Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I have been quite the busy girl and I apologize for not updating as much as I should be! There is so much happening right now that my head is spinning but nothing I can't handle! Pawsitive Beginnings is finally in action and we have so much support from the community and the surrounding shelters! My mission as host of Pawstive Beginnings is to get as many animals adopted as possible and to take a step closer to eliminating kill shelters in New York and eventually all of America. Think we can do it? I know we can! I will also be getting training to become certified to accompany our police force in animal abuse cases. They do not have enough people to concentrate on safely transporting and placing animals or to do all of the paperwork that is involved, so that is where I come in! A humongous thanks to Thomas Voght who is giving me the opportunity to have this training! A couple of weeks ago we went to James A. Brennan Memorial Humane Society to film an adorable greyhound/boxer mix named Pluto! He has about $20.00 of his adoption fee paid and he is such a sweet adorable boy!!
We are hoping to hear more about his progress very soon! If you want to see Pluto in action, you can check out our video on him by typing in Pawsitive Beginnings on facebook! We are also working with Ayres Shelter in Spraker :) We are very close to being able to eliminate euthanization as a whole in the United States and the main goal of Pawsitive Beginnings is not only to increase adoption rates in Fulton County and beyond also to eliminate the concept of kill shelters.
They are overrun due to natural distasters, high spay and neuter costs, vet bills in general and
businesses known as puppy mills. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so greatly! We are really progressing nicely!
In other news, I will be competing for the Miss Fulton County title in just ten days! It is my last year of eligibility for the Miss America Program and I am really hoping that this year is finally my year. I competed in the Little Miss Fulton County Pageants when they were a scholarship fundraiser for the pageant and that is a part of my life that I will never forget! The Miss Fulton County organization has been such a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and it is so hard knowing that this is my last year! I will of course be participating and contributing in any way I can after my eligibility is expired. I have the Miss Fulton County Pageant to thank for helping me to further my education, for helping me to make connections with others who have the same interests and for helping me build confidence which was almost non existent when I was a child. I originally started competing when I was young because I jumped at any chance I got to be on a stage, singing my heart out. It turned into so much more than that when I learned that the Miss America Organization is not only a way to express individuality but when I learned that it could also help me help the animals which is another big part of my life. Platforms became a requirement for the Miss America Organization the year I was born: 1989. One of the things I am so grateful for as a Miss America local titleholder, is how much it has helped me further my work with advocating for animals and educating the general public on how to prevent animal abuse and neglect. I hope I walk away from Gloversville Middle School on February 2nd 2013 with my biggest dream of becoming Miss Fulton County fulfilled, but if not, I am still a winner because of all the wonderful things the Miss Fulton County Organization has taught me! I will continue to dedicate my life to working with the elderly and helping animals. I am so blessed to have been a part of the Miss Fulton County Organization in any way. This is going to be a great final competition and a great mile marker in my life! Thank you for everyone who supports me in everything I do! I hope to make you proud on the night of February 2nd!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Many found their forever best friends today at the Pet Connection adoption clinic on wolf road in Albany. A seperate adoption clinic was also held in Clifton park! I went to volunteer and help those who wanted to make an adoption :) The dogs were all outside and the cats inside but dont worry! The dogs were all dressed warmly in jackets and clothes :p Steve Caporizzo was there as were many of the furry celebrities that made an appearance on his Pet Connection show!

The above picture is me with "Cappy". Along with him was "Amy". I believe Amy and Cappy both appeared on Pet Connection. They at least have a good home with their terrific foster mom until they are adopted! Cappy would lean right up against anyone who would pay attention to him. After awhile he would gradually make his way onto his back for a good belly rub which I gladly gave him :p
In the front of the store was the Kitten Angels organization and towards the back of the store was the orange street cats organization. Along with the orange street cats was Mrs. Brumagen! It was so good to see her! She and Chelsea are generously donating their time to make an appearance at "Bowling for a Paws".

I met so many different loving animals who are every bit deserving of a forever home and neverending love! The problem with adoption clinics for me is that I want so badly to take every one of them home and I just cant until I find a home after graduation! :P Jeter from the Pumpkin Fund was adopted by a great enthusiastic family which was very exciting! congratulations Jeter!

