back a year due to the pandemic, Webb has set herself a more lofty goal. She wants to raise $5,000 for the charity.
It’s a task that might seem daunting to most of us, but Webb is no stranger to fundraising or community organizing. She has raised money for charity before, bringing in over $4,000 to purchase bedding for the Ashland Build-A-Bed organization, who build and distribute beds to children and families in need.
Selling masks isn’t her first foray into tackling issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic either. She got involved early on in helping neighbors during the pandemic, setting up a website that matches young, healthy volunteers with elderly and immunocompromised neighbors in need. Her Ashland/Grayson COVID-19 Match website, http://www.ashland-graysoncovid-19match.com, allows those in need to sign up for assistance and then matches them with volunteers, who can donate their time through the same web portal. Volunteers can do things like picking up groceries or prescriptions, deliver homemade meals, pickup and drop off library books, or just check in on their neighbors to make sure they are doing ok.
Her mother, Christina Webb, said Jasmine has always been community minded, and has been involved in pageants her “whole life,” previously serving as a Little Miss Kentucky and Preteen Miss Kentucky.
This community minded approach to the position is one of the things that impressed the judges from the Grayson Area Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the Miss Grayson Scholarship Organization and pays their scholarship franchise fee, explained Dee Shufflebarger, executive director of the scholarship organization.
Webb, who goes to Russell High School, was chosen from among teens all across the region for her charity work and talent – she plays piano – Shufflebarger added, noting that the Grayson franchise area for the Miss Teen Kentucky competition includes Carter, Greenup, Boyd, Lawrence, Elliott, Rowan and Lewis counties.
“All the counties that touch Carter County,” Shufflebarger said.
Despite being a student at Russell, Webb has strong family ties to Carter County. Her mother, Christina, is originally from Grayson and her father, Ben Webb, originally hails from Olive Hill.
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