Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thank you to all who've contributed to this Saturday's Wish Upon a Par Golf Tournament!

Supporters and sponsors--I so appreciate your generosity, be it time, talent, in-kind donation, or financial assistance. I am so blessed to have such lovely people in my life.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Two more weeks under my belt...

I can't get over how quickly my reign is flying by! I am very fortunate to have had a few moments this past holiday weekend to spend with family and friends in order to recharge my batteries and count my blessings.

Onto the update:

The morning of Friday, April 15th, Mr. Pennsylvania (that would be Jimmy, my hubs) departed for a golf trip to Wildwood with a couple of his buddies. Therefore, I spent Friday evening at the Allentown Brew Works with my wonderful co-worker Chris (affectionately referred to as the "sub hub"), my mom, and my aunt as we supported epilepsy education and advocacy at the HOPE IS OUT THERE Epilepsy Awareness benefit in honor of Emily Cherry. The accompanying photos show my mom, aunt, and I at our table and me presenting Emily and her family with a beautiful poem written for her by Quakertown High School student and published poet, Arlynn Mackie.

Saturday was reserved for the Lehigh Valley Zoo's Party for the Planet; however, most of their activities were moved indoors due to rain and so I was asked to appear instead at World Penguin Day on Monday, April 25th to adopt a penguin! Now, given my love for penguins all I can say is--what an AMAZING day it was! Thulani and I are now best friends. Pictured here are my adoption materials and a photo of me with Thulani, his handlers including Sherri, and Rick Molchany, the president and CEO of Lehigh Valley Zoo. I cannot thank them enough for my experience today and encourage anyone interested in adopting an animal to visit the zoo's website for more information. In the meantime, I simply cannot wait to continue working with them on promoting animal welfare and conservation efforts, including the upcoming Seafood Watch fundraising event at Starfish Brasserie in downtown Bethlehem. This will be a very important event to educate consumers about the importance of sustainable seafood purchases that avoid harming neighboring marine life and the environment. Stay tuned for more details about the Seafood Watch event in the near future.

One more quick calendar update: Sadly, the Seis de Mayo event at Looper's Grille & Bar to benefit Green Hope Charities had to be canceled due to some circumstances beyond our control. If you would like to lend your support to Green Hope regardless, please feel free to visit their website to find out how.

I'll be back with an update after my appearance at the Hope for Allentown V concert on Thursday and my Wish Upon a Par Golf Tournament to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation on Saturday!

Dream big,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week Three

Another productive week under my belt that was actually a bit of a break compared to my schedule last weekend, activities during my third week as Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2011 included the Raub Area Community Watch meeting at the Lehigh County Senior Citizen Center, where my mother, aunt, and I attended to hear the remarks of Captain Keith Morris, Detective Sergeant Sal Aprile, and Detective Chad Wasserman regarding the recent auto theft issues surrounding the 200- and 300-blocks of South Fulton Street, where my mother and aunt happen to live. Our purpose in attending was three-fold in that we wanted to learn from the information Captain Morris, Detective Sergeant Aprile, and Detective Wasserman had to share, to enlist support for a neighborhood block party to educate the community on auto theft prevention and provide prevention measures such as VIN etching and Citizens on Patrol sign-ups, AND to hear the declarations of local primary election candidates, one of whom includes my aunt, Joanne Jackson, for Allentown School Board. That's her to the upper left (isn't she purdy?) speaking so very eloquently on the importance of electing an active educator to the Board of School Directors for Allentown School District. Stay tuned for more information about our block party plans and about her candidacy!

Saturday I chaperoned a charity dance at Southern Lehigh High School (where I teach) to benefit the Bo Tkach Memorial--Under Every Helmet & Hat is a Child Who Needs Us--which is a foundation established to raise awareness about mental health issues in children and teens. The cause means a lot to me in particular because Bo attended Lehigh University for a year and while there, I was his resident assistant. We interacted sporadically not only in this capacity but also at football celebrations, as he was a scholar-athlete and I was an avid Lehigh football fan. The photos include Troy Ruch, our student council advisor who enabled the students to make such an event happen.