It was a successful event and I am so happy and excited for those who found their new homes today! After the adoption clinic I was able to catch up with Jackie! It was a much needed girls outing. We went to target and she found some pretty cute footie pajamas haha and then we went to TCBY! I made my personality in a frozen yogurt sundae!

Everyday that I can end knowing that I helped an animal have a better life is what I live for. Thank you so much to everyone who helps me help the animals

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I can always count on my sisters in the Miss America organization to brighten my day and put a smile on my face :) That is something I greatly value with the stress of school and planning. Today I logged onto my computer in the library with an ambitious mood and ready to plow through all of my assignments. I got a lot done but now it is time for a little fun! ;) Chelsea Brumagen is one of my good friends and we share a lot of the same interests. She introduced the Pumpkin Fund to me which she founded with her family. I always enjoy her deep and moving posts in "You don't need a crown to be Miss America". When I checked it out today I found that she had nominated me for the "Leibster Award"! The Leibster Award is based on a pay it forward system and it helps to promote the blogs of young women who feel strongly about a cause and in our case the Miss America Programs/our platforms. Here are the guidelines and the meaning of "Leibster"

Liebster is a German word that means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Here's how it works:

  • Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  • Answer the questions that the tagger set for you plus create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
  • Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  • Go to their page and tell them.
  • No tag backs!
  • Here are the questions Chelsea chose for me!

    1. What's at the top of your bucket list?
    2. If you were an animal, what would you be?
    3. In the spirit of Halloween, what's you favorite candy?
    4. Did Santa wrap your Christmas presents or no?
    5. Have you ever broken a bone, and if so which one?
    6. Favorite kind of coffee?
    7. If you had $100 and you could do anything with it, what would you do?
    8. Favorite color?
    9. Tell me about someone or something that has influenced you to be who you are today.
    10. If you were elected president, what's the first thing you would do?
    11. Who is your role model?

                                                    What is at the top of my bucket list?
    My focus is constantly on my platform. I would like to see a great decrease in the amount of animal abuse that occurs and a big INCREASE in the amount of people who are educated about it. I want to implement a list of offendors just as there is for child abuse so that people who harm animals can never do so again. I will continue working as hard as I can to help New York State strengthen and enforce animal protection laws until I have not another day to live. This is my cause, my passion and what I will dedicate a lot of my life to! That is quite a few things for the top of my bucket list but they are all in the same category right? :)

    If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
    I have always been a very compassionate person with a concern for the well-being of others. Along with that part of my personality I tend to take the role of a caretaker which I also enjoy. I would be a therapy dog, because I care about others greatly and it gives me so much joy to know that I helped someone even if it was just in a small way. I am also studying Gerontology to become a gerontological specialist in a nursing home where I want to establish the "Eden Alternative". This includes bringing plants, animals and children into the nursing home environment to decrease the amount of required medication and levels of depression and to increase overall happiness, independence and comfort. The nursing home environment and hospitals is often where you will find therapy animals! Being there for others is a huge part of the Miss America Organization and is one of the reasons why I love being apart of it so much! The point of service plays a big role in my life and heart! I also met a  famous therapy dog! Most of you probably know him: Bocker the Labradoodle!
    In the spirit of Halloween, what is your favorite candy?
    I am definitely one of those chocolate girls! I try really hard not to eat it too often though because it is pageant season already! However, women of the Miss America Organization are healthy role models. WE DO EAT AMERICA! :)

    Did Santa wrap your christmas presents or no?
    LOL I had to laugh right out loud when I read this question because Chelsea was arguing with her fiancee over this for some odd reason? :p gotta love her! and of course he did!
    Have you ever broken a bone? and if so, which one?
    When I was very young, I was riding my bike at my grandparents house when I hit a crack in the sidewalk and went over the handlebars. I landed on my collar bone and broke it but I proceeded to get up and walk my bike back to the house. The Miss Fulton County pageant was that night and I looked forward to it every year as I still do! I knew if I told my grandparents they would take me to the hospital and I would miss the pageant so I did not tell them! They of course knew something was wrong, but they knew how important it was to me to go see the women I looked up to and longed to see every year so they took me to the pageant and to the hospital we went right after!
    Favorite kind of coffee?
    I actually do not like any kind of coffee at all. :p I love hot chocolate though! because, well, it's chocolate :D
    If you had $100 and could do anything with it, what would you do?
    I would donate it to the Pumpkin Fund so that they can continue helping animals get medical treatment. Vet bills are incredibly expensive and so families who cannot afford these bills need assistance in order to avoid euthanization! anything I can do to help prevent this tragedy, I will do and every dollar helps.
    Favorite Color?
    everyone knows this one: PINK! :)

