Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 11th- September 19th

Hello Everyone!

Saturday, 9/11, was a busy day, to say the least! I was up early to attend the Amish Country Bike Tour in Dover where I mingled and welcomed the cyclists back as they finished their race! I ate some delicious pulled pork sandwiches with my parents, who came to enjoy a few moments with me and I even sampled some homemade peach ice cream from my favorite local farm! It was an honor to be a part of this event because all the proceeds were to benefit our veterans, and I am proud to same that my father, grandfather's and uncles are U.S. Veterans!

From there I quickly rushed out of the heat, and over to the Miss Kent County pageant. Unfortunately, because of scheduling I was not able to crown the next Miss Kent County (my last local title before becoming Miss Delaware), but I was lucky enough to spend time with the girls prior to the competition, and emcee the first half! Congratulations to my local sister from 2010 and longtime friend, Heather McKinney for being crowned the new Miss Kent County! I am so proud of her for how far she has come, and I look forward to seeing her compete at the Miss Delaware Pageant this June!

Had I been able to stay longer, I would have delivered a farewell speech, which ultimately would have lasted an hour at least! But in lieu of a long-winded speech I would like to briefly thank my local directors and team members, Brittany Dempsey, Laura Moylan and Vicky Dempsey for their endless love and support the past seven months. They never doubted I could become Miss Delaware, and they never allowed me the chance to doubt my potential either! They were the best team I could have asked for and without their help, I may not be experiencing this exciting year ahead of me! I love you all so much, and I feel like you are all a part of my family.

Halfway through the pageant, I had to excuse myself from the microphone, and run to the Denim and Diamonds Event at the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover to benefit Meals on Wheels of Delaware! All I can say is, Fabulous! The event was beyond a success and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves! The food was terrific, the music was great and the auction items were quite a hit! I was assigned the role of diamond-saleswoman, for lack of a better term. As a part of the fundraising efforts, a local jeweler donated a 3ct diamond for the cause! Champagne glasses were sold with either one of the 49 fake diamonds, or "crystals" as I liked to call them, or the one glass with the real diamond. Mrs. Delaware and I were thrilled to be a part of this because it gave us the chance to really meet all of the attendees! And, boy, was it exciting to build up the anticipation of discovering the winner!

As you might imagine, I slept very well that night! And woke up Sunday morning to attend church and then head to Oaks, Pennsylvania where I attended the first annual "Mutts Making Money for Melaina" Dog Walk to raise money for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation! Bridgette (my beautiful and fluffy bichon-maltipoo) attended the event with me, as did my parents! Melaina is lucky to have such a wonderful family and Beth (Melaina's mother) did an incredible job with the planning! Thank you all for including me!

Monday I drove down to Selbyville to be trained by Kim for Miss Delaware given platform, Character Counts! After creating several lesson plans, working through several activities and just acting out teaching styles, I felt ready to get into the classroom! Thank you, Kim, for the sweet lemonade and for taking the time to work with me! From there I drove back to Camden where I purchased a new pair of pointe shoes from The Dance Collection. The next day I drove down to Rehoboth Beach to workout with Miss Delaware's Fitness Sponsor, Paul Timmons from The Firm, and boy was it a workout! I picked my dad up on my way down so I could have some company while I ran errands that day. And Wednesday I visited our wonderful skincare sponsor, Hockessin Day Spa for a rejuvenating facial! I so look forward to those appointments! In just four days, I travelled over 550 miles in my car!

Then Wednesday night, I drove to Wall, New Jersey to be with my two favorite little girls, Lilliana and Isabella! We had a very early morning Thursday and headed into New York City to be with Lilliana and her family as she received her very first hair system! She looks like such a diva in her new, strawberry blonde hairdo! I will be sure to include a photo! After eating lunch in the city, and surviving the torrential downpour followed by lots of traffic, we made it back to New Jersey in one piece! That night, the girls and I had a slumber party and made my favorite sweet treat- S'mores!!! Friday was another early day as I was a guest speaker at Central Elementary School, where the girls attend! I was able to tell Lilliana's peers all about what it means to have Alopecia Areata in a large assembly where all classes attended. Then I made individual classroom visits to the first grade classes.

After the school visit, Donna (Lilliana and Isabella's mother) took me shopping and to get my nails done, for a relaxing afternoon! Donna, Matt and the girls are like family to me, and I always have a great time when I am with them! Friday night I spent time with Donna, Matt and their friends as well as all of their children. It was great insight to what life will be like with kids! One little boy just fell in love with me, and I won't soon forget his supreme dancing skills!!!

