Eatonville Native Cierra Nalani Richards hopes to help find a cure for breast cancer by using her title as Miss Queen for a Cure
Eatonville Native Cierra Nalani Richards hopes to help find a cure for breast cancer by using her title as Miss Queen for a Cure

Eatonville native, Cierra Nalani Richards, has dealt with the pain of losing someone to cancer.

Richards was passively involved before with cancer supporting events, but her grandfather’s death really motivated her to become more than just a volunteer. Now Richards is a title-winning pageant contestant in this year’s Queens for a Cure.

Queens for a cure is a pageant supporting the Susan G. Komen cancer foundation.

Queens for a Cure is hosting its 10-year anniversary from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28, at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish.

Richards said judges award contestants for multiple categories including; prettiest hair, best smile, cover model and “perfectly pink. Perfectly Pink is defined as a person with a photo with pink in it, Richards said. Anyone who raises $100 to $499 gets a tiara; both years I’ve gotten the tiara.

“Anyone who raises $100 to $499 gets a tiara,” Richards said. “Both years I’ve gotten the tiara. (If you raise) $500 or more you get a round circular crown. Tiara’s are smaller in the front.”

The only requirements for the competition are the introduction and formal wear portions of the pageant, Richards said. There is no interview portion of the show and talent is optional.

“It’s really fun, it’s an easy pageant, not cutthroat,” Richards said. “Anyone can do it if they are a seasoned pageant veteran or if it’s their first time. My first year I placed last and then the next year, I won.”

For Richards, the pageant is about more than titles and tiaras. Richards has a list of loved ones who suffered from cancer.  She had a friend die of cancer when she was in elementary school, her ex-manager had breast cancer, her childhood puppy named Daisy also passed away from cancer and her grandfather died from cancer. Richards said there are different divisions in the pageant for contestants of all ages; baby division, princess division, junior and preteen division, preteen division by itself, junior teen division, teen division, miss division, and miss division.

As Miss Queens for the Cure, Richards’ served as a community member diligently working against cancer.

“We did cute things such as bowling for a cure in Gig Harbor,” Richards said. “I played steel pan at a Con Brio charity recital for Susan G. (Komen’s foundation.)”

Richards became involved with Queens for a Cure after catching the pageant bug with her first title win.

“Originally I ran for Miss Relay for Life,” Richards said. “I won which was awesome and it was my first pageant title that I won. I learned about Queens for a Cure and I competed and placed last, but had a blast.”

Richards was not discouraged by her loss, and in 2017 she earned her title as Miss Queens.

Richards’ platform for the pageant is cancer research and raising awareness for the cure.

“I’ve been very involved with the (American Cancer Society),” Richards said. “The other day I was sorting through wigs and my job was to sort by length, color, texture and what hospital the wig would go to. This was a Queens for a Cure fundraiser. You don’t really think about the transportation or the organization (of wigs) versus when they get to the patient.”

Richards started a full-time job as a receptionist at a massage therapy office and lives in Eatonville. She is also working with Miss Washington and participating in any cancer, specifically breast cancer, events.

Richards represents Queens for a Cure and other events such as Miss Washington and International Junior Miss Title.

On Oct. 13 Richards had the opportunity to volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network where she walked around Tacoma gathering signatures for a petition which supported women with no insurance or low income to be able to receive free mammograms to help detect breast cancer. Richards ended up having six packets of petition papers signed. Richards also attended the most recent Fall Fest at Eatonville Middle School to educate the community with information about breast cancer.

 “I’m just so grateful for the experience and opportunities that I have been awarded for this position as Miss Queens for a Cure and so happy for my successor,” Richards said. “I am giving up my title but I won’t be give up fighting until there’s a cure. Here’s to a world to more birthdays and less cancer.”