    Tell me about something or someone, that has influenced you to be who you are today
    I met Dianne Scribner when I was a little girl competing in the Little Miss Fulton County Pageant. I was singing "A spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins as my talent and I won! She made sure that I had a rockin Mary poppins outfit and that I was on the right track. I did not have a lot of confidence as a child but the stage was my home and I knew it! I loved to perform and be in the spotlight but when it came to talking and interviewing, I did not have enough confidence yet. It is now 12 years later and I have my first title in the Miss America program and overwhelming confidence that helps me tremendously in my endeavors to advocate for animals AND people! Dianne instilled confidence in me and she taught me one of the most important lessons you can learn in life: Nothing is impossible if you have willpower, a drive to succeed and a big heart! Dianne has always believed that I can make it to the Miss America Stage and now so do I!
    If you were elected president, what's the first thing you would do?
    I would really like to see America become a more open-minded place where one does not have to be afraid to wander from the solid line of the societal norm. I would greatly show my support for same sex marriage and send my love and support to those who struggle with this issue. I would also ban kill shelters and implement alternative solutions to the overabundance of homeless animals. These solutions would be along the lines of mandatory spay and neuter while lowering the vet bills substantially.

    Who is your role model?
    I have quite a few. Each one contributes more than one attribute that I strive to have! My mother and father were my very first role models. They are kind and compassionate and I am so lucky to have a comfort source such as them for one things get tough. Of course my role model is Miss America as well. She successfully upholds the four points of the crown and applies it to her everyday life. It would not be possible for me to do this as well without a great example! Lastly, my role model is Wangari Matthai. She unfortunately recently passed away but she will always be a role model in my life! She was the first african american woman to receive the nobel peace prize due to her establishment of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. The Green Belt Movement empowered and encouraged women to restore their environment. The Kenyan Government met Wangari Matthai with great opposition but she did not give up on what she believed in no matter what punishments or obstacles they threw her way. She will forever be a reminder to me that anything I want to to accomplish is possible. There may be some major difficulties along the way but nothing worth working for ever comes easy! This is an attitude that will change the world and I'm ready to do that!
    I was also nominated for the "Leibster Award" by my own sister queen, katelynn Smith! haha thanks squirm ;) but now I can't tag you back! :p
    1. If you could be anybody, who would you be and why
    2. What does your favorite outfit look like?
    3.Favorite TV show?
    4. Favorite Book?
    5.Describe yourself in one word
    6.What is in your purse?
    7. Do you believe in ghosts?
    8.What is your favorite holiday and why?
    9. Where do you see yourself in 30 years?
    10. We all support a cause, what's yours?
    11. You're at Starbucks, what do you order?
     If you could be anyone, who would you be and why?
    I think everyone knows what I am going to say here ;) I would be Miss America! I love being a role model and contributing in any way I can. As Miss America, I would have many different opportunities to make a difference not only in my platform but in the Children's Miracle Network and so many other organizations. Scholarship, Service, Style and Success are extremely important in my life and as Miss America, I would be honored to promote them to others to the best of my ability!

    What does your favorite outfit look like?
    I love to dress up! My favorite outfit is a multicolored sequin cocktail dress that my good friend Amanda Boyer gave me. Not something I can wear to school but I love to be flashy when I go out!
    Favorite TV show?
    This was my onstage question at the Miss Oneonta pageant! You guessed it! My favorite show is the Miss America pageant. I do not have a lot of time to watch TV but you can bet I am counting down the hours every year when Miss America is scheduled to air! I am really interested in the different platform of the women and what they have accomplished for their causes so far. It is also really fun to get together with my friends of pageant world and to print out pretend score sheets so that we can try to predict who will win! :) We had a Miss America party last year at Katelynn's house!
    Favorite book?
    My favorite book is BY FAR "The Bond" by Wayne Pacelle, The CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States. In writing, Mr. Pacelle goes into detail about his endeavors to protect animals and tells heartwarming stories about each animal he met and how the HSUS played a role in saving their lives. Any animal lover will fall in love with this book. It really teaches us a lot about our responsibility to defend and be a voice for the voiceless.

