Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hustle & Bustle

I've been like a mad poster on Facebook lately. Here is a summary of all the initiatives in which I believe and where your support is needed!

1. The Macy's Believe Challenge Game on Facebook allows you to play a cute little QUICK game that, upon completion, funds Make-A-Wish with $1 per play.
2. The Pepsi Refresh Project allows you to vote for recipients of substantial grants that fund worthy causes. My cause of choice is No Kill Lehigh Valley.

1. For the cost of a stamp, you can fund Make-A-Wish $1 per letter by writing and delivering a letter to Santa via your local Macy's location's mailbox as a part of the Macy's Believe Campaign.
2. For only $5, you get a CD featuring the music of local musicians as a part of Wildflower Benefit Project to benefit Women in Art in PA, an organization fighting against domestic abuse.

1. Contribute to my personal fundraising campaign to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Be sure to select Greater PA and Southern WV when you make your donation so kids right here in the area benefit from your generosity.
2. Help defray costs for the Wish Upon a Par Golf Tournament by sponsoring or co-sponsoring a hole so that ALL proceeds from the event can benefit the Greater PA and Southern WV chapter of The Make-A-Wish Foundation!

Please find it in your heart this holiday season to support one of these very worthy endeavors!

Dream big,

Monday, December 13, 2010

I must get better at this...

If you follow me on Twitter or you're friends with me on Facebook, you are very seriously more updated than if you follow my blog. But that's okay! Good things are happening all around, and I've kept using the excuse that taking the time to sit and blog in detail about the experiences takes too long and I haven't had the time. Well PHOOEY on that and allow me to practice brevity by beginning to use this space for updates that will offer more details than 140 characters will allow yet won't take you twenty minutes to sit and read. Here's a start:

1. I competed in Mrs. Pennsylvania America in November. See my FB page for the photo was a fabulous showing thanks of course to my husband and also to Ms. Sheila Strassburg, but as you can tell, I'm still not Mrs. PA. Therefore...
2. I'm in the process of determining my next competition move NOW. No details yet but there are a few possibilities in the works!
3. The WISH UPON A PAR charity golf tournament to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater PA and Southern WV will now be held at last year's venue, the Center Valley Club, at a reduced rate of $85. Date is still April 30th; time is now 2:00 PM. Contact me NOW to register or sponsor.
4. Click on the Make-A-Wish logo on the right NOW to donate $5 to my local chapter of the Foundation. My goal is to fund a child's wish by the new year!
5. I have fabulous new friends and supporters in the Women in Art in PA and Lehigh Valley Music Awards non-profit organizations. Gloria Domina, the director of both organizations, warmly welcomed me to present awards at the LVMA 12 this year. What a GREAT experience for my entire family!
6. Alfonso Todd of Alfonso Todd & Associates graciously invited me to visit his Internet radio station Prolifick Radio and interviewed me on his show, Urban Exclusives. What a fun time!

...and that's all I have for now. I'll get better at posting updates as they occur rather than lumping them all into one entry every few months, I promise. Maybe I'll make it my New Year's resolution...

Dream big!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Remember when I posted about starting a local pageant for the title of Greater Lehigh County? Well, I was struggling with the fact that I want to continue competing in the MRS division of pageant competition for as long as I am able, and that this might create a conflict of interest as a director. I know some directors who have done this successfully; but I, personally, do not want to experience any type of restrictions on where, when, or how I might compete. Therefore, I am instead considering a directorship with the Miss Teen All American pageant system, whose most famous titleholder was Halle Berry in 1985. As I evaluate my options within this system, please let me know if you are aware of any 12-15 or 16-19 year old girls who might be interesting in competing as a junior teen or teen contestant. This informal interest survey will help determine if directing for this system is a realistic option for me. No experience is necessary, as both novice and seasoned competitors are accepted. Segments of competition include interview, swimsuit, evening wear, and city costume. If I embark on directorship and host the competition, I will crown both a Miss Greater Lehigh County Jr. Teen All American AND a Miss Greater Lehigh County Teen All American, and both girls will advance to the NATIONAL Teen All-American competition with transportation and national wardrobe expenses PAID.

If you know any young women who are interested, please e-mail me at I would love to talk further with you about the system! :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shifting focus...

Wow! So much has happened since I posted last and many of you are friends with me on Facebook so I know you are aware of most of it. Therefore, I will streamline this entry with the most important item on my current agenda.

Several factors have played a role in this decision and subsequent announcement, and I will explain those shortly. Most importantly, be assured that this choice was not made easily. Despite that, I am looking forward to what's ahead with eager anticipation and vigor.