Saturday was filled with busy work and helping Kevin move into his new apartment in D.C. Then, Sunday I spoke at the Seaford United Methodist Church about my life and how God has played such a large role in every piece of my journey. I have been blessed with many gifts and I am thankful to have the opportunities and the venues to share them with others- and all of that is thanks to God.

Thank you for following my year as Miss Delaware, and my Miss America journey. Please check back soon for an update on the end of September and to see pictures of all the appearances I shared with you! Have a great week!

With Love,

Kayla

August 30- September 10th

Hello Friends!

I am so sorry for the delay in updates. My days have been filled with such wonderful and exciting things, and I am doing my very best to respond to emails, and keep everyone up-to-date through blogging!

August 30th was filled with a dentist appointment at Webster Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, and then an optometrist appointment! That evening I held a Zumba Fundraiser at the First State Academy of Dance in Milford to benefit the Children's Miracle Network! Thank you to everyone who came out for a night of fun exercising for a great cause! And a special "thanks" to Maria Fry, a longtime friend and my childhood dance instructor, for volunteering her time to teach the class that night! We all really enjoyed ourselves!

Unfortunately, that day was very difficult for my family, as my parent's dog, Tater, passed away just before the fundraiser. Tater lived a long and happy life, and he would have done anything for my mother, father, or me. He was a part of the family, and many schedules and trips have revolved around him over the years, but he has always been such a well-mannered and faithful dog. We will miss Tater, but we know that he would not have survived a week without my family while they are supporting me at the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were filled with essays, workouts, paperwork, blogging and a meeting with one of our Miss Delaware board members. So, Friday was a welcomed change of pace as I traveled to the beautiful Winterthur Gardens to celebrate the marriage of my friend, Kellie and her new husband, Sal! Congratulations to the new couple, and I know they have a life filled with great love and joy ahead of them. Saturday and Sunday I was doggy-sitting for my best friend's family, while also spending some quality time with my family. Then, Monday evening I attended the Virginia Tech/ Boise State game at Fedex Field in DC! Unfortunately, Boise State won even though there were so many Hokie Fans in attendance! I had lots of fun tailgaiting, and eating yummy food before and after the game that night! We didn't get home until well after midnight, so I was thankful to have the chance to sleep-in on Tuesday!

Tuesday afternoon I met with Mario at Salon Rispoli to have my first-ever molds done for a suction cap wig! I have never owned a wig that was custom fit for my head, and that I could swim, run, or survive a windstorm in! I can't wait for the new piece to arrive! Wednesday morning I went to Michael Christopher's Salon in Wilmington with my best friend, Julia, the bride-to-be for our hair rehearsal for her wedding, with Sal (the Miss Delaware Hair Stylist)! I was lucky enough to have a few hours free, where I could have lunch with Julia and finally catch up on all things Miss Delaware and everything with her wedding! The next day I prepared more paperwork and went to Wilmington to meet with George and Debi (Miss DE board members) to work on Quality of Life essays!

Friday was the beginning of a non-stop week for me! I was at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the local CMN hospital, to volunteer for the 9th Annual WOGL Loves Our Kids Radiothon where nearly $400,000 has been raised each year! I was in good company, with my Miss America sister, Ashleigh Udalovas, Miss New Jersey!

Stay tuned to hear about the rest of my busy week and to see photos of each of these experiences!

Thank you all for being a part of my year as your Miss Delaware. I am loving every second of my new job!

Many hugs,

-Kayla

Thursday, September 2, 2010

August 23- August 29

Dear Friends,

August 23rd may have been my mother's birthday, but that did not mean it was a day off for Miss Delaware! I went with my mother to get our nails done and try to relax in celebration of her special day. Then I worked out at the gym, and ran several errands to prepare for my trip to Orlando, FL! In the afternoon, I visited my newest sponsor, Sun Dazed Tanning in Milford to make up for lost time in the sun this summer! Their facility is so lovely, and they have several options for tanning safely.

After leaving Sun Dazed Tanning I headed to Sunnybrae Mansion in Milford for my "Walk for a Miracle" Fundraiser to benefit the Children's Miracle Network. As a Miss America contestant, I have adopted the national platform of the Children's Miracle Network and I will fundraise for them, and volunteer in their hospitals during my year as Miss Delaware. And should I become Miss America 2011, I will inherit the title of Goodwill Ambassador for CMN!