    Describe yourself in one word
    Generative. I strive in everything I do to hand down my knowledge to those who may look up to me or to those who will soon be following in my footsteps. One of my favorite things to do as Miss Empire Star is to go into elementary schools and talk to children about the importance of recognizing animal abuse and its signs. I then explain to them how to handle this situation safely. I believe that my generativity will help me to accomplish my goal of educating my communities about the importance of protecting our animals and how protecting our animals ultimately results in the protection of our communities in entirety.

    What is in your purse?
    A lot of makeup, my cellphone and some healthy power food to get me through a busy day! oh, and sometimes at appearances I shove my flats in there when my feet can't take my 6 inchers anymore :p
    Do you believe in ghosts?
    My hometown just had an excellent event at the Fulton County museum in which they brought in paranormal researchers to investigate the building. I followed along with it online and got the creeps! I am not sure if I fully believe but it is a pretty cool thing to investigate/ ponder!

    What is your favorite holiday and why?
    I love christmas because it reminds me so much of my grandma! She absolutely loves christmas and it makes me so happy to see her so filled with joy. I get a lot of my personality traits from her. I love to give to others and it is probably one of the things that most gives me happiness in life :) Also, being a christian, I thank Jesus every year for dying for me <3 p="p">
    Where do you see yourself in 30 years?
    As I said earlier, I will be a supervisor in a nursing home with the implementation of the Eden Alternative in which a nursing home brings in plants, animals and children into the environment of the residents. This reduces depression and the amount of medication needed and increases independence and happiness! I would like to be a supervisor of a nursing home that has flexible rules opposed to rigid ones so that people who live there do not feel like they are in an institution but in their own home where they absolutely have a say.
    We all support a cause, whats yours?
    As you are all very aware, my cause is Preventing Animal Abuse and Neglect. I take action for my cause in various ways. I started out smaller by organizing and hosting variety shows and food drives for local shelters. I am now visiting schools to talk to and educate children about the importance of respecting and loving our animals and I have also met with state legislatures/ prominent public figures about the importance of strengthening animal protection laws and what I should be focusing on the most within my platform. In the VERY near future, I will be doing promotional videos for adoptable animals as a sort of public relations method so that our communities are aware of their existence and of their need for forever homes!

    You're in Starbucks, what do you order?
    I am not a fan of coffee but I love their mint hot chocolate during the holiday season! other than that, I would probably order a smoothie ;)
    Now here comes the fun part! I get to tag a couple girls with some great blogs! And they get to answer my questions!
    1. What is your most embarrassing memory?
    2. What do you do in your spare time?
    3. Favorite Ice Cream?
    4. Best childhood memory?
    5. First best friend?
    6. What did you dress up as for halloween?
    7. If you could meet anyone, alive or dead and ask them anything who would it be and what would you ask them?
    8. Who do you feel is a powerful role model for today's society?
    9. What is your favorite way to wear your hair?
    10. Favorite class?
    11. describe yourself in three words!
    Have fun with this ladies!



