Talent Presentation at the Miss America Pageant

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Straighteners, Fudge, Miss America, Earrings, and Dresses... and to top it all off... beautiful downtown Fresno!

Hi everyone!  I just got home this afternoon from a weekend in Fresno for the Miss California State Meeting.  

On Thursday, I spoke at Mater Dei High School for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.  The MAW Foundation has a program called "Kids for Wish Kids" at various schools and they raise money to sponsor wishes.  This club at Mater Dei is in its 2nd year and I spoke to a group of about 4o students explaining what Make-A-Wish is, how it got started and what we do.  I also gave them some tips on great ways to fundraise!  Good luck Mater Dei!

Friday morning I rushed back from Glory of Christmas and zipped up my already packed bags and hurried to get on the road to Fresno.  In my hastiness, I placed my very hot (and by very hot I mean 400 degrees Fahrenheit hot) straightener into my very cute Miss America tote bag.  Once I got to the bottom of the stairs, I somehow managed to place my upper arm between the two plates of the very hot straightener and before I realized what was happening, I had badly burnt my arm!  Only I could be so creative.  So... for those of you who were wondering how I got my war wounds on my arm, it is from a crazy straightening accident!  And... it's safe to say that I have learned my lesson that straighteners should only be used on hair!  :)

We finally got on the road late in the afternoon and began the exciting trek to Fresno.  I had the pleasure of riding up with Kathi Baldwin and Mary Betty from the Miss Placentia pageant who kept me quite entertained with stories and the occasional "Are we there yet??".  We stopped for a quick dinner at Outback Steakhouse and caught a few innings of the disappointing Angel game and then safely arrived in Fresno around 10pm.  I rushed up to my room and finished a homework assignment that needed to be turned in at 11:30!

On Saturday morning, the State Meeting began.  I went downstairs and was delighted to see the smiling faces of many local directors as well as the state staff and hostesses!  It was really great to see everyone and very strange to be the only "contestant" there!  I kept having to remind myself that I didn't need to check in with Connie, Merri, Vera or dancing Connie!  (By the way, happy birthday Vera!!)  About ten minutes before I was to speak, Bob came and sat next to me and said "I have a surprise guest this morning!"....  and I am thinking to myself, "A surprise guest??? Who could that possibly be?"  And then, he told me that Katie Stam was in town!  I couldn't believe it, and after I picked up my jaw from the floor, I was really excited!  How ironic that Miss America would be in Fresno at the same time as all of us!!  So, I spoke for a bit about what I am doing as Miss California, my appearances so far and my preparation for Miss America and fifteen minutes later, in walks Miss America!!  (in a purple dress and black pumps... almost exactly what I was wearing that morning)

Needless to say, we were all quite excited.  Katie was wonderful and is an exceptional communicator and public speaker.  She spent about an hour encouraging the volunteers and answering various questions.  I got a quick picture with her and then she was off to her next appearance.  What a fun surprise!  The day went on with various meetings and discussions regarding the exciting changes for the year to come and I had a chance to visit with local ED's and get to meet a few new ones as well!  I also got to enjoy Mary McCaman's amazing rocky road fudge!!  yum!

In the afternoon, I played "dress up" with Mary, Donna and Chelle and we had a mini fashion show in their room!  It was so fun!  Mary also gave me an early homecoming present from her, Stephanie Schutt and the Santa Clara Auxillary and I am SO excited about it!  They are the cutest personalized and embroidered garment bags (with rhinestones and a crown of course!) and also a great big duffle bag that is on wheels!  I can't wait to use them at Miss America!

I could barely carry everything!

Saturday night, we had a very nice dinner and the PPA had several raffle drawings.  And after the chocolate cake came BINGO!  And naturally, I didn't win a single game of Bingo.  Last night I also got the opportunity to check out the Charles Freeman Stamper earring collection!  He has an incredible collection of beautiful vintage jewelry and he is quite the earring guru!  I had no idea how much analyzation could go into earrings!  It was too fun and we found several pairs that I loved!  He was so sweet and so generous to offer them to me!

With Freeman trying on all the different earrings!

After a long day, I went back up to my sleep number bed, finished some more homework assignments and called it a night!  This morning, (Sunday) I got to sleep in until 7am and after a large Starbucks, Chelle and I headed down to the meeting.  I quickly said goodbye and we were on the road towards home.  Kathi, Mary Betty and I stopped at Apple Annie's in Tulare on the way home!  Yum!  I am already excited to go back there next week on my way to Merced so that I can try an apple dumpling!

I had a great weekend and I am so so excited for this next week!  I am home for just two short days and then on my way back up to Merced for my homecoming and several appearances!

Quote of the week:  
"Let your light shine.  Be a source of strength and courage.  Share your wisdom.  Radiate love."
-  Wilfred Peterson

Miss America countdown:  93 days