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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Teens Crowning Moment!

Did you really think I could watch a pageant without recording the crowning video? Follow the link to see the winners of the Miss NY Outstanding Teen Pageant!

Congrats Ladies!

Get in the Game Monday Number 1!

There was no relaxation time after coming home from Miss NY! Yesterday was my very first Get in the Game Monday!! I was at the youth center for 6 hours with the kids and really enjoyed getting to know them! The weather was kind of crummy in the morning so we spent the first few hours inside playing pool, air hockey, and ping pong. When it heated up a little, we ventured outside for a few hours to play basketball, football, and lacrosse! Oveall it was a fun, active day and I can't wait for my next adventure in two weeks (off next week for July 4th).

Unfortunately, while I did take a lot of pictures, I cannot publish any of them until I get parental release forms... so stay tuned!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Miss NY-- Claire Buffie!!!!

Brace yourself.... it is going to be a long one. First and foremost congratulations to Miss NY 2010 - Claire Buffie!!!! Claire is PHENOMENAL, I had the opportunity to really get to know her better this past week and let me tell you, the girl is a trooper. Claire was sick all week long and by her enthusiasm and positive attitude you would have never guessed it. I know she is going to do great things with her title and make NY proud this year!

So lets rewind. As I was driving to Albany on Monday morning I could hardly contain my excitement. This was a trip that I had been working towards taking now for 6 years and I was so anxious to get it started. Upon arrival, Kieren and I loaded our entire lives out of our vehicles and up to a 3rd floor apartment ( that's right-- no elevators!).

After we were all settled in, we met all of the girls at our orientation lunch. Before long, the festivities began! We made our way around the city of Albany via a really cool water/land vehicle on a Ducks tour. Poor Katie M got a little nervous when we hit the water! After our tour, we went to dinner at Prime 677, only one word necessary here... DELICIOUS! Thank you so much to the kind staff and for the wonderful meal!

Now after day one, the remainder of the week is all kind of jumbled in my mind so trust me when I say that the order of events will absolutely not be chronological. My first work out with Kent really gave me a lot of confidence! Shocking right? I am not a dancer by any means, but thanks to Keelie Sheridan, who taped the opening number dance for the girls, I was able to learn the majority of it ahead of time. If it weren't for that tape and Kent's great instruction, I would have been going left when everyone else was going right, going down when everyone else was up.... you get the point.

Now, I have never been one that has been power tools savy. I don't even think I could be called power tool literate. But, I surely learned when we built stairs for Habitat for Humanity! The good news is that I still have all of my fingers and toes :)

Another activity that I really enjoyed this week was meeting the 136th district Assemblyman, Jim Bacalles. All of the assemblymen were so excited to see us and we had quite the photo shoot with them! It was really cool to be standing in the capital and hearing different Representatives shouting out what area they were from to try and match themselves up with the appropriate titleholder. They made us feel very important!

My FAVORITE event of the week was visiting Girls Inc. These little ones were SO excited to see us and they asked such good questions! There were some potential Miss America's in the room! I think that I can speak for all of the girls by saying that this event was so meaningful. It really touched my heart when I saw their little faces light up when we let them be the new Miss NY Class of 2010.

We also made our way to the Children's Hospital to see where all of our hard work in raising money for the CMN goes to. We met a baby that was only 1 pound. This is where my breakdown of the week occurred. It was so hard to see this tiny life trying so hard just to survive. It really made me realize that every penny raised truly does make a difference and is going to push me further to raise as much money as I possibly can in the upcoming year.

This week was the greatest experience of my life. I was the recipient of the Academic Achievement award, which was such an honor (once I realized why Kieren pushed me onto the stage!). Although I did not make the top 11, it did not matter. I was still on that Miss NY stage-- a place that I worked so hard to get to. The friends that I made, the exhausting nights, the nervous breakdowns, the never ending stories, the encouragement, the laughter, and the memories we shared will never be forgotten. Congratulations to the entire Miss NY Class of 2010 -- you girls are amazing.

P.S. Want to see more pictures? Check out my facebook albums entitled, Miss NY 2010 and Miss NY 2010 Part 2!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Here I Come Miss NY!!

Well it's finally here!!!!!!!! I already know that there will be no sleeping tonight even though it will be absolutely necessary for the 4 hours of driving that I have ahead of me tomorrow morning.

But, before I go, some thank yous are in order. I have such a great group of people helping me prepare for the Miss NY Pageant ranging from my family to friends to pageant volunteers. First and foremost, my parents and sisters have been phenomenal. Esp my mom who has been at my beck and call all week and calming me down while I am freaking out about minor mishaps! Next, is Jane, Pilar, and Chris. I have know the Miss Finger Lakes board for years now and they have always helped me in any way that they could. I am so grateful to them and so glad that they are a part of this organization. And finally, is this group of wonderful girls -- my pageant sisters. Stacey, Corri, and Vicky, have been so supportive of me and so helpful in preparing me for Miss NY. I love you all :D

My girls and I at the Miss Thousand Islands send off party!