Even though the rain clouds were making their way to Milford, many friends and family joined me at Sunnybrae Mansion for this terrific cause. We walked around the beautiful property and fellowshipped for as long as we could. The rain inevitably came, but only a few moments after everyone had begun to leave!

Tuesday I was in the gym and received the wonderful news that I am a finalist for the L'Oreal Paris's Women of Worth Award! My telephone interview was at 1pm that day, and they asked all kinds of questions regarding my commitment to creating positive change, and to volunteering in my community. To even be nominated is quite an honor, and to know I have been selected as a finalist is simple indescribable.

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I packed with the help of Mrs. Gillis, for my trip to the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant! I was so excited to meet my Miss America sisters, and to cheer for Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen, Katelynn Mayers. By Wednesday afternoon I was en route to Orlando, Florida with my travel companion and Miss Delaware's Field Director, Dulcena Kemmerlin. Our flight was on time but we arrived in Orlando with nearly twenty minutes to check in to our hotel, change our clothes, grab a quick bite to eat, and walk to the convention center. We arrived a few minutes late to the preliminary competition, so I was unable to officially meet everyone until after the pageant. Katelynn's talent was terrific and I was so proud to see her shine on that stage! Later I learned from Katelynn that she had broken her toe, but I had no idea while I was watching her perform! After the preliminary competition Mrs. Kemmerlin and I spent time with Katelynn and her family in the visitation/meet and greet. Katelynn was in good spirits and seemed to really be enjoying herself!

This group of contestants in the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant was phenomenal! Some wanted to be doctors, lawyers, or performers and so on. One contestant had already graduated high school and completed two years of college at the age of 16. And many of them had GPA's above 4.0! Plus, they were all extremely talented, philanthropic and beautiful young women!

Wednesday was a late night, and the next morning I had my video shoot with Tall Pony Productions (the Miss America Production crew) bright and early. Check back in the coming weeks to see if the videos have been released and to learn what they will be used for! All I can is that my shoot went well, and I had a great time! After the Tall Pony Shoot, I was surprised to hear I had been selected as one of ten contestants to film a video interview for Artistry Cosmetics- Miss America's Cosmetic and Skincare sponsor! While the other contestants had known about the interview, Debi, my Executive Director, decided to surprise me with the news. So I rushed to the Artistry bus to have my makeup done, and to learn all about their newest cosmetics! Their light-up lipgloss is my new favorite, go-to beauty tool! Check out their website later this month to see their all-new cosmetic line!

After the video shoot, Mrs. Kemmerlin and I spent some quality time together, catching up, eating lunch, and visiting the trade show! Before we knew it, it was time for me to change for dinner! Mary Sullivan, the Executive Director of the Miss Florida Organization and Regalia hosted our dinner at Maggiano's that evening and it was delicious! The lemon cookies were to die for. Thank you to Mary and everyone from Regalia for such a lovely meal! After dinner, we made our way to the convention center to support our 'little sisters' during the third night of preliminary competition! Katelynn participated in the Evening Gown and On Stage Questions portions of competition that night and she was stupendous! I was beyond proud of her poise and grace. Katelynn was asked about funding in public schools, and she showed that she could personally relate to school funding issues. That night, one of the contestants also performed to Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel" on pointe and she was terrific! As a dancer, it is fun to see another person's interpretation of a song and how they display that with movements. During the pageant, all 53 of us competing for the job of Miss America 2011, introduced ourselves on stage. As I left the stage I slightly tripped over a cord! I had a big smile, laughed at myself and kept on walking :) I told myself that this was a good thing- God would never let me trip at MAOT, and then trip again at Miss America!!

Friday morning at 6:45 am, all of the Miss America contestants were on a bus and headed toward.... Disney World!!! It was a warm day, and in spite of the heat we all had so much fun channeling our inner child! My group was able to ride Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, The Haunted Mansion, and the Tea Cups! We each filmed a quick video interview with a representative from Disney World and spoke about our favorite Disney memory. I had a difficult time deciding between the time I was able to ride the rides with a friend visiting from my hometown through the Make A Wish Foundation, and the memories of visiting with my father who loves Disney just as much, if not more than I do! My dad's favorite character is Goofy, and so we covered every inch of the parks in search of one man- Goofy! My dad's biggest concern was getting a picture with Goofy, and hopefully getting his autograph :)

After we had too much fun at Disney World, we headed back to the hotel to prepare for the rest of the evening. That night we attended a fantastic fundraiser for the Miss America Organization at the Segal Estate. This was a fun and relaxing evening to spend time with my Miss America sisters. Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010 was in attendance as well as most of the Miss America staff. Everyone had a great time dancing, eating and mingling! Many local restaurants brought their specialty dishes and we were able to have quite the variety of delicious, 5 star food! My favorite part of all was the chocolate fondue! Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Segal for hosting such a wonderful event, and for raising money to help young women, like myself, achieve higher education!