I decided to shift my primary community service focus to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

First things first, Operation Smile is not going away for me. I am set to chair a junior committee of student leaders who I will guide on mobilization efforts in high schools and on college campuses. Since I attended the trainings of chairpersons in similar roles while advocating for Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood in college, I feel both well-qualified and of course excited about this opportunity.

HOWEVER, my event planning/fund-raising, advocacy, and otherwise grassroots organizing efforts will be re-focused on the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

To come to this decision, I had to consider my priorities in community service. A few thoughts came to mind:

1. Of utmost importance is my commitment to bettering the lives of children. The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children who have life-threatening medical conditions. These are progressive, degenerative, or malignant conditions that place a child's life in jeopardy. Granting a wish gives a child the strength, hope, and joy needed to enrich his or her life experience.

2. Coming in a close second is my desire to directly benefit children who live in the area which I represent. The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia is the largest and most active chapter in the world, granting over 11,200 wishes since 1983. Of those 11,200 wishes, 1,025 have been granted by the Pottsville Regional Office of the Greater PA & Southern WV chapter. Last year alone, the Pottsville Regional Office granted the wishes of 107 children, of which 45 were from the Lehigh Valley.

3. Paired with strong grassroots organization is an astounding network that spans not just nationally, but internationally. The work I'll do with Make-A-Wish can span as far and wide as I desire. Should I be blessed with the opportunity to serve as Mrs. Pennsylvania this year, I can work across the state. Should I be blessed with the opportunity to be a national titleholder, I can work across the nation, etc. etc.

4. Finally, inherent in such a strong local presence are many varied, "hands-on" opportunities for involvement, including serving as a wish-granting volunteer, volunteering at other sponsors' events, wish ambassadorships, AND the opportunity to plan and host my own fund-raising events (like my golf tournament, which is already in the works for 2011!).

I hope you will support me in this new and exciting endeavor. One more thing--Make-A-Wish Foundation isn't exactly new to me (so this isn't coming entirely out of left field!). My beloved sorority, Chi Omega, is a Cause Champion for the Foundation, raising over $500,000+ annually through the work of their collegiate chapters. The Phi Mu chapter at Lehigh University participated in these efforts during our existence by creating craft items for wish kids during recruitment week's philanthropy day and also by adopting a wish kid and raising funds to grant her wish--so the organization not only meets my current priorities for community service, but also carries a special place in my heart as well. :)

Dream big!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Who will be next?

In case you are unaware, part of the reason I am competing to obtain a state title in MRS pageant systems is in order to eventually begin a local MRS competition and crown a successor to my local title. In turn, there are a few reasons I want to start a local; first, as part of the competition, contestants would take part in a signature fundraising event to benefit Operation Smile (yes, that is always at the forefront of my mind!). Second, I want to bring pageantry back to the Lehigh Valley. As a competitor in state competitions, I think to myself how many wonderful, beautiful married women live in the Lehigh area and would so enjoy the opportunity to do what I am doing now. Consider that Bethlehem was the home to the Miss Pennsylvania pageant in the mid-90s and what this did for Historic Bethlehem. The boutiques on Main Street opened for exclusive shopping events with the contestants, who stayed at the Hotel Bethlehem along with their family and friends who came to cheer them on, and this generated tons of positive publicity for our area in addition to stimulating the economy. I want that for our area again, and I want to spotlight married women this time around!

With summer rapidly approaching and my schedule at school thereby lightening (I'm still teaching summer school so I'm not COMPLETELY free!), I'm drawing up some proverbial blueprints to make a local competition happen. Starting small, I just posted on my Facebook about the actual name of the title. Thanks to ALL who offered feedback! What I've determined is that in order to reach the greatest number of folks possible, Mrs. Greater Lehigh COUNTY will be a more appropriate title. A short geography lesson: "Greater" in the title means that any resident in any county touching Lehigh on the map could participate; that includes Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Berks, Montgomery, and Bucks. Since I am a stickler for specified boundaries and can more easily put a number on potential contestants using that specification, MRS. GREATER LEHIGH COUNTY it is! HURRAH! Step one (of fourteen million) is complete!

So now what? I'm meeting with a few leaders in the area who organize similar events to get a sense of how to go about doing this. In the interim time, I am researching venues, potential sponsors, associated costs, etc. Throughout the process, I'll be asking all of you: Who are the beautiful, well-rounded, married women you know? Is one of them you? Will YOU be the next Mrs. Greater Lehigh County? PLEASE FEEL FREE to contact me if you see what I'm doing and think to yourself, "Hey! That could be me!"

Dream big,

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New changes!

