Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yesterday I was able to visit my old elementary school and talk to the first grade classes about my platform. I informed the children about the many aspects of animal abuse and how they can protect not only themselves, but eachother as well. They learned that it is not safe to approach anyone who is hurting an animal or a person and that they should tell a trusted adult right away. They also learned that those who hurt animals will also hurt people. The most important thing I stressed to them was that they don't have to keep anything they see or experience a secret. I told them that if they say something and tell their mother, father or teacher, they could make a world of difference for a pet or a human being. By the end of my talk with them they knew that they had this power to go out into their communities and change the world not only for animals but for people just like them! It was such an enjoyable time! The kids were so excited and went absolutely crazy when I told them I had some surprises for them! after I taught them a little bit about my platform and my quest to fight for animal rights they were all ready to do the activity. These kids are so special to me and I really wanted to make sure that I visited their school first. It was where I grew up and I remembered being right where they were! I told them that I used to go to the school too and their faces just lit up! I cut out about 42 paws for them to make sure everyone had one. I had them trace their hand in the middle of the paw to represent my platform of "Eliminating Abuse against Animals is Elimination of Abuse against Humanity". This really helped them understand my main message that when we are protecting animals we are protecting people too due to the fact that those who hurt animals always go on to hurt human beings and commit violent crimes. We must be able to pinpoint these people so that we can protect our communities in the best way possible.
There was one little girl in particular who was really pulling at my heart strings. She asked me if my crown was real. I brought a tiara for the first little girl who had a question about my crown. I explained to her what I do with my crown and how I promote my platform while trying to be the best me I can be. I told her I have a crown for her as well! I gave her the tiara which fit perfectly into her adorable pigtails and she was so happy! She reminded me of myself when I was young and I know she will grow up to make a difference just like all of the "princesses" she so admires!
When she made her paw she wrote "I love prinssis" in the middle of her hand tracing and I could not help but keep it :) I was so proud of how enthusiastic the children were. After the activity was over, I gave them their last surprise. I autographed a picture for each class with a little dog and a plush frisbee. They were asked what they would think of when the dog and their project that they had made for their classroom. They replied: "be nice to animals", "alway tell your mommy", and " make sick pets feel better". I was so proud of them for how absorbent they were with my message and I know that they will take that message and tell others! It was hard to leave them!
Later in the day I made an appearance at the "Pawesome Party" in broadalbin. This was a benefit put on by the PTSO within the school district. The idea of the benefit was that for every item brought by guests, they received a raffle ticket for the various prizes in the gymnasium. Each child also received a raffle ticket if they participated in getting their face painted. It was such a cute idea and I was so honored to have been a guest. My job was to give out the raffle tickets, glow sticks and scooby snacks! One little girl literally thought I was offering her dog biscuits LOL her face was priceless! She was happily surprised when she learned they were graham crackers! A mother with two absolutely beautiful twin daughters helped me at the greeting table. Her girls were so shy but soon wanted to go out onto the floor with me to read off the raffle tickets. They did such a great job! They took a picture with me and their pretty feet and I just swear they will both be Miss America someday!
Later in the evening I engaged in a good old fashion cotton eye joe dance with the kids! It was a sight to be seen for sure lol but it was really fun! The kids really enjoyed themselves and in all we collected about one hundred dollars in food and supply items for the Montgomerey SPCA! We took a picture with all of the food together for the newspaper and it was just amazing to see what the kids had done. I am so proud of them! The whole benefit was put on by Nancy Carr and a few volunteers and it was an outstanding outcome! My head really hurt from having that crown on all day, but I never want to take it off! I have worked so hard to get it and now I am able to use it to make huge differences in my communities and spread my platform message. I am determined to win this fight for animal rights and I am so thankful to the Miss America Organization, The Miss Empire Star organization and all of the people who honor me with appearance requests. Without them I would not be able to fight for animals as much as I do and teach others just how important it is to love them. We have the power to make a world of difference for them so let's start now!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A visit to WTEN10!

I have been so excited all week to go down to Albany and meet with the one and only Steve Caporizzo! I was able to talk with him about my platform and receive his input on what else I should be focusing on. It was great to get someone's opinion who has been working for animal causes for a long time! We discussed how education is the primary ingredient in the fight for animal rights and that it is important to spread awareness as I do with my platform work! Buster's Law not being enforced is a large problem. The law has been passed but it is now time to strictly enforce it so we can better protect animals. Those who hurt animals will be guaranteed to hurt human beings at a later time. This law is just one of the many ways we can stop abusers and those who engage in violence in their reckless tracks.

I arrived at exactly 4:30 pm and met a lot of the news crew. I brought with me some blankets and handkerchiefs for the animal shelter( Mohawk Hudson Humane Society) that is involved with Steve's Pet Connection! I believe that animals are adopted at faster rates if they are presented in a way that is "pageantized"! We have to dress them up with accessories and advertise them so that people who are thinking about adoption will feel they are more adoptable. This has been proven! I thought the blankets and the handkerchief would help the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society's endeavors regarding adoption.