Saturday was the big day! In the morning I attended the Miss America Orientation where Caressa Cameron spoke about the ins and outs of the Miss America job, and we learned all-new details regarding the pageant in January. I will keep you posted on the exciting things to come, but for now just trust that this will be a show you will not want to miss! Being that this is Miss America's 90th Anniversary, it will be a big celebration!

After orientation we changed and headed to the convention center to take part in an autograph signing just before the final night of competition. I was a nervous wreck for Katelynn, whom I am certain was calm as a cucumber! But I could not wait to see her on the stage once more! Even though Katelynn did not make the top 10, I am beyond proud of everything she has accomplished this year. For those of you who could not attend the pageant in Orlando, I know you would have shared the sentiment. Katelynn worked very hard and I am so blessed to call her my 'little sis' this year. Congratulations to Miss Oklahoma's Outstanding Teen, Lacey Russ, on becoming Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2010! I know she will do an incredible job this year.

Sunday morning, Mrs. Kemmerlin and I flew back to Philadelphia and returned to home, sweet home. Happy Birthday to Debi Wilson and Aimee Voshell-String, two active members of my Miss Delaware family! I hope you both enjoyed your special days and took some time to relax! And to Carol Stevens- thank you for giving Debi the best gift of all- A Tom-Tom!!! :)

Have a beautiful day everyone!

Warmest Wishes,

Kayla

August 14- August 22

Hello Friends!

It is hard to believe that I have been your Miss Delaware for two months now. Time has really flown by! During my interview with the Miss Delaware judges I made a promise to them that I would never let a single day go to waste, and looking back at my first two months on the job, I think I have still lived up to my promise. I only hope that I can continue to have such wonderful experiences and that I can make you all proud as my year progresses. 

Saturday, August 14th was my longest and most tiring day as Miss Delaware so far! And unfortunately, I was not able to spend the day with my best friend, Brittany Dempsey, on her birthday! So-- Happy Birthday Brittany!!!! Thank you for being such an incredible friend, and for helping me to achieve my dream of becoming Miss Delaware. I'm not sure what I would do without you, but I know I am lucky to have such a great friend! I hope you had a relaxing day! :)

That day I woke up very early to be in Wilmington at the Riverfront to speak at 9am. I attended the Women of Greatness and Power Expo and spoke briefly to the large crowd in attendance. I only wish I could have stayed longer, because I heard the inspirational speaker was outstanding! I left the Expo and was on my way down to Ellendale to attend the Ellendale Fire Company's Open House until 2pm. I was able to ride the fire truck and blow the horn, have my blood sugar levels and blood pressure tested by the lovely ladies from Beebee Medical Center, and sign many autographs for children in the area! It is heartwarming to see the faces of young girls who have never met a Miss Delaware before. It is easy for us to think we are just normal people, but to a little girl, we are a real princess!

From the Open House, I drove back up to Wilmington to throw the first pitch at the Blue Rocks game! Let me be honest with you. I had great intentions of practicing my pitching skills so as not to embarrass myself or live up to any person's expectations of a pageant girl. But, I only found five minutes the day before to rehearse with my second father, Kevin Gillis Sr. Luckily he was patient with me, and I felt confident that five minutes was enough :) So when I go to throw the pitch I focussed on one thing- not letting it hit the ground! So I threw the ball, and it made the shape of a rainbow! But, what is most important is the catcher caught it, and no one was harmed in the process! :) Plus, the crowd was kind enough to cheer!

I drove immediately from the game in Wilmington to my apartment in Northern Virginia. Sunday morning I taught my final session at Barbizon with my students in Fairfax, VA (where I was attending college). I was sad to say goodbye to them, but I am so proud of how much they have grown. They were  a terrific group of girls, and I can't wait to see them at their graduation!

Monday, August 16th, I drove from Northern Virginia to Rehoboth beach to have a fitting with the White House Black Market in preparation for their upcoming fashion show! I then drove from Rehoboth to my Executive Director, Debi's house in Wilmington to pick up the dresses Johnstown Bridal Suite. Ronnie and Debbie Weaver from the Bridal Suite had donated three cocktail pieces for me to wear while  at the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant in Orlando, FL! Then, I drove back to Dover to get some rest, since the rest of the week appeared to be very busy! Lots of driving!

