American Express – Venice veteran needs votes to be a cover girl for magazine | News
VENICE — A Venice resident is among the top in an Inked Magazine cover girl contest.
Erica James Kelly, 36, lives in Venice and works for a civil engineering firm in the city.
The Marine Corps veteran was encouraged by her family to enter the cover girl contest for Inked Magazine.
“My stepdaughter told me to sign up,” she said Tuesday. “I’m holding third right now.”
The next round of voting begins Thursday, she said.
The winner, according to its website, will be features on the cover of the magazine and receive $25,000.
If she was to win, the money would, mainly, go to nonprofits.
“I’m going to donate a significant amount of the money to several different local nonprofits,” she said. “I could use the money to pay my American Express but that’s not my personality. I donated my stimulus check to two different nonprofits because I’m thankful I have a job.”
Along with her giving spirit, she thinks her veteran status is also helping people vote for her.
She was active duty in the Marines from 2002-2005 as an aviation maintenance administration clerk. Her deployment to Iraq included being under fire and assisting an injured friend.
She and a friend went jogging at their base when Iraqi nationals began launching mortars toward the base flightline. One struck near them, shrapnel ripping into the arm of Sgt. Laura Langdeau.
“I was able to stop the bleeding and get her to safety,” Kelly said.
She didn’t know what happened to Langdeau until she received a letter from her three months later — written in her left hand.
“That was really interesting,” she said.
She said she had a hard time talking about the combat for a long time.
Kelly was born in Sarasota, graduated high school in Pittsburgh before joining the military and returned to the Venice area 11 years ago.
In 2020, thousands of women took part in the contest, according to the Inked website. Along with the money, the winner will receive an all-expense-paid trip a photo shoot with celebrity photographer Christopher Kolk and his team, the website states. Money raised by the contest goes toward MusiCares.
For Kelly, she’s hoping to go from third to first with the upcoming vote.
“I have my friends voting,” she said. “I remind them every day.”
Tag: American Express