Saturday, November 13, 2010

Appearances, appearances, appearances!

One of several fantastic and exciting things about being Miss Thousand Islands is being able to make appearances. As many of my pageant sisters know, a great deal of these appearances include parades and community events. Additionally, the other portion of appearances are platform based and fundraisers for either Children's Miracle Network or the scholarship fund, in my case the Miss Thousand Islands Scholarship Fund.

I try very hard to update my blog about all appearances, and keep you all posted about upcoming events. While 'appearances' could be construed as titleholders walking around with their crown and sash, just being seen, signing autographs and taking pictures, there is really more to it than that.

If you have ever looked at a Miss America style tiara closely, you know that there are four distinct points, making the crown very different than those of the other pageant systems. The Four Points of the Crown each stand for a character trait that is to be emulated by the woman wearing the crown. They are: Scholarship, Service, Style, Success. While knowing these four points is really great for an interview, the importance truly lies in the meaning and implementation of each word. Thanks to our crown sponsor, Waterbury Jewelers, I have a beautiful crown to wear and represent the four points.

Appearances happen to fall under Service. All Miss America titleholders, local, state, and Miss America herself, participate in, as I said, several appearances through her year of service. Although there is usually lots of photo ops and signing autographs, the title holder is usually present at an event as a way of showing dedication to her community.

So far this year, my service has included having a pink streak in my hair to support breast cancer research at the Ritz Spa & Salon in Watertown, an event that benefitted the American Cancer Society, helping out at the Lyme Community Foundation's Chaumont Harvest Festival at the Copley House, and last Saturday I was the Keynote Speaker at the North Country Arts Council Art Show.

Today, we helped to raise money for the Miss Thousand Islands scholarship fund at the Bon Ton Community Days at the Salmon Run Mall in Watertown. The Community Days in a one-day event at the Bon Ton during which local organizations are placed throughout the store and sell coupon books, $5 each, with all the proceeds going to their particular organization. Sue, Kaili, and I got a table right in the front of the store, and trying our hardest to be strategic salespeople, we ventured outside of the store front, catching the shoppers' eyes with our crowns. We were only there for an hour, but surpassed our goal, and raised even more than last year. I'm not sure of our final total, but nonetheless our sometimes intimidating and awkward efforts asking each passerby to purchase a coupon book, some of them trying to take one without paying, worth well worth it. Our very first sale was to an individual who was obviously a well-seasoned shopper. Before purchasing a booklet, she looked through the store to make sure she was going to get a deal - I thought this was smart, and something I would probably do myself. Anyway, she came back to purchase a booklet, and went on her way...or so we thought. After she had left, my kindergarden teacher, one of the nicest people on this planet, came to say hello and although she had already purchased a coupon book, she spent another $5 and gave the coupon book to me. I had set it down on the table while I was talking to her and as she walked away I noticed our smart shopper was back, looking through a coupon book trying to make sure she was getting the best deal. Noticing that mine was gone, I assumed hers was buried deep in her purse and she was just using my for reference. Anyway, I went to greet another customer and when I cam back, the booklet was gone and so was the woman! I couldn't believe it! Well, it is what it is, and I probably wouldn't have used it anyway, but it saddened me to know that after such a giving person had spent extra money to support our organization, that someone else would take extra coupons for herself. Personally, I just give her the benefit of the doubt that she truly needed the booklet, and she would use it anyway, or maybe that she accidentally took it with her. But with all of the holiday spirit among the shoppers in the mall and the decorations, this was an experience that reminded me of what truly matters in life. Today, I saw that importance of service as something that actually matters.

As I approach these next few weeks, I am faced with a busy schedule, but the scents of Thanksgiving and knowing that soon, I will be home for five weeks for Winter Break - which also mean Christmas, my stress is eased a bit. Aside from my busy schedule at school, my Miss Thousand Islands schedule is equally as busy, but much more exciting!

November 22 & 23 - Speaking to grades 1- 5, 6 - 8, and 12, at Lyme Central School on various topics including my platform, the four points of the crown, service in particular, and anti-bullying/building confidence
November 28 - Christmas Parade in Watertown, NY
December 4 - Christmas Parade in Clayton, NY
December 18 - Holiday House Tour in Chaumont, NY to benefit the Lyme Community Foundation
December 24 - Wrapping Gifts at Borders in the Salmon Run Mall, Watertown, NY

If your organization would like to schedule an appearance, you should contact Sue Pilon, my executive director!

Lastly, I wanted to let you know about an ongoing fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network, which is an official partner with the Miss American Organization. In order to compete in Miss America pageants at the local, state, and national level, contestants must raise a minimum dollar amount, based on the level of competition, for CMN. In the past, I held a basketball tournament to raise money for this amazing cause. This year, I am planning another great fundraiser, but in the meantime, I will be using an online profile to collect donations. To visit my profile, to learn more, and to make a donation, please visit:

I'll keep you updated about my progress and when I have more details about a physical fundraiser.

Thanks for reading! Now I'm off to a birthday dinner for my little brother Sky, who just turned 16, at Texas Roadhouse - a family favorite!

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