Tuesday I met with Paul Timmons, the Miss Delaware Personal Trainer in Rehoboth Beach and caught up on some blogging, correspondence, paperwork and so on. I take every opportunity I get to be productive! Then, Wednesday I visited with the kids attending Delaware Burn Camp at Camp Barnes in Frankford, DE. We were supposed to be swimming together, but Mother Nature just wasn't having that! So we ate lunch and made fun t-shirts together instead! Thankfully, that night I was able to spend time with Justin, a lifelong friend of mine from my hometown. I truly value every chance I am given to spend time with my friends, and just be Kayla for a little while. 

Thursday I spent time on the sand in Rehoboth Beach with Meagan and her mother Karen who are great friends of mine from Harrisburg, PA. Meagan has Alopecia Areata as well, and we have been friends for quite a few years now. She and her mother attended Miss Delaware every year, to support me. And they are even flying to Las Vegas to cheer me on as I compete for Miss America 2011! I love spending time with Meagan because she is like the little sister I never had. She is a freshman in high school this year, and I know she is going to have so much fun making new friends, and experiencing all kinds of new things! 

That night I modeled in the White House Black Market Fashion Show on the Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. The fashion show was amazing and I felt as if I were a part of fashion week in NYC! I modeled three outfits and loved one so much that my mother gave it to me as a present after the show! I had a little cheering section in the audience since my parents, and Laura Mattey's family came to see me walk the runway! I am blessed to have such wonderful family and friends supporting me throughout my journey. 

That day happened to be Laura Mattey's birthday and of course I scooped up the opportunity to dine with her and her family after the show, to celebrate!

Friday August 20th, I had a doctor appointment, and worked out at the gym. Then I headed with my parents to the Denton Summer Festival in Denton, MD. I walked in the parade, and was so delighted to have one last taste of 'fair food' before the summer was over! I only wish Lindsay, Miss Maryland, and I could have attended on the same day!

Saturday I worked out at the gym again, and met Crystal from Channel 3 News at Dover Downs to film an interview. I went home to change and then headed to Sunnybrae Mansion in Milford to attend a fundraiser for our wounded soldiers. I spoke briefly about the importance of supporting our troops, and why this is such a value for my family and I. My father is a disabled veteran and both of my grandfathers served in the military, and many of my friends have been deployed in recent years. I have seen firsthand how essential it is that we financially support our troops, but that we also physically and emotionally support them as well. I feel very blessed to be the daughter of a U.S. Veteran and I am thankful for the support he and my family receive.

During the event, many local actors from my hometown, including my childhood dance teacher, Maria Fry, and family friend/Sunnybrae owner, Karen McColley, entertained us with a "Who Dun It?" performance. They were superb and kept me laughing the whole time! They even involved me, and had the audience wondering if it was me who stole the gold! From the fundraiser, my family and Kevin's family celebrated with a crab-picking dinner! Our favorite summer treat!

Sunday, August 22nd, I attended the Lighthouse Christian Church for Friends Day with my friend, and Miss Delaware board member, Chuck Ivins. They were all so welcoming and just excited to meet me. And their musicians were some of the most talented singers I have heard in a long time. My uncle, Harvey Kenton attended as well, and I love every opportunity to spend time with him. Thank you to Lighthouse Christian Church for inviting me, and including my family and I in such a beautiful service. 

That afternoon I attended Representative Dave Wilson's fundraiser at Sam Yoder's and was able to see my Uncle again, and other members of my family!

Thank you for being a part of my journey to Miss America, and for following my year as Miss Delaware. Your support means so much to me, and I hope to make you all proud at the Miss America pageant on January 15th!

With Love,

Kayla

August 2- August 13th

Hello Friends!

The beginning of August was relatively calm, and I was able to catch up on some well-needed rest. I had a phone interview with Women's World Magazine and the Beauty Bean Blog which was followed by a dentist appointment at Webster Cosmetic Dentistry in Dover! Tuesday, August 3rd, I travelled to New York City with my mother and my Executive Director to meet with my favorite gown designer to find the perfect gown for the Miss America pageant! We met Ronnie and Deborah Weaver from the Bridal Suite at Johnstown just before the appointment, and they helped in the selection process. Thank you, Ronnie for making the appointment and for allowing my mother to accompany me on this special day! She and I will never forget this experience and it would not have been the same without her there! But I know I could not have made my choice without your help! Thank you, again, for supporting me.

