Ahhh, I admit it, I have been an awful blogger in the past few weeks, and I'll spare you my poor excuses, because as Shelbs says, "no excuse is a good excuse"...or something like that! Anyway, I promise I'll make up for my lack of web presence with a fabulous post today!
Where to start? Let's see, two weekends ago...May 27...I was preparing for my big event - The Variety Show for Miracles! After months of planning and coordinating, the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals fundraiser was finally here! I have to say that, while I was very excited about the performance that combined my own platform and the national platform of Miss America, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, I was a bit nervous as the variety show had ended up falling on the start of the big holiday weekend, and I worried about the turn out! I had full confidence in my diverse and talented group of performers, and the last thing I wanted for them was an empty gym-a-torium. I certainly surprised myself! Thirty minutes before the show began, we were standing room only! I couldn't believe it, but I was absolutely ecstatic.
Before I stepped into the role of emcee, I began the show by showing my love for music through a vocal performance of "Memory", from Cats. For the next hour and a half, I welcomed fourteen amazingly talented individuals to the stage to share their passion of performing, and dedication to community service. Special thanks to all of the performers: Madison Draper, Bethanne Vandertang, Darryl Manwaring, Angela Galasso, Tommy Barber, Lacey Robinson, Rochelle Richardson, Cody Wilson, Skyler Bocciolatt, Brianna Lockwood, Michele Bariteau, Beth Wagenaar, Izzy Marsala, and Rachel Gardner. Among our performers, our special guest of the night, Madison Draper, is a Miracle Teen, who has endured hardship but thrived, and has directly been helped by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Madi performed three times in the Variety Show with three of her friends from her mother's studio, Rhonda's Footeworks. I so appreciate their support! Rhonda was there to speak on the importance of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and expressed her gratitude for the support of everyone at the event. Thanks, Rhonda! And the love kept on coming! I also had the support of my Outstanding Teen, Kaili Schindler, who spoke to the audience between acts about her experience as Miss Thousand Islands Outstanding Teen 2011. Kristina Blackstock, Miss Ireland 2010, and Briana Sharlow, Irish Princess 2010, also joined me on stage to talk about their pageant system! Last, I have to thank Angela Galasso one more time, for her ongoing support! Angela is a pageant sister who I have been competing with for my entire pageant career. I surprised Angela by asking her to come on stage to talk to me about her experience at Miss New York, and asked for advice. Thanks for being a great impromptu speaker, Angela! :-)
I also need to recognize the Lyme Central School chapter of Future Business LEaders of America, especially their advisor Beth Wagenaar, and the chapter president, Lauren Wagenaar for helping to organize this event. Because I was in school in Ithaca during most of the planning, I relied heavily on Lauren and the FBLA to help with things like hanging posters and promoting the show. Lauren also helped me to find student volunteers who helped on the day of the event to set up! Also, a special thanks to Lyme Central School!
After 18 acts of fantastic talent, and many laughter, and some tears, the Variety Show for Miracles had ended. What an amazing feeling! Together, with the help of so many people, we raised $365.00 to be donated to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals!
With Madi, Izzy, Brianna, and Bethanne from Rhonda's Footeworks!
With the success of the Variety Show behind me, I spent last week running errands and working out! By Saturday, I felt like I had moved into Lillian's Alterations...or at least my pageant wardrobe had! From shortening my talent gown, to fixing the slit in my evening gown, and fashioning a sarong for swimwear, Lillian is simply amazing! With experience in the Miss New York system, Lillian knows exactly how to "make me look beautiful" with the clothes I wear. A huge thanks to her for everything! Anyway, I started another busy weekend with my last breakfast mock interview of the year at the Clubhouse on Saturday morning with Shelby, Sue, Carol, and Kaili. I have to say, even if it means getting up a few hours early, mock interviews are so incredibly helpful in my preparation for Miss New York. I feel so much more prepared going into ANY interview after practicing and hearing feedback from my interviewers. This Wednesday I will have my final mock interview...in the interview dress...complete with scoring!
On Sunday, June 5, my send-off party was held at the Copley House in Chaumont, my hometown. I can't believe that this event has already come and gone. It seems that just yesterday I received an invitation to Kristina's (Miss TI '10) send-off party, and already I am preparing to travel to the "big city" for Miss New York 2011. AHHH! I can't even believe it!
Before the party, I received this message from our current Miss New York, Claire Buffie... "Have a wonderful send off today!! Soak it all in an bottle up all of that love and support for the week!" Claire, I really wish that I could've taken all of the well wishes and love and support and stuffed it all in a bottle to bring with me to the pageant! Seriously, I couldn't believe all of the love! I modeled my evening gown, interview outfit, and performed my talent, in "costume", and shared many conversations with friends and family. We took pictures, and I even received a special gift from Shelby, Sue, and Gary - a Miss America bag my "State Bag") filled with all sorts of goodies that I can't wait to eat...use. :-)
I have to give a huge thank you to my family and friends and of course, my boyfriend, Tony, for being at this event, showing your support, and for always being there for me! I love you all. I especially need to thank my mom, who not only made this event possible, but made it so beautiful! She spent hours in the kitchen baking treats (not for me ;-P), and then before I was even awake on the day of the party, had hand picked bouquets, and decorated the Copley House to prepare it for the party. Thanks, Mom. :-)
Now, it's on to major pageant prep! I have less than a week until I depart for Staten Island for Miss New York 2011 State Week, and I couldn't be happier! I know that I am ready, and I am confident that the week itself is going to be an amazing life experience. I will update later about this last week at home! :-)
Thanks for listening. That's all for now! :-)