Learn and Live

I cannot believe that I will be competing for the title of Miss Missouri 2010 in less than 2 weeks! My schedule has been busy, and it is definitely not lightening up anytime soon! I would never be able to keep up with this hectic lifestyle if it were not for the support of my family, friends, board members and wonderful volunteers who have helped me along the way.  From the moment that I was crowned Miss Kansas City in February, I knew that this year was going to be a special one.  I have created so many memories that I will never forget.  I have learned so much from everyone that I have encountered along my journey to become Miss MO 2010 and I want to extend a heart warming thank you.

Most recently, I met several heart cancer survivors at the Start! Heart Walk Kansas City 2010.  These survivors taught me what it is like to learn and live strong.  I was amazed to see how many survivors were under the age of 15 and that they were walking to raise money for something that once affected the future of their lives.  As I arrived at the walk, I was immediately shipped to the Kid Zone to sign autographs.
While I was there I was greeted by a good friend of mine, Chief's mascot, KC Wolf! KC and I have done several appearances together and I have had the opportunity to get to know him personally.

For those of you that know me, I cannot sit and watch kids playing... I have to get involved in the festivities!  Since I was a child, I have always had a love for children.  Since there were a ton of hula hoops, I decided we should have a contest!! 

(I used this picture to help explain to my middle school students how the forces of gravity work- look at my hula hoop!!!)

After mingling with some of the kids, it was time for the opening ceremonies of the Heart Walk.  As we began the stage announcements, I noticed someone waving at me.  I immediately waved back with a smile.  As this person continued to wave at me and dance around, I soon realized it was my brother, Jimmy!  He was running sound for the entire event! 

Such a goof! What would I do without the support of my awesome family??
Once the ceremonies ended it was time to meet some of the survivors.

Heart survivors! They were all provided with red survivor hats from Shawnee Mission Medical Center.

Before the walk could begin we all took a moment to think about those that lost their battle with heart disease and stroke.

It was during this time when I truly began to realize the impact that a healthy lifestyle has on community members in the KC area.  I learned that the Heart Walk is the largest fundraising event that focuses on exercise as an important part of a heart-healthy lifestyle.  Over $1,000,000 was raised on Saturday for America's number 1 and 3 killers, heart disease and stroke.
Walkers were able to choose between a one mile or a four mile route around Theis Park on the Plaza.  Over 12,000 walkers of corporate teams and individuals joined together to reach the goal of $1.25 million.  The mission of the American Heart Association is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.  

As the day continued I met so many gracious supporters and was able to thank them for volunteering their time to the American Heart Association.  

This woman says that I am her good luck charm! She was convinced that after meeting me, I brought her good luck.

Theis Park served as a wonderful area for the walk! 
Once a majority of the walkers returned, I was back in the Kid Zone! 

I LOVE hugs!! 

The Kids Zone was a blast and I loved hearing about all of the princess crowns the girls had at home! As you can tell, I got a great thigh work out on this day....

This little sweetheart saw me out of the corner of her wagon and literally leapt at me!! Luckily, I was able to catch her just in time for a big hug. 

I was also able to visit with the Blue Bell cow! 

The walk was a success and KC volunteers got in a great day full of fun and exercise! 

Directly after the Heart Walk I took off for my next appearance, the Just for Her Expo in Overland Park!  The Expo was filled with ladies who came out to treat themselves to some fun.  Some of the expo activities included; a bachelor auction, boutique crawl, fashion show, pamper lounge, prizes, tasting tables, over 250 booths of services and shopping, and of course, yours truly! 
When I arrived I was greeted by my good friends from Mix 93.3, we were also together at the Heart Walk that morning! I was immediately handed a script and t-shirt to get ready for the fitness portion of the Expo.  Fitness is a major part of my life and I wanted to help promote a healthy lifestyle of all of the women there.  This particular day I was promoting kc180fitness, run by Kri Chay.  Kri and my trainer, Dorn Lovan have assisted me with my nutrition and fitness a great deal in the past few months.  A group of their boot camp girls and I were up on stage, presenting a skit about making time to work out and the benefits of kc180fitness.  After the skit, we presented a short segment of work outs.

Believe me, working out with the crown on can definitely be a challenge!
After the skit and short workout segment, I was able to visit with the "expo-ers"!

Signing autographs! 