Wednesday morning I recorded a Public Service Announcement for the Huntington's Disease Foundation and met with the Paul Timmons at The Firm in Rehoboth Beach for my consultation. On Thursday, I was at the Dairy Queen in Camden to celebrate Miracle Day and fundraise for the Children's Miracle Network! I am so pleased that my favorite ice cream spot donates thousands of dollars to such a wonderful cause. While at Dairy Queen, I learned how to make a Blizzard!!!! AND I discovered the newest menu item- a mini Blizzard- which is a pageant girl's best friend! The mini Blizzard is a smaller option and therefore a more calorie-conscious one as well! I was told by the manager that you can only know if you made a Blizzard properly if you turn it upside down, and nothing falls out! I am not usually very timid, but I was petrified to try this with fear it would spill everywhere! I decided to just go for it and come to find out--- I made it correctly! And to celebrate- I ate it correctly :) My father even trusted me to make his Blizzard as well!

Friday I worked out and attended the first part of Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen, Katelynn Mayers' send off party. Katelynn looked beautiful in every piece of wardrobe, and I could tell she was ready to conquer the world! Or at least the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant. I was only able to stay a few minutes because I was then off to Dover Downs Hotel & Casino (where I was crowned Miss Delaware less than two months before) to judge the first night of the Elvis Competition! I had such a great time, and the contestants were all incredible. I gained such respect for the Miss Delaware judges that night, because it was very stressful to judge these talent men! Later that night, while I was still at the Elvis Competition, the 20/20 feature with Deborah Roberts aired on ABC. When I returned home I was able to see the piece and was beyond pleased with what the 20/20 crew produced. I cannot thank Ruth Chenetz, and Deborah Roberts enough for contacting me and highlighting me in such a positive way. They were so kind and helpful throughout the whole process!

Saturday I attended a fundraiser in Greenwood to raise money for a local family who lost everything when their home caught fire recently. It was my pleasure to be there, and help support a local family. The young daughter was just so excited to meet Miss Delaware and take lots of photos with me. Those moments really made me appreciate this opportunity, and I know I will never forget her. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and for spending the afternoon with me!

I left the fundraiser and rushed to the Possum Point Theatre in Georgetown to spend time with the Miss Tri-County contestants. Can you believe they are already trying to take my job-- and I just became Miss Delaware two months ago!!! Just kidding :) It excites me to think that one of those young women may have the opportunity to experience what I have in the past two months! I emceed the first part of the pageant, but was on the road once again to judge the final night of the Elvis Competition! Thankfully I was given the update later that evening that Erin Magnin became the new Miss Tri-County!!! Congratulations to Erin, and I cannot wait to see her compete in the Miss Delaware 2011 pageant next June!

The final night of the Elvis competition was lots of fun! Each of the ten finalists was able to sing three of their favorite Elvis songs- and boy, were they impressive! They sound, look and dance just like 'The King'! Even though I was not alive during Elvis' time, I have a great appreciation for his music, and luckily I am well-versed in his dancing style! Thank you, to Dover Downs Hotel & Casino for inviting me to judge!

Sunday morning rounded out the week for me with a fun, small-town parade. Donald Tatman, Miss Delaware's driver, escorted me in the Big Thursday Parade (ironically held on a Sunday) in Bowers Beach! I had a terrific time in spite of the heat, and enjoyed a fried oyster sandwich and homemade ice cream from my favorite local spot- Vitale's!

Monday was a day spent catching up on correspondence, blogging, phone calls, and organizing! Tuesday morning I met a young lady for lunch at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. She has Alopecia Areata, just like me! She flew in from California, and was brought by her aunt from Pennsylvania, who was equally as sweet. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and were able to talk about everything from how we lost our hair, to our favorite movies! We even had a mini photo shoot with the crown!

That night I attended the Delaware Electric Coop.'s Annual Meeting at the Delaware State Fair Grounds with my Business Manager, Susan, and her husband, Gene. This was a huge event with so many Kent and Sussex Countians in attendance! Dinner was provided by Mills Bros. (a deli down the street from my parent's home), and there were all kinds of free goodies including dessert- which you probably know by now, is the way to my heart! Thank you to the Delaware Electric Coop. for including me in this wonderful opportunity to meet so many Delawareans!

Thank you for being a part of my year as your Miss Delaware! Stay tuned for the many exciting things to come!

With Love, Kayla

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