February was quite a busy month! And by far, one of the most interesting yet! It all began with a few exciting appearances, like the Rotary Club Meeting in Hockessin where I was asked to visit and speak about my platform, and my Miss America experience. Anyone who knows me, knows that 5:30am wake-up calls are not my favorite thing in the whole world, but this appearance was completely worth it! Thank you to the Rotary Club for being so welcoming and sincere! I had such a wonderful time.
That same afternoon was one of my favorite appearances of the year- the Miss CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) America Pageant at our local Children's Miracle Network Hospital. Every visit to CHOP always warms my heart, and reminds me of how grateful I am to not only be Miss Delaware, but also to be healthy and have the opportunity to give back, and change the lives of others. While at the Miss CHOP America Pageant, I had the fortune of reuniting with my Miss America sisters and friends, Miss NJ, Ashleigh Udalovas, and Miss PA, Courtney Thomas. The three of us performed our hearts out and absorbed every moment of that day. There were two parts to the competition- on stage question, and talent. The pageant was even broadcast live throughout the hospital so that all the patients who were not able to attend, could still enjoy the show!
Wednesday, February 9, I visited one of my favorite sponsors, Carrie at the Hockessin Day Spa. I was definitely in need of a facial and until this year, never fully understood the importance of upkeep for your skin! Carrie and I always talk the whole time and catch up on everything we have going on, so it's like productive girl-time! The rest of the day was spent running errands- yep, Miss Delaware's have to-do lists, too!
Thursday, February 10, I performed and spoke at the Milford Senior Center for a group of lively and welcoming seniors who LOVED my dancing. Thank you, Doris, for inviting me to visit that day, and allowing my father to be a part of the audience as well. I hope they all enjoyed the show!
The next two days were filled with meetings and even... Wedding Planning! After nearly five years together, Kevin proposed and so that weekend we were excited to start exploring wedding venues and options! Then, on Sunday I was delighted to spend the afternoon with the Miss Delaware's Outstanding Teen Contestants at their Contestant Orientation. Katelyn, MDOT 2010, spoke beautifully about her experiences during her reign and at the Miss America's Outstanding Teen Pageant, her mother then spoke, and I was lucky enough to shed some light on the preparation process and the competition itself. It was important to me that the contestants know how much they will gain just from being part of the MAOT program. I competed in the very first MDOT Pageant in 2005, and placed 1st Runner-Up to the talented and lovely, Carly Economos (who led on to be selected as 3rd Runner-Up at the Miss Delaware Pageant this past year). Even though I was not selected as MDOT, the experience afforded me the opportunity to better understand our program, and get a jump-start on my preparations toward becoming Miss Delaware one day!
That week I was honored by the Insurance Commissioner's office, interviewed by FourPoints Magazine, and had a fashion show wardrobe fitting. But, I also experienced a medical emergency and therefore spent several hours in doctor's offices. I am on the road to recovery, but please do keep me in your prayers.
Saturday, February 19, was the start of a VERY busy week! I was starting to feel a little better but still needed to take it easy. That evening I co-emceed the Southern Lights of Life Event at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino for the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition! This is truly one of my favorite appearances every year! I have volunteered with these ladies for a few years now, and always leave this event very inspired. I usually visit the ladies during rehearsal and back stage without my wig. They all know my story, but it lets them know there are people out there who appreciate their bravery for sharing their experiences as well. Chris Saltalamaccio, Mr. Delaware 2008 and my dear friend, co-emceed the pageant with me and we had the time of our lives. To know these women (and one male) are all breast cancer survivors just brings me to tears each year when I see them confidently walk the same runway we, as contestants, walk at the Miss Delaware Pageant each year- it just warms my soul. I left feeling blessed for the opportunity to even share the stage with them, and completely renewed in my joy for my job as Miss Delaware.
Sunday, February 20, I visited the Bridal Show as a guest of Lady's Image who offers a discount for Miss Delaware. It was a beautiful show, and I loved seeing all of the dresses, and of course, cake testing! I got some great ideas for my own wedding!
Thankfully, Debbie from Lady's Image was understanding with time, because I had to leave rather promptly to get to the Philadelphia Airport to catch my flight to Tampa, Florida. Be sure to read the next update to hear all about my trip!
God bless you all, and thank you for continuing to be a part of this year in my life.