Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Monarch Misses - LouMasi & Mom

In 2006, the Monarch Miss Mentoring program was added to the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Organization. With some help from a former Miss West Virginia’s Outstanding Teen and now current competitor for Miss West Virginia, Jessica Schuler, and other Miss America State Organizations, we in WV were finally a part of the mentoring opportunities associated with Miss America.

(With Danielle at the Greenbrier 4th of July Parade)

This past year I was assigned to two Monarch Misses, Evie Thorn and Danielle Jolliffe. Danielle and I have been able to stay in touch because of her mom – the manager of the State Fair of West Virginia – but Evie and I haven’t gotten to get together this year. I hope if there is a "next time" I get to visit Petersburg, I will be able to connect with her. She is a great girl…just growing up and dealing with the day to day busy lifestyle.

(With LouMasi and Baby Talia)
I have had the blessing this year to have adopted LouMasi Lott as my Monarch Miss.  She and her mom found me and have been such a support. Her mom recently wrote me a facebook message about Masi singing EVERY WORD of my Precious Lord, Miss America talent song, to her doll “Baby Talia.” I guess you never realize how you affect little girls or how much they remember until you are hit in the face with the reality that it is not just a MYTH….they really do look up to you!
After the bridal show in Parkersburg, I had a few hours to spend with both her and her mom at Applebee’s and I can’t wait till the next time we can get together. They both are WONDERFUL people and women I look forward to spending a lifetime getting to know!

Elizabeth Michael's Bridal Show

Just a few days before the bridal show was to take place, I was asked to be a model for two gowns that were needing to be showcased. I agreed since Jane/Elizabeth Michael’s has done so much for me!

Elizabeth Michaels is located in Vienna, WV and is a ONE-STOP-SHOP for all pageantry/prom/bridal needs as well as just spicing up your wardrobe with a few statement pieces. Many of you readers hear me refer to Elizabeth Michael’s as "Jane’s" and that is because it is owned and operated by Jane Engleke of Mineral Wells. She outfitted me for Miss West Virginia Fairs & Festivals in 2007 when I won, Miss West Virginia 2008 and Miss West Virginia 2009.  Not to mention, my FABULOUS wardrobe at Miss America!
She has been a great friend of mine, pageant helper, and fashion police. Not to mention she is a WONDERFUL sponsor to many of the WV Preliminaries and the Miss West Virginia Scholarship Organization. 

KVSO Children's Pageant

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, I wore both the KVSO preliminary titles when competing for Miss West Virginia. Now it came time for a fundraiser and I was honored to serve as the emcee for the area children’s pageant.

There were close to 30 participants, ages from baby to Pre-Teen Miss. Each contestant was awarded a princess prize box along with a crown, sash and gift bag to the winners of each age group and category.

It was a fun day and a great time to visit with the newly crowned Miss Kanawha Valley Scholarship titleholders who also helped out with the fundraiser as well.

IHOP National Pancake Day

Since beginning its National Pancake Day celebration in 2006, IHOP has raised more than $3.25 million to support charities in the communities in which it operates. While IHOP's National Pancake Day typically takes place on Shrove Tuesday, this year the company will host its free pancake event on Tuesday, February 23, extending the fundraising window by one week to maximize donations for Children's Miracle Network. With your help, we hope to raise $5 million in five years for Children's Miracle Network and other local charities through your donations in 2010!

(New friend and a new bride-to-be)

Known also as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, National Pancake Day dates back several centuries to when the English prepped for fasting during Lent. Strict rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products during Lent, so pancakes were made to use up the supply of eggs, milk, butter and other dairy products...hence the name Pancake Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

I was privileged to host at the IHOP in Beckley, WV, right off of Harper Road. There I spent a few hours with the guests that came in to support the day and it cause. I even reconnected with someone that I worked with a few years back when on the McCain campaign (see picture above). Other Miss America and "Miss State" contestants also partook in the day by offering up a few hours of their time to flip flapjacks or visit with the guests of IHOP. A few Miss West Virginia contestants had pictures posted of their experience and I stole those to show with you. You will see below.
When sitting down with the guests, I stuck up a conversation about almost anything. An older woman and her "daughter-in-law to be" were eating their breakfast meal and she told me she was a pastor of a church in Beckley.  We started talking about our faith and our church experiences. Always when you need a pick-me-up, God is there. Everyone and everything else fades, but He remains ever present!

(Megan Otte - Miss Kanawha Valley)

(Jessica Schuler - Miss Metro Valley]

Miss Kanawha Valley Preliminary

The Miss America Organization provides personal and professional opportunities for young women and opportunities to promote their voices in culture, politics, and their communities. The program provides a forum for today's young women to express their viewpoints, talents, and accomplishments to audiences.

The Miss Kanawha Valley Scholarship Organization follows the same values as it gives West Virginia residents the opportunity to compete for Miss West Virginia under the Miss America Scholarship program. This pageant is near and dear to my heart because I held both the Miss Kanawha Valley title and the Miss Capital City title. I had two wonderful years to work with head pageant director, Misty McMinn, after competing with her my first year in the system. She is a wonderful woman and director along with the other directors that put on this regional preliminary. 
There were 16 contestants that competed for 8 titles – six were given by KVSO and two were given by the Miss Southern West Virginia preliminary. The winners are as follows:
Miss Kanawha Valley, Megan Otte
Miss Capital City, Rebecca King
Miss Appalachia, Emily Shaffer
Miss Metro Valley, Jessica Schueler
Miss Whitewater, Macy Miller
Miss Coal Valley, Jessica Keefer
Miss Kanawha Valley's Outstanding Teen, Auvielle Anderson
Miss Capital City's Outstanding Teen, Payton Whitt

Fun one with the KVSO winners and the awesome director, Misty McMinn.

My Payton...

Mary Engles Elementary School

Mary Engles Elementary was one of my favorites! Up until my visit, I had only had one other school be prepared and ready for me to come in with my powerpoint/video presentation. The school staff were wonderful and I can see why the kids were as well. They were so well behaved and mannerly!
The whole school was in the presentation and we all convened in the gym. After the presentation I did a 20 minute question and answer session. Those are always a blast!

Women's and Children's Day at the Capitol

Women’s Day at the Capital is an annual event hosted by Senator Donna Boley. This day offers a chance for all republican women to get together, catch up, and offer their support to the upcoming candidates in the various political races. We had visits from various candidates and Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito even dropped by for lunch!

(I am the one in the green suit...didn't get the dress code memo.)

February 17th is dedicated solely to children at the WV State Legislature. This year there were various speakers including myself and First Lady, Gail Manchin, who provided a insight from the field of child advocacy to the legislative members and those in attendance. A YouTube forum was added to this special day. Throughout the state children were filmed posing questions to the legislative members who were on the YouTube panel. This was a really cool, interactive, and audiovisual perspective to how kids think and how they perceive the legislative body and their role in society.