    Thursday, October 25, 2012

    "Bowling for a Paws" is all set! We are working on a few more ideas and the event will be held on November 17th! I will have Miss Empire Star's outstanding teen there which is my Madison :) Also making an appearance so far is Miss Fulton County, Colleen Gagne and Katelynn Smith, Miss Empire Rose. At the event my sorority which supports a philanthropy of Preventing Child Abuse In America will have a table to explain the organization and how animal abuse is a bridge crime. Assemblyman Tedisco is sending a represenative to help them with that as well as he will be out of town that day. I am so excited for this event and I really think it will be great! I will have more updates on it as the date gets closer!
    Now when you attend the event I expect perfect form like these guys! :D :p
    Last weekend I made an appearance as Miss Empire Star at an event held at Tractor's supply in Gloversville. The event was put on by my good friend Jef Conine and his friend Brian Matis. Brian has a lot of businesses involving horse training and horseback riding lessons. He would also make a great Mr. Empire Star if I do say so myself ;)
    The event was helf for the benefit of the Cat Sanctuary in Gloversville and Natasha's Helping Hand which is a big cat rescue located on route 30 in Mayfield! I will soon be visiting Natasha's Helping Hand to see exactly what a day is like at the rescue. I am very much looking forward to that. Steve Salton, the owner of the rescue was generous to show us pictures of his babies. They all have their own personalities and likes and dislikes. It will be a treat to be able to meet them.
    Horse back rides were given for three dollars each and it was a hit with the kids. It really helped us raise more money for the cat sanctuary and Natasha's Helping Hand as well! Jef was so generouus in donations for us to raffle off and finding other items as well. He donated a gold bracelet from J fine Jewelers and Tractor Supply donated a carhartt jacket. I met a puppy named Mason who was so curious about everything! We had farm animals and of course Brian's horses. Also there were free kittens looking for new homes! Here is Mason!
    I was honored to be a guest and to be among so many others who care. The highlight of my day was when a little girl came up to me with her mom saying she wanted to meet a "real princess" :) She told me her name was Aurora and so I reminded her that she has a real princess name! She was so cute and after finding out that she was the real princess she happily ran over to see the kittens haha
    When I returned to school on Monday, it was time to prepare for the Miss Oneonta pageant! I represented my sorority in the pageant and it is a memory I will have forever. Plus great practice for

    For my outfit of choice my sister Hannah Wightman helped me make a paw print skirt to reflect my love for animals and my platform in the Miss America Organization. Within the paw prints I puffy painted the letters of my sorority to reflect its importance in my life and the love I have for my sisters! The whole pageant was basically just  public speaking which I really appreciated because any chance I get to practice I take advantage of! My little was an amazing hostess haha she always supports me in everything I do <3 abel="abel" and="and" best="best" came="came" course="course" friend="friend" from="from" home="home" it="it" kevin="kevin" me="me" meant="meant" my="my" nbsp="nbsp" of="of" p="p" parents="parents" see="see" the="the" to="to" up="up" with="with" world="world">
    Lauren Crandall was our winner and she did a great job! :) I have competed with her many times before and it is always a pleasure.
    I was awarded first runner up! not too bad! :p Coming up on November 3rd I will be helping Steve Caporizzo with his adoption clinic on wolf road in albany! Then coming upon us quickly is the "Bowling for a Paws" bowlathon!! Hope to see you there !!!

    Sunday, October 14, 2012

    Over the weekend I had a blast! Friday night I was a guest at the Regional Animal Shelter benefit in the Gloversville Pizza Hut parking lot and the following morning, Sigma Delta Tau and Phi Kappa Psi hosted the walk for Berkshire Farms! On friday night I traveled home from Latham after a brief meeting with the owner of Spare Time Family Fun Center. I am not going to go into detail but I am about jumping up and down with excitement because of the plans we have made so far for the next event! More information will come soon ;) When I got back I immediately went home and dressed in my warmest clothes...minus the five inch pink wedges I added to my outfit lol those only lasted an hour and then i was opting for the flats. I fastened my sash onto my jacket and put my crown on and then headed out the door. I was immediately jealous when I got to the pizza hut parking lot because I did not bring a dog OR a bike! But what made up for that were the many opportunities I was given to talk about my platform and the reason why I was attending this event in my crown and sash.
    There was a piece of paper with the many donors of the event and it was so exciting and thrilling to see how many people came out to support the animals and the shelter despite the very cold weather. I met a variety of different people that night all with different personalities and interests but with one focus in common...the well-being of the animals and preventing abuse.
    I took the microphone to explain my reasons for being at the shelter and why I have such a passionate love for animals. In the picture you have a clear view of my pink wedges of death! :) The grand creator of "Fulton county and beyond" was in attendance along with Mayor Dayton King! Thomas Voght and his son Thomas Voght Jr. founded the 2Wheels Bike night in a parking lot of a Cumberland Farms and turned it into an event to help the animals out of the generosity and kindess of theitr hearts. They are already planning next years event at an earlier and warmer time!
    The event had a great turn out and was something anyone would have been disappointed to miss. I am more than happy that I was able to come down from school and make an appearance. I was able to talk to Channel Thirteen news about my platform and how much we really needed the regional animal shelter in our area. The best part of the night was just being able to be home and talk to those who have the same passion as I do. Also, it is amazing to see the beautiful relationships between pets and their owners. Many people came out with their own dogs and one dog was adopted right there while another is having paperwork done for her adoption in the next couple days. Elliot is a chocolate lab puppy who was adopted by Gordy and Debbie Suits. They were so happy to welcome Elliot into their home due to the fact that their dog had passed away and they are retired. It is for certain that Elliot will have a very happy long life with his new owners :)
    At the end of the night we pulled the tickets for the raffle. This adorable little girl received the best prize for best paint! She also told me she has a minature horse at home named Sally :)
    The total amount of money that was raised for the regional animal shelter was over 1600 dollars! Thank you so much to those who came out to spend some time with the adoptable animals and those who would give their lives for their well-being!
    On Saturday morning after I had travelled back to Oneonta, the walk for the Berkshire Farms took place in the alumni Field House on campus. Berkshire Farms Center for Youth Services deals with helping children and their families work through life problems, offers counseling services and more. We raised total of 700 dollars!
    It was so nice to see all of the other greek organizations coming out to support Sigma Delta Tau and Phi Kappa Psi :) We have a philanthropy of Preventing Child Abuse in America and Phi Kappa Psi has a philanthropy regarding the boys and girls club so we figured that this would be a great event for us to team up on.

    there were letters of encouragment that we allowed people to write at tables placed on the outside of the gym as well!
    More to come about the Berkshire Farms walk!

    Monday, October 1, 2012

    The Celebration of the Animals and the Pumpkin Fund walk! Even though it rained a little bit, it was a great time filled with love and appreciation for our pets and companions. Bailey and Max saw the leashes come out and knew it was time to get in the back of the truck! They always get so excited to go for rides and they were running back and forth all the way to Gansevoort so afraid that they might miss something on one side or the other :p When we got to the benefit I realized that I had only grabbed one of the leashes so my father had to make a makeshift leash to fill in for Max. It can be seen in various pictures as a cable used to hold things onto the back of cars haha. Chelsea was at the registration table and I stopped to talk with her for awhile. She is so dedicated to her platform and to the Miss America Program which I really appreciate about her. It is really nice to have someone with the same platform who cares about these issues as much as I do. I am very excited for this year and to see her title. She will be competing in Miss Finger Lakes on February 16th which is her grandmother's birthday so it has to be a sign! She is everything a titlehold should be:)I had a little difficulty getting the picture of her and I to save to my computer so I copied and pasted it. It isnt very clear lol I was very impressed with the event as a whole! There were a lot of different vendors and stations set up for cat adoptions. The cats were very well taken care of and kept out of the rain. They each had a description of their background, dislikes and likes. Three were adopted that day!

    The walk began and we all made a big circle around the field and then around the firehouse. My uncle Dean made an appearance with his dog "Toby" which was a nice surprise!
    When we got back from the walk it was time to bless the animals! a catholic priest came and splashed holy water on the animals to bless them and it was really sweet :) Max kind of looked at him strangely as if to say "What did you just do to me?" It gave me a laugh lol. Chelsea's godson and his brother came over to talk to me about their two black labs "Libby" and "Sam". You could tell they loved their dogs very much and they were so excited to tell me their stories. I told them that Bailey and Max are very much like Sam and Libby in that they are best friends and love eachother very much :) They are animal rights leaders of the future! Especially with such an amazing family of animal lovers to grow up in!

    Bailey and Max began to get very tired out and so we waited for the raffles to end and I thanked Chelsea and her mother for a great time! We got some nice pictures with Bailey and Max and then we headed home with two exhausted dogs! Tanis Brumagen is such an amazing lady. She wrote the story of Pumpkin who she named the organization after in a book and as I read it, it was difficult not to cry. To imagine all of the things she went through with Pumpkin and having to go through it with your own pet. I am grateful to know such a loving and compassionate family!