I was surprised to be asked to come back into the studio to watch Steve and the other anchors report their segments live! It was really special to me how the entire news team made me feel like a part of their team myself as a guest. They are all very welcoming to those who admire them and to anyone who visits their studio. As Steve was going through his emails he explained to me that he has over 1800 emails from february 18th and that it is just impossibly time consuming to get to each one although he tries and does his best. For him to answer my email meant a lot to me in the first place. But it meant even more when I was shown just how many emails he has to contend with on a daily basis between facebook and standard email. Chester the Pekingese arrived around quarter after five! He was so full of life and would not stop wagging his tail! As soon as his feet hit the carpet in the backroom he began to explore starting with those closest to him. :) He was also very intrigued by the treats being passed around from person to person! When he got on camera during the Pet Connection segment, it was like he knew he was on camera. All we wanted to do was roll around and get his belly rubbed! He was so cute! I don't see how he will go without being adopted for very much longer :) It was really nice to be so welcomed and to get professional input on what else I should be doing with my platform! I will cherish and remember this day for the rest of my life. Steve Caporizzo is a true role model in our communities. He has a huge heart not only for animals but for people as well and it was such a pleasure to be able to meet him and spend some time at the studio! We need to remember the animal legislation that has already been passed and push to not strengthen it but to enforce it strongly and without exceptions! We must push for those laws that have not been passed yet that will provide for more protection for animals and we must educate our communities not only about animal abuse but about the strong ongoing correlation between animal abuse and violent acts against humanity. We can drastically reduce violence if not ambitiously eliminate it altogether if we can better pinpoint who is a possible danger ot more likely to be a danger. Also, I cannot stress enough how important spaying and neutering is. The procedure can be pricey but it is so worth the money. If we keep up the amazing volunteer efforts that have been in effect so far we can take that 27% euthanization rate down to 0% Please help me in my endeavors to spread my platform and it's messages as far as I can! Steve Caporizzo and his crew have made significant differences and we can too!

I used to be a dancer believe it or not! I attended Jackie Sweeney's Creative dance studio and have known her for almost all of my life. Jackie is the definition of an influential role model in our community and she often takes the time to make sure every one of her students feel comfortable and special as an individual. My longtime friend Sara White still takes lessons from Jackie to this day and I visited them last night at their dance class! I had gone to show the girls my apparel for the Miss Fulton County pageant a few months prior and they were very active and expressive about their opinions on my wardrobe and just talking to me and having a good time in general :) Because of their outstanding opinions, I decided to tweak a few things and I now have a title! So I went back to thank them and to watch their new dances for the recital in May! Sara has been deaf since a very young age and learned sign language in an extremely short amount of time. She is absolutely amazing at being able to communicate this way. Jackie has chosen songs for Sara to sign as the rest of her class signs with her in the background. This was so heartwarming for me to see because when we were in elementary school I often stood between Sara and bullies. This is no longer a reality for Sara at least in her dance class :) She is made to feel special and admired and I along with many others have waited so long to see that happen for her. She always has been and it is time that she is shown that. Thanks to Jackie and her friends in her dance class, she will know she is admired every day even when her dance class is only once a week :)

I loved watching the girls dance and sign! Dianne and I had our own little private preview of the recital! The theme will be The Little Mermaid and sealife. I performed my talent song for them as well! It was a great way to spend the evening :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Regional Animal Shelter in Fulton County!

