MASSENA - For the second time in the past four months, April M. Castagnier is in the finals of Playboy Magazines Miss Social Contest.
In September she advanced past the first round of the final, but came up short in the second round, finishing fifth place overall. This time around though, Ms. Castagnier is hoping things will be different.
Ive been able to build up a really strong team with a lot of guys who really know the game, she said, adding her bid this month also has the support of several past winners.
Voting for the qualifying round is ongoing now through Dec. 26, but Ms. Castagnier said she would like to encourage her supporters to save those votes, for when theyll be needed in the later rounds.
Luckily I won my spot during the first challenge, so now we have all month to save our votes, she said.
While the top eight overall vote getters each month receive a spot in the finals, Playboy also holds four challenges each month, with the winner of each challenge receiving a guaranteed berth in the finals, where they compete head-to-head against 11 other women.
Voting in the first rounds of the finals will begin on Dec. 26 and will continue all day on Dec. 27. The second round will be held on Dec. 28, with the third round on Dec. 29 and the finals on Dec. 30.
What a great New Years that would be, she said, adding this is her last time seeking the Miss Social Crown.
This is going to be my last time running, she said. Its so time consuming.
While the contest may seem to be as simple as posting photos online, Ms. Castagnier said theres actually a lot more to it than that, if you want to be successful.
With each week comes a new challenge, and logging on to earn votes can be a time-consuming task, as the more time one spends playing the game, the more votes they will earn.
Voting is handled through a free Facebook app that also allows users to be anonymous, if they choose to be.
Votes are earned by simply logging in each day, looking at profiles of other contestants, looking at pictures posted to the page, and even playing fun mini-games.
Ms. Castagnier said when she first joined the site, she was hoping the game could potentially lead to other opportunities, but now the game has a much deeper purpose.
My sister was recently diagnosed with bladder cancer, she said. Ive been talking to several charitable organizations about hosting a walk, and I can use my profile there to help raise awareness and funds to help find a cure.
Ms. Castagnier also said she hopes the contest will bring some positive publicity to her hometown, a place she has no plans of leaving.
My intentions are to stay in Massena, raise my family, work hard and be able to do something Im passionate about on the side, she said. At the end of the day Im still April Castagnier, mom, daughter, dog groomer and student from Massena, N.Y.
Ms. Castagnier said shes also hoping the contest could shed a little positive light on her hometown.
I think this could be beneficial, not only to my family, but also I think it could bring some positive attention to Massena, she said. I really hope I can get the support of my hometown.
Ms. Castagnier has a fan page dedicated to the contest under the name April Marie, where she has more than 1,700 Facebook friends.
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