Saturday, June 28 between 6 and 8 p.m. wasn’t just your average evening of delicious frosty fun at Ben & Jerry’s at The River in Rancho Mirage. That’s because Mrs. California International 2014—also known as the beautiful, talented, and right-minded Christy Van Der Westhuizen—was on hand at the popular ice cream shop to greet customers, raise funds, and bring expanded awareness to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Christy, who resides in the Palm Springs Valley and whose day job is serving as marketing director for Mission Hills Senior Living center in Rancho Mirage, lost her beloved grandmother Jean to the ailment two years ago. Upon winning her title, she vowed to make Alzheimer’s Disease her charity of choice, and she now advocates and does outreach as much as she can.
At Ben & Jerry’s on Saturday, approximately 300 people showed up. Most were children with their moms and dads. The little girls were adorable, in awe of Mrs. California’s beautiful gown and bejeweled tiara. Most of the boys just blushed as the glamor queen knelt down to their level to speak to them. The funds raised—20% of sales, plus the many bills collected in donation boxes on the counter—will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of the Coachella Valley.
The next stop for Christy—who graduated from Chapman University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in television, broadcast journalism, and public relations—is the other sunny state, where she will compete in The Mrs. International 2014 competition, to be held July 25 and 26 at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville, Florida. A win there would be important for her cause, since she would travel throughout the country and be able to visit more than 70 Alzheimer’s associations coast to coast. Go, Christy, go! And, of course, thank you to Laurie Kettering—Ben & Jerry’s Rancho Mirage franchise owner since 2009—for hosting this wonderful worthy fundraiser. www.benjerry.com/ranchomirage