I feel like J.Hud in Dreamgirls when she sings "I Am Changing" since everything in pageant world moves so quickly! After a lovely show last night, I placed first runner-up (Again--thank you, judges!) and relinquished my title of Mrs. Greater Lehigh County AMERICA 2010. By default, I retain my title of Mrs. Greater Lehigh County UNITED STATES 2010 until the end of the year. My best personal achievement in this round of competition was the opportunity to speak on-stage about Operation Smile, as I was asked about my work with the organization for my first question. A few thank you notes: Kate, who was AMAZING to work with for production, Rosemarie, who very patiently answered ALL of my many questions in the month prior to competition, and of course Fred, who undoubtedly deserved his Director of the Year honor from Mrs. America 2009. Last but certainly not least, CONGRATULATIONS to Summer Wise, the new Mrs. Pennsylvania America 2010! Please enjoy these amateur photos until I receive the professional photos from the show.

Dream big!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sometimes it's the little things...

In the midst of very quickly transitioning from one pageant system to another, time proximity can make it difficult to maintain focus on my platform. Since I can't at this time make a concerted effort on any larger projects, I've looked for little ways to show my support. For example, it is the first birthday of Liam, my inspiration to support Operation Smile, and instead of a traditional present, I donated special feeding bottles to three babies, found in the Operation Smile Gift Catalog, in Liam's name.

I am also making special mention in this post to the effort of hotelscombined, which donates to your specified cause by simply becoming a Facebook fan ($5), tweeting ($10), and spreading the word via a blog post (like this one, $20). Cumulatively, hotelscombined will donate $35 to my OneSmile Page simply for following these three simple steps.

For more information about the hotelscombined initiative and for the specific requirements to obtain their support for YOUR cause, click here or on the badge below.

I recommend and sent $35 to Operation Smile!

You can shout and help too.

Dream big!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Notice anything different?

You should! My title has very quickly and recently changed from Mrs. Greater Lehigh County United States to Mrs. Greater Lehigh County America. This is because I had the honor of being selected as first runner-up to the new Mrs. Pennsylvania United States, Susan Huntley! And so it goes, I am trying again in other competition, this time for Mrs. Pennsylvania America, this coming Memorial Day weekend! I figure that if Thomas Edison could consider his 1,000 failed attempts at inventing the light bulb to be an invention 1,000 steps in the making, then I can certainly make another attempt to obtain a state title, even if it's so soon after my last attempt. Competing again is also most important because it allows me to continue to be a more public ambassador for Operation Smile, married women, and women contemplating marriage.

If you are still confused, feel free to e-mail me ( for a crash course in the MRS. pageant industry. I'll explain everything you need to know in order to understand my transition from one system to another.

In the meantime, I would be remiss if I did not thank Siouxzan Moore, Executive Director of the Mrs. Pennsylvania United States pageant, for an unforgettable pageant experience that far exceeded my expectations, as well as the judges for not only my placement but also the COMMUNITY SERVICE and FITNESS awards. Thanks also to my family and friends for supporting my participation in the competition, and most importantly to my husband, Jimmy, for his unwavering encouragement throughout all of my endeavors.

As I move into preparation for the Mrs. Pennsylvania America pageant, I must thank you all in advance for continuing to inspire me with your kind words and well wishes. Everyone who has partnered with me in any capacity will never know how much fuel you've added to my fire--I truly would not have the will to continue my work without your love and motivation...

Dream big,

Friday, April 9, 2010


Hi everyone!

Today I ventured into Glogging--a type of blogging with some extra bells and whistles that makes it super creative and gives the process of reporting information a bit more flair.

My Glog--also known as a digital poster--is a focused summary of the evolution of the golf tournament I've organized to benefit Operation Smile. Check it out here, then visit this link to take a more thorough look.

Dream big,

Monday, February 15, 2010

FINALLY updating...I am the worst blogger ever!

So I thought last time I took too long to update--who knew the next update wouldn't occur for another five months! Oy vey. Anyway, so much has developed/changed since September that I'll just write a list of the most exciting new features of the tournament here:
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes--$400, $300, & $200 Shula's Steakhouse Gift Cards
  • Post-play entertainment during the BBQ as foursomes are returning to the clubhouse
  • Sponsorship and door prizes from Bud Light courtesy of Allentown Beverage
  • Closest to the Pin and Longest/Straightest Drive prizes--$50 Dick's Sporting Goods Certificates
  • Additional prizes compliments of the USGA/U.S. Open and Center Valley Club Pro Shop
  • ONLINE REGISTRATION available for a $5 convenience fee...
...which brings me to the MOST IMPORTANT part of this post, dear readers--you MUST tell EVERYONE you know about this tournament. My goal is to have 25 foursomes and if I go based on people's word alone, I have about 13 right now, which means I need 12 more by the middle of March, when I am due to give a headcount to Center Valley Club. If you do not wish to pay the extra $5 to register online, simply drop me an e-mail at or call me at 610-597-5284 to register and make payment arrangements. I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

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