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New West businesses launch a Pamper Yourself for a Day contest for transgender women

Prize package valued at more than $2,000
Jarrod McKenna and Rachel Leoni are owners of local small businesses that are hosting the Pamper Yours for a Day makeover contest.

A number of local businesses are teaming up to help a local transgender woman get pampered just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Eight local businesses have teamed up on the Pamper Yourself for a Day contest, which is open to transgender people who identify and present as female and live in New Westminster. The prize package is valued at more than $2,000.

“This contest is not being judged on looks,” said a notice about the contest. “Instead, each entrant is required to answer: What does winning this contest mean to you?”

The winner will receive: a Vida Felice Medi Spa custom package; a photo shoot with Jarrod McKenna Photography; a cut, perm, colour and styling from Spotlight Hair Salon; Fit on Sixth will contribute two hours with a personal trainer (in person or online) and a one-month pass to Fit on Sixth; makeup applications from Sierra Pitkin Makeup; dinner for two at Taverna Greka; a sterling silver pave heart stud earrings from The Pirate & The Gypsy Designs; and a private shopping evening with up to two friends at Mila + Paige.

In addition, the winner will also receive a copy of Sacred Hearts Rising, a book about healing by Brenda Hammon and co-authored by Alexis Gail Ellis, in which Ellis tells her story of finding her voice as a transgender female.

New West based photographer Jarrod McKenna said Rachel Leoni, owner of Vida Felice Medi Spa, contacted him about the opportunity of doing a cross promotion with their beauty treatment and photography business. McKenna thought it was a cool idea and suggested they see if any other businesses wanted to come on board and take part in a day of pampering contest.

Because makeover contests are generally offered to the masses, McKenna said the businesses decided to offer this for transgender women as they would typically be overlooked for this type of a contest. Before promoting the contest, McKenna said he reached out to the local trans community and worked with a woman who helped organizers craft an appropriate call for entries.

“It feels really great to be able to give back a little bit,” McKenna said.

The contest closes at midnight on Saturday, Feb. 13, and the businesses that are sponsoring the contest will review the submissions on Feb. 14 and choose the winner.

“Only the winner will be contacted,” states the contest notice. “Contact information for all entries aside from the winner will be destroyed after the winner has accepted their prize. Your information is protected and will not be sold, shared or retained in any way by any company involved in this contest.”

Anyone wishing to enter the contest can email their entry to


Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus