AVOCA — Halle Berry. Jennifer Lopez. Katy Perry. Avoca resident Teresa Ann Ceccoli, 38, is vying for the chance to join the ranks of those women as a cover model for Jetset Magazine, and on July 14, she came one step closer to that goal when she was announced as the finalist representing Pennsylvania in the Miss Jetset Magazine 2016 contest.
The former gymnast and baton twirler battled against 99 other Pennsylvania contestants for votes and was announced as the Keystone State’s representative in the contest. After a week off from voting, Miss Jetset Magazine 2016 voting resumed July 21. Voting takes place for free online, but extra votes can be placed by providing a monetary donation to Be Positive Foundation, a non-profit based in Wilmington, Delaware.
“It’s based on free daily votes through Facebook,” Ceccoli said. “Then there’s an option to purchase votes. The purchase-votes option is how money is being raised for the Be Positive Foundation, which sponsors children with cancer. They help out the families in need with some of the financial burdens that come along with cancer and the treatments and traveling. If someone donates $50, that counts as 50 votes for me.”
The field will be narrowed weekly: from 50 models to 25 on July 28, from 25 to 10 on Aug. 4, and from 10 to five on Aug. 11 before a winner is announced on Aug. 18.
If Ceccoli wins, she’ll receive about $100,000 in cash and prizes from Jetset Magazine, including a three-day cover shoot. She plans to use the opportunity to jump-start a career in public speaking; particularly, she’d like to speak on Lyme disease. Ceccoli lives with chronic Lyme disease and its neurological and cardiovascular side effects.
“There are a lot of skeptical people out there who just don’t really believe in chronic Lyme disease,” Ceccoli said. “I’d like to venture into publicly speaking about Lyme disease and the effects it can have when it’s not diagnosed immediately and treated properly.”
Ceccoli’s medical interests also influence her professional life; she has spent 15 years as a surgical technician in the labor room, and she’s currently studying to become a labor doula, a professional who works one-on-one with expectant mothers and their partners as a coach. Her modeling career started when a friend asked her to pose for his photography school portfolio.
“I thought, ‘This is kind of fun, I like it,’ and that’s when I started to branch out,” Ceccoli said. “I’ve been contacted by a lot of photographers to do photo shoots and whatnot, so that was kind of the draw.”
Along with her modeling, studying and surgical tech work, Ceccoli finds time to go on the road with New York City-based cover band Jessie’s Girl as their road manager.
“It’s all ’80s music, and we pretty much travel all over the place,” Ceccoli said. “It’s been a crazy season right now. We were just at Penn’s Peak last week.”
Reach Gene Axton at 570-991-6121 or on Twitter @TLArts