The look of fear. It had already been announced the Heather Knowles had placed 2nd RU and Lorna Rose was 1st RU to Miss Greater Rochester 2011. Standing hand in hand with one of my best friends was a moment that I will never forget.... as we were both thinking "It could be me, but if it's me then she didn't place... it could be her.. but if it's her then I didn't place... it could be neither of us...I know that we both worked so hard for this..." I have never held another person's hand so tightly in my entire life... for one of us, it was the end of the road.
When the winner of Miss Greater Rochester 2011, was announced as Chlesea Prophet the emotions suddenly changed. You would think that it would, for Chelsea, go from nervous to overwhelmed with excitement.. which it did. And for me to go from nervous to overwhelmed with disappointment... which it did not.
In my farewell speech as Miss Finger Lakes 2010, I discussed the friendships that I have made over the years and how "A win for one of us, is an accomplishment for all of us". The look on my face and the strength of that hug in these photos were completely sincere and a true representation of the previous statement. Of course it was upsetting that my journey with the Miss America Organization had just come to an end, but one of my best friends had just been crowned Miss Greater Rochester 2011! I am so excited for Chelsea and know that she will be an amazing representative of the Rochester region.
But in that crowning moment, did my journey really "come to an end?"
As many of you know, it is my new goal to begin my own local pageant. The day after the pageant, I received an e-mail from Katie Martin and Calista Amering, the directors of the Miss Greater Rochester Organization. In their e-mail, they invited me to join the Miss Greater Rochester Board of Directors as the Fundraising Chair. I thought awhile before responding to this e-mail because of my desire to start my own local... but then I realized what an amazing opportunity this would be for me. The general plan right now (nothing is finalized) is that I will take on this role for the next year or so. If I am able to raise enough money through my fundraising efforts, we would like our pageant to be a DOUBLE crown. If this happens, I will have the opportunity to assume the Executive Director position of the second title holder, which I could not be more thrilled about. As the Fundraising Chair, I will start to learn the in's and outs of the Miss America Organization from a perspective that I have never seen before. I thought that this was important to do before I jumped right in to start my own local. So although my dream of being a Miss America hopeful has come to an end, my time as a Miss America supporter and volunteer will last a lifetime.
One of the judges at Miss Greater Rochester this year approached me after the crowning and asked me if I remembered her. I apologized and said that unfortunately I did not. She then told me that she didn't remember me either... which made me look at her with complete confusion. She told me that she judged me way back in 2005, and the Amy that she had met today was unrecognizable from the Amy that she met at the beginning of this journey. She continued on and told me that my interviewing skills had soared and that my confidence had reached a level that she did not think would be possible.
I am proud to say that I am a product of the Miss America Organization. I will never forget where I started as a scared and clueless young girl and how the friendship, challenges, and hard work led me to the ultimate ending of a polished and confident young woman.
Thank you to every volunteer and supporter of the Miss America Organization, you changed my life.