While at the Expo, I was able to meet a wonderful young lady who was interested in pageants.  She was such a sweetheart and I was able to recruit her! Watch out teen contestants, you definitely won't miss her this year! Although she lives in Kansas, she will still be a great asset to this organization.

Also, if anyone out there is looking for a great way to get in shape, feel free to contact Dorn Lovan!!! He has worked wonders for me.  You can read all about him on his website: http://www.iamoneup.com/  and also check me out on his client spotlight! 

Sunday brought more preparations for Miss Missouri!  My sister queens are I are extremely lucky to have a wonderful support group at our send off party and wardrobe showing in Platte City! We are pictured here in our opening number dresses with our fabulous directors, Angie Young and Tim Collins, along with our photographer Megan Knott. 

Service Above Self

I was honored to speak for the KCI Rotary Club last Wednesday at the KCI Convention Center ballroom!  

After visiting and enjoying a wonderful lunch, I was welcomed with open arms to present my speech.  During this time, I explained what the Miss Missouri Organization is all about and what it means to me. Twenty minutes quickly passed and I offered the smiling faces a chance to ask some questions.  Little did I know, but they were very intrigued by what I had to say! They asked several questions and eventually it turned into an interview type setting.
They asked everything from the differences between Miss USA and Miss America to the 7 year old Beyonce video on youtube!  They were definitely a fun group to speak with and I felt that I formed several connections with the members.

During the meeting, I was also able to gain new information about rotarians.  This particular Rotary Club has been focusing on ways that they can allow community members to benefit from their services.  They have recently provided several large scholarships to high school seniors in nearby schools.  It was a great feeling to know that I was in the presence of others who enjoy community service as much as I do.  
As the meeting came to an end I had a chance to individually speak with several of the members.  Some members asking me to speak at other events and other members that still had several questions.  One spunky Rotarian came to me and told me that my shoes were "rockin' awesome" and was in awe with the crown.  All she wanted to do was touch the crown, and believe me, she got her opportunity!

By sitting in a meeting with a group of people, you begin to learn a lot about each of them.  This was a wonderful group of Rotarians and I could tell that their fun loving attitudes are what help to make them such a positive club.  There was a wide range of diversity within this club and I feel that I walked away with several new friends.

"Friendship is a natural and willing servant...There is no reason...why the great power of friendship should not be harnessed to do its part in the world's work."
-Report of the President, 1912 Rotary Convention, MN, USA



The students are Hawthorne Elementary School are definitely phenomenal! I had the privilege of visiting the school in the Park Hill district and speaking to students, K-5, about being respectful citizens and goal setting.  As I began to speak at the 5th grade assembly, a hush fell over the students.  Normally the students have so many questions that they wiggle around with an eager face.  I was quite impressed with the respect the students provided me with as I spoke to them and encouraged them to get involved in 6th grade.  When it came time for the question session, I was worried that the students would be shy and not have many questions; however, I was shocked when all of their questions were well thought through and very knowledgeable.
The students were so well behaved that I decided to throw in a fun team building activity for them.  Since we were talking about working together and being respectful to others, I thought it would be best to participate in the human knot!  The kids loved it!!! 

They continued to listen to directions and we decided to have the teams race to see who could unscramble faster without talking.

The groups worked together very well!! 

After we completed the activity, I began to reinforce the main points of my presentation.  All of the students were so grateful and I cannot wait to visit again.
After the assembly for the 5th graders, I began to visit the classrooms of several other grades.  I provided those students with a shorter speech, answers to their questions and of course, autographs!! 

One of my favorite parts of the day was during my visit to the special education wing of the school building.  Growing up, I found it difficult to accept the fact that my uncle had a mental handicap.  After being inspired by the book The Man who Loved Clowns by Missouri author, June Rae Wood, I began to develop a special love for people with disabilities.  Unfortunately, my uncle can no longer talk, but he definitely loves to smile at us when we visit.  I tried to make the most out of my time with these students because they continue each day with a smile on their face.  This became my inspiration.

They have absolutely no cares! Many of the children showed me that they live a life of happiness and it is filled with laughter in which I was able to experience with them.

One of the BEST huggers I know! 

I will definitely never forget my trip to Hawthorn Elementary.  A huge thank you goes out to the staff and administration for contacting me and allowing me to experience their wonderful students.

-The more difficulties one has to encounter, within and without, the more significant and the higher in inspiration his life will be.  Horace Bushnell