The past few weeks have been some of the busiest yet! The 20th of September I volunteered at the RE/MAX Annual Golf Tournament for the Children's Miracle Network at Back Creek Park in Middletown! I had such a wonderful time chatting with the golfers, and spending more time with Caitlin from CMN. Without even researching, I know the tournament was a huge success and they surpassed their fundraising goal! Every dollar raised will help a child to have a more comfortable stay in the hospital and keep their spirits high. Thank you to RE/MAX and all the teams for your generosity!
From the golf tournament I rushed over to my Executive Director, Debi's, house for.... the Miss America Contestant Lottery!!!! No, this was not the kind of lottery where you can win money, but I definitely was so thrilled that I felt as if I won! For those of you who may not know about the MAO Contestant Lottery, this is where each contestant logs online and is called in random order to select their contestant number/position for the Miss America Preliminary Competitions. Once George (Miss DE board member) and I arrived at Debi's we talked briefly about what my plans were for the lottery. Since Miss Delaware is usually called in the latter half, I did not expect to have many numbers to choose from. The lottery had begun streaming live, and Debi began preparing our dinner. I was about to go and change my clothes as the first state was selecting their number, when all of a sudden I see "Delaware" on the bottom left corner of the screen! I couldn't believe it- I was the third state to choose. I didn't even have time to put my comfy clothes on! I had 51 numbers to choose from, and ultimately selected contestant #9 from the Sigma group! This means I will compete in the Tuesday Interview group (the last to go) and Tuesday night I will model my Swimsuit and Evening Gown. Wednesday I will perform my talent, and Thursday I will answer my onstage question.
I know that many of you were confused about why I chose this number and group, but in my heart I knew that I chose the perfect number and group. I wanted to be in the last group for interview so the judges would have three opportunities to get to know me in one day. Then Wednesday I will continue the positive energy to perform my dance, and continue to leave my mark in the judge’s minds. Then Thursday, I will leave my lasting impression with the On Stage Question. I cannot wait!
The next day I worked out at the gym and drove to Wilmington for a mock interview. The interview was terrific, and I was thrilled to have another opportunity to prepare for the most important part of the Miss America Pageant. Then, Wednesday was spent at the gym, working on paperwork and ended with a ballet class that evening!
Thursday night was my Quarter Auction Fundraiser at the Millsboro Fire Hall, which was a huge success! Thank you to everyone who volunteered that evening, and came out to support me on my Miss America journey. I especially want to thank Georgeanne White for all of her hard work and for finding the perfect location. Thank you, to the best mother in the world, Rhonda Martell, for singlehandedly organizing this event and for losing many nights of rest to ensure that I raised enough to cover the costs of my talent choreography. Without everyone’s help, I’m not sure what I would have done, or how my talent would look in January! Thank you Shawn, Justin, Brenda, Ashley, Susan, Sandy, Rich and Melanie, Sussex County 4-H, Brooke and Sandy Mitchell and everyone else who lent a hand that night!
On Friday it was back to work as I met with Debi and George to work on the Quality of Life application and essays. I am so thankful they have me focusing on this with more than enough time to spare! I spent the night in Newark with Debi since we had quite an early morning Saturday! Debi and I drove to the Bridal Suite in Johnstown, PA to try on my Miss America Evening Gown, and pick out my walk-on gowns! It was worth the ten hours in the car with Debi and “Tom Tom” (her new GPS!) because I fell in love with my gown all over again, and found two amazing gowns to wear on stage Wednesday and Thursday in Las Vegas! Thank you Ronnie and Deborah for providing me with a wardrobe that is more than I ever dreamed it would be! Be sure to come to my Miss America Send-Off Party on December 12th at Dover Downs so you can see my entire wardrobe and send me off to Las Vegas in style!
Congratulations to Steffi Holmes and Jessica Tilley, our new Miss Diamond State and Miss New Castle County! Unfortunately, Debi and I had to miss the pageant as we were in the car until late that evening. George was sure to call us and give us an update! I know Steffi and Jessica have quite an exciting year ahead of them, and I cannot wait to see them on the Miss Delaware stage in June!
Sunday morning I was up, bright and early, to speak briefly at Glasgow Park outside of Wilmington to raise money for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. I feel blessed to have been named an honorary member of their board! The crowd was terrific, in spite of the questionable weather and everyone surely enjoyed themselves.
I rushed from the walk to my best friend, Julia’s, surprise Bridal Shower! Natalie, her cousin and MOH, did an outstanding job pulling everything together and Julia was definitely surprised! I made a few dozen Oreo Truffles, Strawberry Cake Balls, and Peanut Butter BonBons which served as yummy favors for everyone. Julia is the most kind-hearted person you could ever meet, and also the most talented- she photographed my headshots! It was nice to have an afternoon to just be Kayla, the bridesmaid, and celebrate this exciting time in Julia’s life.
Thank you all for following me on my Miss America journey and check back soon for the next update!