When Miss International Australia finalist Natalie Assad booked the venue for her latest charity event with mum Amira, she never imagined her mum wouldn't be around to see it.
"Mum passed away a month ago from cervical cancer," Ms Assad, of Castle Hill, said.
The pair had been organising a High Pink Tea event for charity group Touch of Goodness's annual Pamper Me event — a day when women with ovarian cancer are treated to pampering, food and entertainment.
But on February 13, Mrs Assad lost her battle with the disease, leaving her daughter to prepare for Friday's high tea event — and Miss International Australia final — alone.
"Tough, empty, upset, disappointed, difficult, regret," are the many words Ms Assad used to describe her loss.
The venue they chose for the event, The Hot Spot Caffe, was her mum's favourite cafe.
"She'd go there every morning for her coffee," Ms Assad, 19, said. "She was 36 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and died at age 39.
"She raised me around charity work and helping people.
"I was 15 when I put on my first Pink Ribbon Breakfast with her help.
"I love giving."
Ms Assad will find out on April 19 if she has been chosen to represent Australia in the Miss International pageant in Chicago, USA, in July.
She will be among eight contestants at the national final, whittled down from more than 200.
The pageant, run by Touch of Goodness, is platform-based and highlights women's accomplishments through community support.
Attend Natalie’s High Pink Tea on Friday, 7pm-10pm, at The Spot Caffe, 210 Belmore Road, Riverwood. Tickets: $40. Details: email@example.com.