Thursday, August 20, 2009

FLORIDA-MAOT


Saturday-Final Night


Interview for Go Green Initiative


Siegel Estate Fundraiser


Thursday Night Visitation


TLC Interview


Miss America Goes Green


Supporters for Danielle-Wednesday Prelim

Last Wednesday began my 4 day journey in Florida and what a journey it was! It was my first time in Florida so I was even more excited. Kimberly Bailey-Thomas traveled with me and we had a blast. Wednesday morning we woke up bright and early and left at 4:30AM from Dover to catch a 7:30AM flight out of Philly. We arrived in Orlando and dropped our stuff off in our room then headed down to watch Danielle practice her talent. She was awesome! The talent those girls have is impressive! That night I saw Danielle perform her talent in her second night of Preliminary Competition. Then the Miss America contestants had a meeting right after the show to discuss the events for the week.

Thursday we had an early morning to take pictures for Miss America's Go Green initiative by partnering up with Nature's Bottles. They are the only ones that make a biodegradable water bottle made from a corn based substance. It was very impressive and exciting to be a part of this project. Then we had a meet and greet with Katie Stam and Sam Haskell where TLC taped some. Then we split up and those that had interviews scheduled for that day got ready for taping and the rest had the day free. My interview was shortly after the meet and greet. It was exciting to go into a room filled with cameras and know that at some point it's going to be on national television! After that I walked through the trade show and got ready for dinner. We had a sponsored dinner by Regalia and the Miss Florida Pageant at the best italian restaurant. The food was great and the company was wonderful. We were able to get to know each other more and have some casual down time. Then we went to watch the last night of Prelims where Danielle competed in evening wear and onstage question. She was absolutely stunning! Her onstage question was tough but she answered it with poise and grace while speaking her mind. I totally commend her for such an outstanding job!

Friday I had the day to myself so I slept in to catch up on some much needed rest then went and had breakfast with Dineen. After a little while we decided to walk through the trade show and try some things on. I tried on some cocktail pieces, gowns, and even costume ideas. It was very interesting to speak with the owners of the businesses at the trade show to get their perspective on how I should go about picking my competition wardrobe. Then I went and sat by the pool with some of the other contestants and enjoyed a tasty lunch at the cafe in the hotel. That night we went to the Siegel Estate, the residence of the owners of Westgate Timeshares, and enjoyed a fantastic fundraiser for the organization. The food was spectacular and the people there were very supportive. We mingled, ate, danced, took pictures, and looked around the beautiful house the event was held in. It was a long night but well worth it to receive a $25,000 check from the Siegel's at the end to go towards the organization!

Saturday morning was our contestant orientation. Miss America 2009 Katie Stam told us about the job of being Miss America and we discussed how the show would work this year and talked about future partnerships for Miss America 2010. It is exciting to see the organization continue to grow! Now don't lose focus just yet!!!
I need everyone to get your friends ready to vote on TLC.COM when the time comes. They will be doing online voting again this year to allow 4 ladies into the TOP 15 based upon America's vote! So any chance I get to try and be in the top 15 I am going to try. So get everyone ready so that when I get the go ahead we can all start voting! This means 11 will be picked by the judges and 4 by America. Either way it'd be awesome!!
I went shopping in the outlets with Melanie and Rich Hatter along with Kimberly for the afternoon to try and catch some sales. We found some great deals and I can't wait to show everyone what I bought there! I bought a cocktail dress and another more casual dress from BCBG for a really great price!
Finals night was exciting and nerve wrecking. I can only imagine how I will feel when my time comes. Danielle was beautiful throughout the entire night! Miss Wisconsin's Outstanding Teen won the title of MAOT 2010. I was so fortunate to be there to support Danielle and witness a moment that changed a girl's life forever!
Thanks for everyone's love and support thus far. The first two months of my year have been memorable and I cannot wait for what is in store for me!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Delaware Electric Co-op Annual Meeting


Governor Markell and I


visiting the kitchen


hanging with the volunteers


we're all working hard :)


making new friends

Before I write about my wonderful time in FL I do not want to pass by the chance to tell you about my appearance the day before I left to watch MAOT. The Annual Meeting put on by Delaware Electric Co-op was held at the Harrington Fair grounds this past Tuesday. It was a great time and they had the most delicious food being served. Thousands of people showed up to the event. There were several exhibitors there displaying information for the state parks, fire safety, Easter Seals, USDA, and the like. Everyone was so welcoming and as soon as the first photo card was signed, it was game over! I loved being able to meet so many people from so many different cultures and backgrounds and generations.

Earlier that day I went up to Michael Christophers to get my hair and nails done. So my neat hair do is courtesy of Sal. There is no way I would've been able to french braid my hair like that!

It was a hot day but a great event nonetheless. Thank you so much Susan and Gene for spending the time with me.

I saw Joe Booth, Tom Wagner, Bob Walls, Governor Markell, Lt. Governor Denn, Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee, and Representative Dave Wilson all at this meeting. It is great seeing our government officials out and about at community events.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just because...


