The story below was seen on CNN iReport in the “Impact Your World” assignment.
NEW JERSEY – Janice Celeste, 48 from Mount Olive is Mrs. New Jersey United States 2015 and she will compete in Las Vegas in July with 50 other married women in the Mrs. United States Pageant. The Mrs. United States Pageant has celebrated the achievements of married women throughout the 50 States and U.S. Territories since 1986. “This is more than a beauty pageant, it’s about making a difference for my charity and making connections for my platform, which is “Connecting Pets With People,” said Celeste. “As Mrs. New Jersey United States 2015, I volunteer many hours raising money for animal charities, connect people with therapy and service dogs as well as helping to find animals forever homes.”
Celeste uses the crown to get attention for local animal charities. “I have gone to local cat shows to help rescue groups get attention for their cat adoptions and to local rescue fundraisers. Anything that I can do to get positive attention for this cause is important to me,” said Celeste. Celeste dedicates herself to animal causes because of a traumatic loss of her dog as a child. “My standard black poodle was named, what else? Fifi. She was impregnated by a stray dog that got into our yard and that dog gave her mange. My parents couldn’t afford to take her to the vet so they gave her to the local shelter. I had no idea that I might not ever see her again when they took her from me. As a child, that dog was like my sister. We played together, slept together, danced together and she protected me. Back then, I just wanted my dog back but I’ve never stopped talking about her.” Today Janice has a new dog in which she named in honor of her childhood dog called, Gigi. “Gigi is a registered service dog for my husband who suffers from diabetes and she visits local nursing homes as a therapy dog.”
Supporting Celeste and her platform are local businesses who are her official sponsors. “I couldn’t do this without support. Everyone needs a champion and my family, friends and sponsors are that for me,” said Celeste. Her sponsors include Iris Tree Spa in Chester, Natural Image Skin Center in Hackettstown, Dr. Weinstein Plastic Surgery Center in Chester and Dr. Ingrid Warmuth Skin Care Center in Elmer. “I’m always looking for local businesses who want to join #teamnj and support animal causes!”
Celeste is asking New Jerseyans to help her to stand strong for animals by contributing to the Mrs. New Jersey United States 2015 Go Fund Me page at http://www.gofundme.com/mrsnjus and to stand in solidarity by leaving a post on her page using the hashtag #teamnj. Photo Credit: Marc Skinner.