Sunday I had hoped to attend a basket bingo to benefit Geno, a Solehi Class of '00 classmate's cousin who is battling cancer for the second time. Unfortunately an appointment earlier in the day ran much longer than I'd expected and I drove home from Palmerton with a throbbing head, so I was left to appear in spirit via my donation of the PartyLite Sunflower Pillar Holders and Home in the Country Pillar Candles (pictured here) that I wrapped up into a basket for the Pick-a-Prize raffle held in conjunction with the bingo. I hope to catch up with the organizers of the event to hear about its success!

This weekend promises to be very busy and I shall be without Mr. Pennsylvania, who will be on a golf trip in Wildwood. Wish me luck without my better half as I appear at the Epilepsy Benefit in honor of Emily Cherry on Friday, organized by WIAIPA and LVMA; the Lehigh Valley Zoo's Party for the Planet on Saturday; and, if I can squeeze it in, the Lehigh Valley Walk Now for Autism Speaks event on Saturday morning. In the meantime, I am busy finalizing details and registering golfers for the Wish Upon a Par Golf Tournament to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater PA and Southern WV and continuing to plan the runway fashion event to benefit Valley Youth House Residential Living Programs in July.

I'll be back soon!

Dream big,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jazz & Art

Hi all! I know I just posted yesterday but I have a new photo from the WIAIPA Jazz & Art event. Hubs looks so darn cute in this photo and when that happens in pictures the photo usually ends up EVERYWHERE! ;)

Thanks to Diane Richter Photography for a beautiful memory of a lovely event that helped an important cause!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Busy First Two Weeks!

Today marks two weeks since being crowned Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2011. What a productive time it's been!

My first week marked hosting Lehigh University's Student-Alumni Dinner Club, a program run by the Association of Student Alumni. I founded this organization and served as the VP Membership and VP ASA during my senior year at Lehigh. For Dinner Club, three lovely students joined Jimmy and I in our home to compare my experience versus current-day life at Lehigh. We all enjoyed ourselves so much and given my love for Lehigh-logo'd items, I was thrilled to receive an apron commemorating the experience!

The day after, I spent the morning in Pottsville at wish-granter training for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia. It was so touching to hear the stories of past wishes granted and I can't wait to get out there and help wish families enjoy the experience of a lifetime through the Foundation's good work.

This past weekend was even busier. On Friday I attended the opening of the second location of Lehigh Valley Polish Water Ice. I tried the chocolate flavor and it was SOOOO creamy and yummy, yet there is no dairy or fat in the recipe! After, we stopped by to hear our friend and my Transformers tutor's band, Angel Down. What a talented group!

Saturday morning was spent at the Lehigh Valley's Zoo's grand opening of the Mexican Gray Wolf exhibit. I was so pleased to learn of the conservation efforts of the Zoo's team and will be back for the Party for the Planet on April 16th. In the meantime, the Zoo is graciously presenting me with a penguin adoption and artwork in honor of our new partnership.

Last but certainly not least, we spent the afternoon with Women in Art in Pennsylvania for their Jazz & Art event, presented by Ameriprise Financial. WIAIPA benefits recovery efforts of abused women and children so it was important to me to support this event by appearing and also purchasing some lovely new jewelry compliments of Terry Espinosa. She is crafting me a natural, silver wire-wrapped amethyst pendant with a crown effect atop the stone. Since purple is the color of royalty, I thought it was a fitting selection! ;)

While I'm running about doing my thing here in PA, I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge all of the fabulous women competing for the title of Mrs. America beginning this past Thursday through April 14th in West Virginia. Although these girls are cross-system (remember, I am Mrs. Pennsylvania United States 2011, with the Mrs. United States pageant system), I consider us all a part of the sisterhood of pageantry. Special shout-outs to Mrs. Delaware America, Shana Hinton-Williams; Mrs. New York America, Karen O'Hara; and of course Mrs. Pennsylvania America, Erin Joy Landis. Know that you all have your own little fan base here in Allentown in the Mack Family!

Finally, CONGRATULATIONS to Dawn Smith Hicks, the newly crowned Mrs. Pennsylvania International! She and I competed together in my very first MRS pageant in 2009. We've been crossing our fingers for each other for a long time, and now (in her words), "Holy cow, girl! We DID IT!"

Until next time, much love to all and thank you for your continued support...

Dream big,

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