Madi Lacey

Height: 5’7
Hometown: Britt/Parry Sound, ON
Languages: English
Occupation: Director of Marketing & Head of Client Services

Though her real name is Madison, this fun-loving 21 year old has always gone by the shortened version “Madi”. Madi Lacey was raised in the hamlet of Britt, Ontario – about an hour north of Parry Sound, a town she also considers home. She has always taken pride in where she comes from, and does her best to be involved in her community.

Madi’s dedication to the betterment of her community is obvious in her humanitarian efforts, with extensive volunteer contributions since she was 11 years old. As an active volunteer for numerous organizations throughout the years, her most notable accomplishment was organizing a charity walk – the BIG Britt Walk – which raised $82,000 ($50,000 by herself) over a five year period for the for Britt Area Nursing Services (BANS). As a result, she was nominated for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award in 2011 and recognized with the Ontario Volunteer Service Award in 2013. Madi continues to volunteer as much as possible and is always looking for opportunities to become more involved.

Madi has taken on more responsibility within her family’s business, and in addition to her roles as store manager and Director of Marketing, has recently been promoted to Head of Client Services at Wright’s Marina Limited. She loves having the ability to curate lasting, positive impressions and relationships with clients and is constantly striving to improve their experience. Madi has may ideas that she is excited to implement in the coming boating season. In the future, Madi hopes to finish her diploma in Pre-Service Firefighting and pursue a second diploma for paramedic.

This will be Madi’s second pageant, having just competed in the 2019 Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant this past May. Despite her lack of pageant experience, Madi placed in the Top 15, and was recognized with three awards in addition to being chosen to move on to the Miss Universe Canada pageant. Madi brought home sashes and crowns for her excellence in Pageant Promotion, Scholastic, and for being an Ambassador of NOFCC (as the top fundraiser for the pageant charity). She was also a finalist for the Entrepreneur award, awarded to the delegate with the most sponsorship. Her first pageant experience was an incredible learning and development opportunity, and Madi has no doubt that MUC will be just as beneficial. She is optimistic, and feels confident that she we be able to represent herself and her community with grace. Her platform is PTSD in First Responders, an issue she is passionate about; she hopes to continue to spread awareness of, and destigmatize, this worthy cause.

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Q&A

What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

My list of interests is absurdly long, so the condensed list is: baking & cooking, boating, dancing, fishing, fundraising, gardening, learning, listening to music, reading, spending time with family, volunteering, weightlifting and writing. It’s so difficult to narrow down what it is I enjoy doing the most, so I will give the non-specific answer of being outside.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

At the age of six, I began dancing at Parry Sound Dance Academy in Parry Sound, Ontario; I was trained in numerous styles, and took Jazz all 13 years I was with the studio. Dance was a huge passion of mine and was such an integral part of my adolescence, with many hours dedicated to dance each week.

I also took piano lessons for several years as a child, though I am no longer adept at playing.

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

Throughout the years, I have had the opportunity to participate in many sports through my schools but never stuck with any due to my apparent lack of coordination and knack for becoming injured. I was an avid dancer for many years, though, which kept me extremely busy and active.

Since “retiring” from dance and entering adulthood, I have discovered my love for the gym; I love to weight-train and am constantly trying to increase my strength. I also enjoy following along with yoga videos on the internet, and going for runs when there isn’t snow.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

Though he was only part of my life for ten short years, now more than 11 years ago, my great grandfather is still one of the most influential people to have ever graced my life. During his last few years, he lived across the street with my grandparents, and I saw him almost daily. We were incredibly close, and his love & support helped mold me into the young woman I am today. What’s more, he was an avid philanthropist. It is in his image and in his memory that I became involved in fundraising, doing extraordinary things since.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

While I am proud of my many accomplishments, the one I am proudest of is the annual charity walk I organized for the nursing station in my community, which was in need of being rebuilt but for which funding was slow. I started the BIG Britt Walk at the age of 11 and ceased after five years, as the building was completed at this point. The walk raised more than $80,000 over the five years, with $50,000+ raised by me personally. This walk, and the money that resulted from it, was a huge accomplishment and did a lot of good in my community.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

I actually struggled to answer this question, at first because I couldn’t think of anything and then because I realized I’m super cool & interesting.. but the answer was handed to me an hour ago (at the time of writing this): lumbrical plus finger. The explanation is like this: I have been seeing a surgeon/specialist since the end of February, when I accidentally injured my left middle finger and required two (soon to be three) surgeries to repair the damage. I was unaware of the name of the injury until my most recent follow-up appointment, when the specialist was explaining my injury to a student. Apparently, it’s a pretty neat & not overly common injury; they said if I had to give an interesting fact about myself, I’d definitely have something cool to write. Et voilà!

