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!

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