Last night I was given the opportunity to join an amazing group of people who have not only made large strides for positive changes for animals, but for the people of our community as well. The regional shelter will be open within a month and there are so many great ideas concerning fundraising! There will be a pet CPR class that will be open to the public and especially veteranarians. I will definitely be taking the class! :) It will be $85.00 a person and one hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the shelter. We discussed microchips which is fairly new to our community. A dog or a cat can be injected with the microchip which has its own number or code. If a pet gets lost, the vet will be able to scan the number on the computer and find out the location of the pet. I think it will prevent a lot of animals from going to the shelter after being seperated from their family. Overall, this organization along with their efforts will be making a huge difference for our community in that they stress spaying and neutering and the shelter will be able to take in and offer services to a lot of animals that would not receive help otherwise. Meetings are every third tuesday of the month at the town hall in Johnstown. We can always use more volunteers!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What an amazing day Saturday was! It was definitely extremely busy and I did wake up at 4:30 am from excitement :p But it was all so worth it! The day started off with a hair appointment at 8. My hair was incredible compliments to Nancy Mcaleese! I then came home to get ready for the Albany St. Patrick's Day parade. Katelynn and rode on a 65 GTO. I overheard the owner say what kind of car it was and was so proud to pretend I knew something about cars! :p The parade was overwhelmed with people! This time thankfully there were no riots. However. there were plenty of adorable dogs! One of the things that is most important when participating in a parade is to make sure you do not miss anyone! People were so comfortable coming up and talking to us and it really made my day. The best thing about the parade was the thousands of smiles in the crowd. People were having a great time and I was a part of the reason they were smiling. It does not get better than that! It was incredible to be a part of the community Katelynn and I are representing.
We were also guests at the Miss Mohawk Valley pageant where the beautiful Miss New York, Kaitlin Monte, co-hosted the pageant. It was so inspiring to sit in the audience and listen to her beautiful words. She is an amazing public speaker! I really admire her for having time for anyone who has questions for her whether it be fellow sisters of the Miss America Organization or a child struggling with bullying. (That is her platform.) She made sure everyone in the audience received the message that you will only shine if you let it come from the inside. We don't need to have expensive gowns, fancy makeup or even a crown on our heads to show the world what is inside of us. I hope a lot of young ladies were able to hear her incredible message. I hope many will get ithe message from reading this blog! You are beautiful <3
The pageant was a blast to watch. Laurie Jean Britton is the field director and she always puts on a great pageant every year. Competing in her pageants is so much fun you almost don't want to leave! This year I sat in the audience and I swear it was more nerveracking than actually competing! I know a lot of the girls who competed quite well and I wanted them all to win! Unfortunately that is not possible :p Third runner up was Jessica Lape, second runner up was Katherine Bant, first runner up was Heather Graves and Courtney Sheridan is our new Miss Mohawk Valley 2012! Lynn Tryon was gorgeous and heartwarming as she always is and her and her mother are two of the most generous and thoughtful people I have ever met. They made my sister queen and I matching pink pearl bracelets which I will most definitely be taking to states as a reminder of all of those who believe in me starting with Lynn and her family <3 Thank you Lynn! Not that I was not planning on putting my all into competing and representing the Albany area..but knowing how much you believe in me will help push me the extra mile! I love you! Also a special thanks to Katelynn's mom and my own mother who spent the entire long day with us taking pictures and being there for anything we have needed. My mother has done this for me since the day I was born and God blessed me with putting her in my life as a key figure and role model.
The day was spent with many people I really love and care about. It was amazing to be able to support those people and the community I am proud of so much in the same day! And to top it all off I came home to my two excited dogs! :p I hope everyone had a GREAT St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

one thing I need is a planner! But that is ok. I think that is a quick fix and that just means I have a lot of appearances and events to go to! I can hardly wait to get home and start everything I have planned! I will be attending Miss Mohawk Valley ( good luck everyone! <3)and the Albany's St. Patrick's Day Parade this saturday followed by a possible fashion show at the east greenbush fashion bug on Sunday! On monday I will go to my elementary school where I spent so many years of my life, and I will make my game plan with the principal about what I will be speaking to the children about.
Because my platform promotes animal rights and welfare it almost works as a channel to speak to children about bullying and how we should treat others. I am so excited to spend time with the children and get them started on the activities! Because there is an animal advocacy day I am planning to have them each color a heart with their handprint in the middle of it. We will turn it into a big collage that they will be able to keep in their classroom to remind them about what we talked about. I hope they enjoy it!

There is an event happening at the Broadalbin perth high school called the "pawesome party". It is March 23rd and it starts at 6 pm :) It is a fundraiser for the local animal shelters and homeless pets in our area. There will be concession stands for different types of food, and facepainting as well as a social gathering for animal lovers! That is the best part :p
I will continue to keep everyone updated! You can follow me through my year as Miss Empire Star by reading my blog :) <3

Monday, March 5, 2012

This is Dianne:) She is my coach, best friend, second many things at once! I am so thankful that God put her in my life at seven years old! somewhere around there! She will give you anything and everything as long as it is not her sequins or rhinestones! haha She is her own Miss America and the most beautiful person inside as well as out! I love her!

I have finally accomplished my goal and I have been crowned Miss Empire Star 2012! My goal does not end there however. I will now compete for Miss New York and hopefully advance to the Miss America pageant! With a platform involving animal rights and the correlation between animal abuse and all other acts of violence, I am hoping to send a broad message to society that we can drastically reduce violence if not ambitiously eliminate it altogether if we are able to recognize these relationships.

The pageant took place at the Shenendohowa senior center and was held in Clifton Park. Janet Murphy is my first executive director! She has a heart of gold and is always concerned about every one of her girls that compete in her pageant and even the girls that aged out and have competed in her pageant in the past. I love all of the pageants I have been involved with but this pageant,I have to say, is such a stress free environment. I was literally running on about three hours of sleep and had so much adrenaline throughout the competition that I did not even feel the fatigue! The girls I was privileged to compete with were both experienced in pageantry and new to pageants altogether! You would have never been able to tell the difference between them! All of them I know will go on to make state proud and will leave an impressionable mark in our system. Trust me you will see! They are amazing!

There were so many people at the pageant that have watched me work for this and have offered me so much advice and support! It meant so much to me and it was so emotionally overwhelming to see how many people are there for me and rooting me on! Jennifer Pollard, Miss Empire Star 2011 has left some big shoes to fill!

Katelynn Smith, my sister queen and long time friend has won the title of Miss Empire Rose 2012 and she has worked so hard as well. She deserves every moment of her win and her year!!!

I have a lot in progress already and I can't wait to get out into my community and spread my platform as well as positivity!

I wish I could post more pictures but unfortunately I tried to add them all in afterwards! :p next time I will do it right!