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

I aspire to be a firefighter and paramedic; I was recently attending college for firefighting but had to withdraw due to an injury sustained during the program. I intend to complete the education once fully healed, and am continuing to build my strength in the meantime. Following this, I plan to further my involvement in the First Responder community by pursing a paramedic license.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

I have always described my “dream job” as a career involving the medical field. While my interpretation of this has changed over the years, the underlying principle has remained the same. After exploring various career options, I have determined that my absolute dream job is working as a firefighter & paramedic before transitioning into a career in a project management role with an emphasis in fundraising, where I have the capacity to help others.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was raised in the hamlet of Britt, Ontario (about 3.5 hours north of Toronto) on Georgian Bay. My family owns and operates a marina there, so my childhood was spent exploring the splendour of our area. My older brother and I occupied ourselves by playing outside when the weather was nice, and reading novels or playing games when it rained. We had a tree fort that we were always “improving” and remodelling, and despite more than ten years of renovations, was never fully finished.

Much of my upbringing was centred around being on the water, boating, fishing, and swimming. I was surrounded by biological family, as both my grandparents and my aunts are neighbours, but also by an adoptive family of cottagers and seasonal boaters, who watched me grow up over the years. I am blessed to still be in the area & to have an ever-increasing marina family, which is cheering for me for MUC!

List any volunteering you have done.

From a very young age, I have found myself volunteering in one capacity or another, whether it was helping out at a fundraiser hosted by the local Lions’ Club or visiting with older adults at one of the assisted living facilities. I spent hours helping with costumes for the annual dance recital my studio did, whether it was as simple as cutting thread, adding sequins or bedazzles, or even making tutus – I was always happy to lend a hand.

At the age of 11, I became more involved in volunteering; I organized my first large-scale fundraiser, the BIG Britt Walk, for the nursing station in my town, which was in need of a rebuild but for which funds were slow to materialize. The fundraise was such a success that it became an annual event that spanned five years. As a result, I was nominated for, and received, several awards, including the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year, Ontario Volunteer Service Award, a certificate of thanks from the West Parry Sound Health Centre, and a plaque from the Britt Area Nursing Services for years of community fundraising.

During this time, I also found other opportunities to volunteer my time including assisting with the local figure skating club’s end of year showcase and the hockey club’s yearly tournament.

In high school, I was a member of the Peer Support Group for two years, partook in two Habitat for Humanity build days, spent a semester working on a greenhouse for Community Living, and was one of three members chosen for a special project task force designing a monument to honour those affected by violence against women.

I am currently an active volunteer with Canadian Blood Services, an organization that I have been involved with for over a year now. I started as an in-community volunteer, recruiting new donors and scheduling appointments as well as attending blood typing events and performing the testing. I have also started volunteering in-clinic, providing refreshments and promoting donor satisfaction.

Most recently, I was introduced to the non-profit Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer (NOFCC) and had the pleasure of fundraising on their behalf. I held a series of events between September 2018 and May 2019, coming up with fun and unique ways to encourage donations to the charity. I am honoured to have been recognized with the Ambassador Award at the Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant for my dedication and money raised for NOFCC.

What is your most unusual talent?

I have the ability to trip over flat surfaces and find objects to bump into in wide open areas… trust me, it takes talent to be this clumsy.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

Ten years from now, I hope to be doing all the typical things: to be finished post secondary and working in my chosen career field, to be married to the love of my life and have children biologically or through adoption/fostering, and to be living somewhere that makes me happy.

Ten years from now, I hope to be inspiring others to pursue their dreams regardless of how long it takes or who tells you otherwise. Life rarely goes according to plan, and you’ll be amazed at the outcome of the chaos.

I also hope to be as involved in my community as I am now, and that my passion for helping others is as strong as it is today. I hope to be making a positive difference in the life of everyone that I come into contact with, be it as small as sharing a smile or as huge as rescuing someone from a burning building.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to participate in Miss Universe Canada, and to represent both myself & my community on a national stage. I want to thank the businesses that have sponsored me along the way, and the people that have believed in me and saw my potential before I did.

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