I cannot wait for this week to begin! I will do my best to keep everyone updated and post pictures throughout the entire week!!

P.S. The first official Get in the Game Monday is the day I return from the pageant. Can't Wait!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Blast From the Past!

This is where it all began... Miss Colonial Days 2004 was my very first pageant and my very first title. Without the Colonial Days Pageant, my journey with the Miss America System may have never happened. When I was asked to judge the 2010 Colonial Days pageant for the Mini and Tiny Miss categories I was so honored. This weekend was not only a blast, but it brought me back to my roots and made me realize how grateful I am and how lucky I was to represent the Finger Lakes region as Miss Colonial Days 2004.

On Thursday night, I was able to judge the pageants and I had so much fun! Let me tell you, it is not easy to choose between the most adorable little girls!

Angel was giving up her crown as Tiny Miss Colonial Days (she's a riot)

Tiny Miss Colonial Days, Sarah, when her name was called!

Jaidah, the newly crowned Mini Miss Colonial Days, and I!

On Friday, I went from judge to volunteer. My first duty was to calm the Miss contestants down before their interviews! I remember sitting in the very same room waiting for my turn... it felt like it was yesterday (sadly it wasn't and I am clearly getting old!).

Hanging out before interview with the Miss Contestants

After the interviews we headed over to the tent for the Tiny, Teen, and Miss Categories. All of the girls did great!

With all of the Colonial Day's Queens!

On Saturday, all of the contestants met up for the annual Colonial Days Parade. I wore the same exact gown that I wore the day I won my crown (super pumped that it still fit)!!!

Following the parade, I invited all of the contestants to join me at Wal-Mart to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network. These girls were phenomenal; There was no getting out of the store without donating! After only four hours of fundraising, we raised $534 for CMN...what a team!

Cindy, a manager at Wal-Mart that was very accommodating!! THANK YOU!!!

With my all star fund raiser girls!

I would like to thank Pilar Miller and Jane Eikov for all of the work that they did this weekend for the pageant. They are both such wonderful volunteers in the FL region and our volunteers can never be thanked enough!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Has anyone seen my pillow?....Me neither!!

On Thursday after work my co-workers and I headed to the Ronald McDonald House to cook some grilled chicken, Italian dressing potatoes, veggies, and of course cookies for the families staying at the House. As always, it was tons of fun and I never fail to learn how to cook something new!

Colleen and I spending some quality time with Mr. McDonald!

After the cooking festivities, it was time for Colleen and I to kick off our heels and lace up our sneakers! We were on our way to race in the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge. The event is 3 1/2 miles long and over 10,000 participants were up to the challenge. This year, the main beneficiary of the Rochester Corporate Challenge was the Urban League of Rochester. This organization will be launching a Youth Workforce Development and Green Jobs Initiative. The goal is to get students more involved in business related internships that will help them develop careers in Park Management, Ecological Restoration, etc. Now, it would not be the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge if it didn't rain EVERY SINGLE YEAR! Even though we were soaking wet by the end, on the up side, the rain did cool us down! We finished the race in 35 minutes and 32 seconds-- just about a 10 minute mile... and for two non-runners, we were pretty proud!
A few of the twenty runners that represented PricewaterhouseCoopers...soaking wet!

This week's fun did not end there. This weekend was the Children's Miracle Network telethon to raise money for the Arnot Ogden Medical Center. I was honored to present a check on behalf of the Miss America Organization.

The Week Ahead:

I am very excited for this next weeks festivities. I will be judging the Miss Colonial Days Pageant for the Tiny Miss and Mini Miss Categories on Thursday and helping out with the teen miss and Miss Colonial Days Categories on Friday. On Saturday, I will be riding in the annual Colonial Days Parade and finishing off the weekend with a fundraiser for the CMN at the Painted Post Wal Mart.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lets Catch Up

I hope that everyone had the chance this weekend to not only catch some sun and bbq, but to also take the time to remember those who have fought for our Country. This past Monday was the annual memorial day parade in Corning, New York. It was HOT, but very fun! One little boy shouted at me from the crowd "You are so beautiful, but you are going to get very muddy in that truck!" Needless to say.... everyone around got a good laugh, including me :)

Miss Teen Finger Lakes, Desiree Miller and our Tiny Miss Colonial Days

Thank you to Simmons Rockwell for letting us use your trucks!!

This past weekend I got together with my pageant sister, Vicky Ripple. We had lots of fun working on my interview! Vicky is putting together the Miss Genesee County Fair Pageant on July 23rd; it is open to girls ages 15-18. The best part? Vicky asked me to emcee the pageant!!! I am so excited! If you know anyone that would like to compete, send them my way!

The week ahead:

Tomorrow I will be volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House after work and then running in the Corporate Challenge to promote a Greener Environment and active lifestyle for the Corporate world. Let's hope I make it to the finish line! On Sunday, I will be presenting the Finger Lakes Miss America for Kids check on WENY TV to the Children's Miracle Network. Busy, Busy!!!