Children's Miracle Network!

Please help me reach my goal of raising $2,000 for the Children's Miracle Network. Every penny counts! Just follow the link below

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bring on the Road Trips!

My journey to NYC this weekend started pretty early. On Thursday, Stacey Minchin and I once again hit the high way. We arrived at my aunt's house in Long Island around midnight and quickly fell asleep. The next morning we took the LIRR out to NYC for her interviews. One of her interviews was in the early afternoon and another was in the evening, we of course went shopping in between! I found the perfect dress for Miss NY week!! Unfortunately, the man at the store wouldn't let me try it on because it was wholesale only... if we only knew this before we entered the store. That was a major bummer! (I will post pictures of our trip as soon as I get the cord for my camera!... all of the pictures on this post are complements of my new friend, Miss Central Florida Coast)

The next morning we headed back out to the city for a fun, yet LONG, day of pageants! The first pageant was Miss Manhattan, Greater Gotham, and Metropolitan.

Miss Manhattan: Jackie Holmes, Miss Metropolitan: Hannah Wright, Miss Greater Gotham: Amanda Mason

After the first three women were crowned, the fun was not over! The girls were frantically trying to get ready for their next pageant that would begin in an hour... I don't know how they didn't collapse from exhaustion.

Miss Greater NYC: Keelie Sheridan, Miss Liberty: Cassie Franklin, Miss Southeast NY: Claire Buffie, 1st RU: Stacey Minchin

Tara Sczczepanski and I during intermission

Congratulations to all of the competitors!! You were all awesome :D

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Kieren Sheridan --The New Miss Mohawk Valley!!!!!

Stacey Minchin and I started our three hour journey to Ilion ( we thought it was Llion... which caused a bit of confusion) in the early afternoon yesterday. We arrived a few hours early so that we could enjoy dinner with our friends from the Thousand Islands. If you are ever in Ilion, I highly recommend you have dinner at Sorrento's, it was delicious!

Stacey Minchin and I waiting for Miss Mohawk Valley to begin!

After dinner it was time for the show! What an amazing pageant! I have never gone to see Miss Mohawk Valley before, but I must say, it is going to turn into an annual event. It is such a different perspective to be sitting in the audience rather than being on the stage. I loved every minute of it. The talent at this pageant really blew me away. There was such a variety and everyone was phenomenal.

The best part of the entire night was when all of the girls came out dancing, truly just being themselves. This was so awesome to watch because it is how the girls were probably acting all day while getting ready for the pageant. I caught some of it on tape for you to enjoy as well!

The court consisted of Colleen Gagne, 1st runner up, Danielle Trumbell, 2nd runner up, Lauren Crandall, 3rd runner up, Jennifer Wolf, 4th runner up. You were all amazing, congratulations! There was only one name left to call and the crowd was getting excited. When the winner was announced.... well, watch for yourself!
p.s. its a little shaky... i may have been jumping up and down with excitement for my girl!

A huge congratulations to Kieren, who was not only named Miss Mohawk Valley, but also won the Community Service award and Miss Congeniality!

Soon to be roomies at Miss New York!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The $8 Experiment

Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart and bought an $8 twin black flat sheet... but I didn't buy it for my bed. I probably should have bought a queen so that eventually it could have been used for its natural purpose..oh well. That sheet was wrapped around a portable clothing rack and was put on my porch. You must be thinking that we do really crazy things at my house, but it actually didn't turn out to be too crazy at all.

The reasons for this mayhem was because I was shocked when I found out how much head shots were going to cost! In this economy, there are just some things that you need to cut back on. So instead of paying a couple hundred dollars, I had my father, who is very gifted at photography, take a shot at it (pun intended :p ). He ended up doing a pretty darn good job for a back yard photo studio and I am psyched that it only cost me $8!! You will have to wait to see the photo though until the 2010 contestant head shots are released!!

Besides from our $8 experiment, there were many other fun things that i did this week! Today, I started off my morning by getting lost.... in my own town... so sad. It really wasn't my fault though because Thomas (said with a British accent) was very confused on where to take us...If you were wondering, Thomas is my GPS life-saver that thinks he is from England (he's had a rough couple of weeks). When Thomas and I finally found the Arnot Ogden Medical Center, I got to meet Steve and Sarah, two great CMN Representatives in the Finger Lakes Region! Did you know that a two-pound baby only has ONE TABLESPOON of blood circulating through his/her body? CRAZY! Anyway, I got started with my volunteer work right away! Unfortunately we couldn't go up to the care unit today, but we will be doing so in the near future. I ended up helping to organize a reunion event for babies and their families that have been blessed with the care of the Children's Miracle Network. There are over 30 families already signed up to attend, so that just goes to show how many lives are affected by this wonderful organization.

My next stop was a meeting with Michele from Corning Family Services. We talked about some awesome opportunities that I cannot wait to get involved in. Every year there is a CFA vs Northside Blodgett Middle School Challenge Day (go Northside!!) and this year I get to help out with it! The day consists of multiple obstacle courses and different events where the two schools compete head to head. We also discussed the summer program that I too get to be a part of! Every Friday this summer I will be volunteering with kids ranging from 8-18 years old. The program is to get kids active and teach them about healthy choices while their parents are at work. I cannot wait for the summer festivities to begin!

