For my last blog post, here is my farewell speech from the Miss Delaware Tribute Brunch.
When your name is called as Miss Delaware a rush of emotions comes over your crowning which can only be equated to euphoria. The first walk almost takes you to a different world. You see everyone looking at you with joy, excitement, and most importantly, expectation. It is the expectation set by the paths of previous Miss Delaware’s before me. I strove to create my own path and I am very proud of the journey I had.
However I have found that it is nearly impossible to write a speech. There are so many different things I want to say without becoming long winded, boring, or too serious. I pondered on this for a while and decided the best way to express my year is to speak to the future Miss Delaware. Giving her the tips and tricks for this year.
1. You will be busy. The first week after crowning you will become extremely familiar with your new kingdom of Delaware. The first week of Miss Delaware is jam packed with appearances, fittings, pictures, etc… Day 3 after crowning I had 3 parades in one day. After the first parade in Bethany. I was running back to my car to head to the next parade when a little boy and his father ran up to me. The little boy had Downs Syndrome and was going through chemotherapy. His father said that during the entire parade, all he could talk about is how he wanted to meet the beautiful princess. He smiled, said I was beautiful and gave me a kiss on the cheek. No amount of stress or business should stop you from experiencing the beautiful moments.
2. The next tip, almost contradictory but Miss America is not the end goal. At Miss America you will meet 52 of the most beautiful, kind, intelligent women in the USA. They will become your best friends. One of my favorite events this year was going to New York City with Miss Iowa and meeting the performers of the Musical Little Miss Sunshine. That event completely came from my relationship with her. Most importantly Miss America is a place for you to discover who you are. You will experience stress, frustration, anger, and you will find out who you are under these circumstances. You will also experience friendship, fun, laughter, and joy. There are very few moments in life where you can experience the whole gamut of human emotion and the human experience. Miss America is that cherished chance to be better than who you already are.
3. Strength. Miss America prepares you to be a stronger person. During this year you will go to parties, galas, government functions, and joyous occasions. More importantly, you will see people who are struggling. During Christmas time, Miss Delaware goes to all of the Children’s hospitals in the state. You will see children with mental disabilities, cancer, illness, and other ailments. When you go to the hospitals, you are not important. You are there solely to bring joy to the children who need a little happiness in their life. It is a huge responsibility and you must be strong for them. Those days were the most exhausting part of my Miss Delaware reign. However it makes it all worthwhile when you see a child’s face light up. A doctor ran up to me at the hospital and said a child desperately wanted to see me. When I walked in, she started bawling because she was so excited to see me. I asked her why she was crying and she said because I want to be just like you when I grow up.
4. Next advice is that no matter how you feel you must be a positive light for those you come into contact with. You must be the person that you want people to emulate. Christmas Eve, I was misdiagnosed with Lymphoma. Christmas time a packed time for Miss Delaware and I did not miss any appearances. The day I got a biopsy, I left for New York City to sing at the Colgate Games. I sang the Star Spangled Banner in front of thousands of people with a golf ball sized lump on my neck. When I sang, all the girls started hooting and hollering and they told me that I sounded better Alicia Keys. I made an effort to talk to each girl and give photo pads to each one. They did not know that I was going through a dark time in my life and I did not want them to know because this would be the only time they would come into contact with a Miss Delaware and I wanted them to remember what the crown represents. I kept this private from everyone,
6. though it turned out to be ok. For two weeks, I had to live with the possibility I might have cancer. It made me think about having to give up the crown early because I wouldn’t have been able to continue my duties. It made me rethink the rest of my year.
7. Focus on the Service. As you have been coached, there are four points on the crown. Scholarship, Style, Success, Service. Service, for me, was the best part of this year. I went to many events involving Foster Children. I handed out over 500 books to foster children this year, I gave presents to foster children during Christmas time, I spoke at Child Inc.’s 50th anniversary dinner, I spoke at Lyme Disease meetings. These events are what make your year different from any other previous Miss Delaware. The crown has a power behind it, use it to help a cause you are passionate about.
8. Have fun! The majority of your appearances are at schools doing something called character counts. This program encourages young children to become upstanding citizens in the future. During these presentations, I would have a question and answer session. My favorite questions include.
a. Are you a real princess?
b. Do you have a limo?
c. Are you single? Followed by, is Mr. Delaware your boyfriend?
d. Are you wearing makeup?
e. And my all time favorite question was “Do you like rocks?” When I said yes the little boy proceeded to pull a giant rock out of nowhere and give it to me.
My last bit of advice for you, future Miss Delaware, is to cherish each and every moment your crown is on your head. The year will be over before you know it, I know mine was. Being Miss Delaware is a highlight of my life. I will miss wearing the crown. Someday I might put it on in the safety of my own home while watching the newest Game of Thrones just to feel a little bit of the magic that the crown possesses. However, part of what makes this experience so rewarding is that it is so fleeting. It has been a pleasure being your Miss Delaware 2013 and I look forward to seeing the young women from this organization succeed.
Today is the day, I will be giving up my crown. I am feeling quite nostalgic at this moment because this year has been the most rewarding year of my life. Each parade, appearance, interview, and person has changed me for the better. It has been an honor to represent the state of Delaware. I know that this is just a brief stop on my journey but I will cherish my Miss Delaware Title for the rest of my life. Looking forward to crowning Miss Delaware 2014 and seeing what an amazing adventure they have.
Miss Delaware 2013