Basking in bermuda: Anna-Marie Costello, the reigning Miss Oklahoma United States, relaxes on the beach after appearing at a Bailey Outerbridge concert to help raise funds for research into a rare and incurable genetic disorder which affects children. *Photo by Scott Stallard
Basking in bermuda: Anna-Marie Costello, the reigning Miss Oklahoma United States, relaxes on the beach after appearing at a Bailey Outerbridge concert to help raise funds for research into a rare and incurable genetic disorder which affects children. *Photo by Scott Stallard
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A US beauty queen on a trip to Bermuda to help raise funds for a killer disease has fallen in love — with the island.

Anna-Marie Costello, the reigning Miss Oklahoma, paid a flying visit to Bermuda to appear at Bermudian singer/songwriter Bailey Outerbridge’s concert at the Earl Cameron Theatre at Hamilton’s City Hall on Friday.

Ms Costello said: “I joked at the concert that this is my first visit to Bermuda — and my last, because I’m never leaving.

“I’ve done a lot of travelling, especially this year — what I like about Bermuda is that life is hard, so it’s important to appreciate the beautiful things. And I like the people — they’re so friendly and engaging.

“Bermuda is unique. It’s not like any of the other islands I’ve heard about or seen. It’s the best of both worlds — relaxed, but with ambition to better people’s lives and there’s a formality and respect.

“It’s probably the British link — it has such a beautiful balance.”

She added: “I certainly would come back — I’m making plans to come back and I’d like to stay for a longer period and really experience the island.”

Ms Costello, a New York-based model originally from Oklahoma City, is a supporter of Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DART), based in Connecticut.

The trust was set up to fund research into the incurable killer disease Niemann-Pick Type C, a genetic disorder affecting children that causes progressive neurological degeneration.

Ms Outerbridge’s first solo concert in her homeland raised funds for DART, as well as the Bermuda Diabetes Association and the US-based Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The charity, founded by her parents Andrea and Philip, is named after Dana Marella, who was diagnosed with the disease when she was eight in 2002. The teenager lost her battle against the disease earlier this month.

Ms Costello, 27, said: “I just warmed up the crowd and told them a little bit about the diabetes foundation and DART.”

She added: “Bailey is very good and very talented — you see a lot of performers and singers, but what makes her truly original is that she writes her own songs. She is singing from the heart and the gut.”

While on the island, Ms Costello did a photo shoot with renowned island photographer Scott Stallard at Windsor Beach in Tucker’s Town, the Botanical Gardens on the shore at Ariel Sands.

Mr Stallard said: “It was great and she was very impressed with Bermuda. Somebody like her will be such a good ambassador for Bermuda.

People like that go back, they’re in the public eye and she will give Bermuda some really great press.”

Mr Stallard added” “She was very down-to-earth, very easy going and very easy to shoot.”