My day ended in the most relaxing way possible; a day of beauty at the Ulta Salon! A huge thank you to Sasha who gave me my first facial ever and to JoAnna who made my hair look awesome! When I left the Salon, without fail, Thomas got us a little lost-- He's a little like me.. he keeps trying and trying until he eventually gets us in the right place!

Now that I have written you all a novel, it is time for me to go to sleep so that I can wake up bright and early for a fun day of tax returns!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

WETM-TV Community Focus Show!

Today I got to meet with Stacey-Lyn Honda from WETM News to tape this Sunday's Community Focus show! Stacey-Lyn is such an amazing woman, she was ready with question after question for me, I was very impressed with her interviewing skills!

This was a really awesome opportunity for me. I have never had the chance to be in a news room before, I was like a kid in a candy shop! I always had this image of a camera crew taping the shows, but there was no camera crew at all. There were cameras set up at a few different angles around the room and Stacy-Lyn communicated to the camera operators through her head set. The people at the other end of the headset must have been in a secret room because I never saw them!

We had a long discussion about different pageant experiences and my upcoming year as Miss Finger Lakes. If you want to watch the interview, tune in to WETM channel 18 this Sunday at 7:30 a.m. (or DVR it if you are like me and don't want to wake up that early!)

Thanks again to Stacey-Lyn and the secret WETM crew, I had a great day!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thank Goodness for March 15th!!

As some of you may know, I am an accountant and a full time student. Today marks the day that corporate tax returns are due... YYAAYYY!!!!! It is a beautiful thing to have one deadline down!!!! (April 15th is another story). I have been working feverishly for the past few weeks, which is why I have sadly not been keeping up with my blog (the cartoon below pretty much sums it up)!

Anyway on to things that you actually may care about :) .. this week is my spring break, so I am back in Corning to get as much accomplished as I possibly can. On Wednesday, I will be meeting with the WETM-TV Crew to tape this Sunday's edition of the Community Focus Show. One of the judges from Miss Finger Lakes, Staci Lynn Honda, is an anchor on the show; it will be great to catch up with her!

On Thursday, I will get to meet Sarah Romelt, our Children's Miracle Network representative at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center. A few hours later, I have a meeting with Michele Mayer from Family Services. She has graciously offered to help me find community service events in the area for me to get involved in. To wrap up Thursday, I get to enjoy my "day of beauty" at the Ulta Salon, which was generously donated by another Finger Lakes judge, JoAnna Scott!!

To make a great week even better, I will be attending Miss Mohawk Valley this weekend and I am super pumped to see some of my girls again! I wish you ladies the best of luck!!!

I will make sure to take pictures and keep you updated with all of this weeks festivities!

Monday, March 1, 2010

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Now that a few days have passed since Miss Finger Lakes, I figured it was time for my very first blog! Since I am new to this, I thought I would take the time to tell you my story in the Miss America Organization.

When I was 17, I started competing. I had NO IDEA what the organization was about or what was going to be in store for me. Some people are blessed with the ability to walk into this organization and leave with a title right away. For me, it was quite a bit different. My very first pageant was Miss Finger Lakes 2005 and since then, I have competed in 15 local pageants. After about three years of competing and not winning, I had lost sight of the real meaning and purpose of the Miss America Organization. I decided to quit, I simply could not take standing on the stage one more time and not hearing my name be called. I had failed myself.

The day of Miss Finger Lakes 2008 (I was not competing), I ran into Sue, Gary, and Shelby, my second family from the Miss Thousand Islands Organization, and after our conversation, I had completely lost my defeated mind-set and was, yet again, filling out paperwork for my next pageant. This time however, things were going to be different. I was no longer going to show up unprepared; I had a dream and was going to do everything in my power to accomplish it. After competing for a few more titles, I was not discouraged. The setback was only further motivation for me to work harder.

That next year, Corri Dartnell and I decided to get an apartment together. We were the perfect match, we were no longer competitors, we were a team. Everyday there was a different aspect of competition that we focused on. Our poor neighbors must have been so confused by the constant noise of high heels, classical singing, and large banging noises (aka me falling off the balance beam). I am so grateful to have her in my life; I could not ask for a better friend.

As we stood on the stage this Saturday during the crowning and I heard the names of the runner ups, I started to get upset. I hadn't heard my name called and was sure that I, once again, didn't place. When my name was called as Miss Finger Lakes 2010, the only thing that stopped me from falling to the ground was that my dress was so tight that it was impossible to bend that much. At that moment, a six-year dream of mine had finally come true. As hard as I tried to stop them, the tears were inevitable.

Congratulations to Jennifer Starkey, Kieren Sheridan, Corrine Dartnell, and Chelsea Prophet!

The reason that I wanted to share this story was because it really shows that if you are determined and work hard at something, then you can accomplish anything. You are the decider of your future and you can only truly fail if you stop trying.