1960's Night at State Fair Parade

1990's Night at State Fair

Big Thursday at Bower's Beach

The new DE's Junior Miss 2010, Alyssa Murray, and me

Getting some freshly made peach ice cream from Fifer's Orchards at the Wyoming Peach Festival

I have some pictures from various appearances over the last week or two that I have not posted yet that I wanted to share with you. On top of the parades at the State Fair I was also recently in a parade for the Bower's Beach Big Thursday event. My driver, Donald Tatman, has been wonderful! It is such a huge help knowing that no matter what I have a driver for my parades with a gorgeous 1965 red Sting Ray Corvette! Thank you so much Donald! I feel like parades are a great way to get the name of the Miss Delaware Scholarship Organization out to people all over the state. Typically I walk around before or after the parade to sign autographs and mingle with people. Just this past Sunday at the Big Thursday event, I had a girl's mom talk to me about how her daughter loves getting all "dolled up". I thought to myself, "Heather this is the perfect time to mention the Outstanding Teen program..." So I did! I gave her my card and told her to check out the website for more info. Who would've thought a simple parade could turn into a chance to bring in more girls to give away even more scholarships to teens and young women that are planning to further their education?

Speaking of Outstanding Teen....DANIELLE IS IN FLORIDA AS WE SPEAK! Everyone should be sure to write on her blog or facebook or contact her somehow to wish her luck as she begins her first night of prelims tonight! She has worked so hard and deserves to do well! I will be flying to Florida tomorrow morning to cheer her on for the rest of the week. Kimberly Bailey Thomas and I are driving up to Philly at 4:30 tomorrow MORNING! At least I don't have to drive up to the airport alone. Thanks for the company Kimberly!

Both the MAOT and MAO program (Teen and Miss) are excellent sources of scholarship money and personal growth. I cannot begin to explain how much the program has helped me and how much I have grown in these couple months of being Miss Delaware. Always remember that it is not about how much the gown costs or which local you compete for....it's about being yourself and letting your beauty shine while having the chance of a lifetime to compete for several thousands of dollars in scholarship and prizes! Don't ask why but I feel it is important as the upcoming pageant year begins, that people realize the potential that they have and the impact such an organization can have on their future.

I am thrilled to fly down to Florida tomorrow to meet the other 52 contestants for Miss America and to watch Danielle compete for MAOT 2010! Best wishes Danielle!

Tonight I have the Delaware Electric Coop Annual Meeting in Harrington, and after I get back from Florida the competition wardrobe shopping begins! I can't wait! Thank you for all of your support!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Governor's Day



This past week has been filled with events. I will try and keep things brief but Governor's Day alone had so much going on! It was this past Thursday at the Delaware State Fair that Governor Jack Markell and I began our day-long journey. We took a tour of some exhibits presented by FFA and 4-H dealing with agriculture and science. We then went to participate in some of the FFA games being held outside. The first one was the Egg Toss. The Governor and I teamed up for the challenge. With each successful toss we had to take a step back. One by one teams were dropping their eggs. It came down to us and another team....we were a good couple yards away...I threw the egg up high with all my might and Governor Markell caught it while the other team dropped theirs!!!! We won!!! It had been years since the Governor and Miss DE won the egg toss. I must give a lot of credit to Governor Markell for catching my crazy throws though. The rest of the day we bragged to everyone about our success.



Before the FFA and 4-H displays I was able to witness the Governor sign the last bill associated with the late Senator Thurman Adams. His two daughters spoke as well as a few friends including Representative Bob Walls. It was a touching experience to say the least.

We continued the day by going to present the bill Senator Darryl Scott and a class from Saint John Lutheran's Elementary School created to signify that the new state dessert is the Peach Pie! It was adorable to see the class standing behind the Governor as he signed each letter of his name with a different pen so that he could hand them out to the students. He wanted them to feel a part of the process the whole way through. I made sure to snag myself a sample of the peach pie they were handing out in celebration...it was delicious!

We then went to present awards to a few first places winners of the various contests within the fair. The awards went to winners for the best quilt to the biggest and best pumpkin and everywhere in between.



I then went to ride some carnival rides and look around at the grandstand vendors while the Governor spoke on the phone with Vice President Joe Biden. It was nice to have some down time before the dinner that evening. I changed and went back up to the grandstand to begin a wonderful and tasty dinner. The Governor's Dinner was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield and they gave each guest a gift that was a glass paper weight with Senator Thurman Adams portrait and name laser etched inside. It is very beautiful, even though I did not describe it too well.


Photo By: Dave Chambers

The dinner was excellent! We had salad with rasberry vinagrette, chicken breast with crab cake, asparagus, and rizzoto, and for dessert we had cheesecake! After all of that great food, and a full stomach, I went to sing two songs for everyone. I sang Crazy by Patsy Cline and Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts. It was an honor to entertain everyone with a couple country songs in honor of the fair. After that we commemorated the 90th Anniversary of the State Fair and honored the military men and women that were present.


Leroy Betts, President of Delaware State Fair, and I

By this time, both Kenney Workman, my traveling companion for the day, and I were exhausted. It was hot and we had been busy all day. So when dinner was completed and the announcements were finished we decided to head home. It was a great day despite how tired I was the next morning! I cannot thank Kenney enough for being there all day with me to carry my bags and take pictures so that I could share the day with you. I also want to thank Governor Markell and his staff for including me in the events throughout the day and being a wonderful group to share it with. I was able to meet Lt. Governor Matt Denn as well, and it was a pleasure getting to know him a little bit more at the Governor's Cup horse race we attended that day (that was my first horse race ever!). Last but not least, I want to thank the Delaware State Fair staff and volunteers for being such gracious hosts all week and for making the day as wonderful as it was.

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