This past week started with a "chilling" appearance as I joined our new Governor, Jack Markell, and thousands of Special Olympics supporters and athletes in taking the Polar Bear Plunge! This was my fourth year participating in the event, but that didn't make the feeling of the 36-degree water any less shocking. I saw many familiar faces, but because of the enormous crowd that gathered to raise awareness for Special Olympics on Sunday, there were many more people to meet! Side by side with Governor Markell, his son Michael, a few athletes, and a handful of State Troopers that I had met a couple months ago, I sprinted into the freezing water and ran back out all smiles! We had a great time and I'm so glad to have had the opportunity to support such a wonderful cause. If you've never taken the plunge, it is held every Super Bowl Sunday in Rehoboth and I highly recommend doing it it at least once! although I know that after the first time, you'll be hooked!!
On Thursday night, I was back to being Vana! The Miss Delaware Organization held a Vera Bradley and Longaberger Basket Bingo. There were tons of beautiful prizes! The only bad part was that I opted to wear high heels that were new and had not been broken in yet..BIG mistake!! I paid for that later that night hehe. We had a great turnout! Thank you to everyone who came out!!!. Chris and I even got a tour of the new Camden Fire Hall. We met the volunteers that were in the night, saw the "movie theater," and walked from one gym to the next!..it was huge!! Next time I need to relax, I might just go hang out in their movie theater hehe.
The Go Red luncheon was held on Friday afternoon. The organization supports the fight against heart disease in women. The event was pretty large!!..two full ballrooms at the Sheraton! I took part in the fashion show which was so much fun! They asked me to wear an extravagant red gown so what better choice than my talent gown from Miss America?! I was so excited to be able to wear it again and without the pressure. Everyone made it down the two catwalks beautifully and without falling so I'd say the fashion show was a success!! I met people like the Governor's wife, heart patients, employees at Dr. Abbrescia's, and a large number or supporters and volunteers. They put on a great event luncheon!!
The weekend began with the Give Kids A Smile event right here in Dover at Mercer Dental Associates. Our office staff was joined by about 14 additional dentists, and 30 other volunteers from hygienists to dental assistants. At first the office seemed to be a little crowded, but once everyone found their places and jobs, we were well on our way to a successful, smooth-sailing day! We treated a large number of children with procedures including dental cleanins, x-rays, extractions, and restorative work. We had a waiting room packed with people eagerly waiting to be seen. I helped out where and when needed, but also had the chance to speak with many of the dentists! I even received some advice on dental school matters like the application process and dental school itself! Although I have a couple years of undergrad to go, I will take all of the advice and guidance that I can get!
All of the dental work done at Give Kids A Smile was pro bono and sadly, the entire second bus-load of pre-approved patients did not arrive. To have 15 dentists that were donating their time to perform work on patients free of charge is such a blessing to these kids, but only if they show up. It's such a shame that these opportunities were taken for granted and not used. Although I don't know the reasons for absense of the second wave of patients, it is discouraging to see these great opportunities going to waste.
That night, all of the office staff went out to dinner. I was able to see Dr. Andy's little girls, Emma and Ruby, again. They convinced me to order a dessert which turned out to be much bigger than we thought!! They helped me eat it, but there was no way that hot fudge brownie sundae was completely finished!