Sunday, April 4, 2010

Miss Southeast New York!

Miss Jubilee year = complete ---- Miss Southeast New York year = just beginning!

Follow this next (and last year) as I compete for Miss New York for one final chance to go to Miss America and represent my city, state, platform and friends!


Wow! What a weekend! Miss New York is going to be an incredible competition to watch and the class of 2010 local titleholders will be an exciting group to follow.

I gave up my title of Miss Jubilee 2 weeks ago and it was right back to it in preparation/organization for "pageant-palooza" as Keelie has appropriately named the weekend of March 26-27 during which 30+ girls competed for 6 local titles in Miss New York Class of 2010. As prepared and excited as I was, I was NERVOUS and feel very fortunate to have secured one of those spots.

Congratulations to the first round of titleholders:
Miss Greater Gotham Amanda Mason
Miss Metropolitan Hannah Wright
Miss Manhattan Jackie Holmes

You are all incredibly talented women and I look forward to this summer together. (It’s funny how intertwined the performance world is...Hannah is all the way from Utah, yet attends Juilliard and knows my friend Brett! That's one of the really fun things I have found about pageants though is the connections you find with all of the new people who you're constantly meeting.)

So yes, I competed in that one...and I did my best! The competition was solid and deserving girls will represent that local organization. My on-stage question was "Is winning the most important part of competing in a pageant?" I said no. “When I look back at the past three years of competing in pageants I see incredible growth. The preparation, especially for the interview process, challenges you to know what you believe and why you believe it. The sparkly headpiece is a great bonus though. :)” And even after "losing" I still do feel this way.

On to round two though, I knew I had to bring it!! This was my only and last chance to go to Miss New York. So I took a break, refreshed the makeup and hairspray, and it was go time. My crazy friends and fans were just as loud and I was more energized with a lot on the line. Swimsuit > talent > evening gown > on-stage question > final look...two hours later I looked at Cassie and Keelie just hoping that awards would be good news for all of us.

And they were. :) View the crowning moments HERE! [This may not work, just forewarning...]
Miss Congeniality Lynn Tryon (I almost wrote "duh." on my vote
1st RU Stacey Minchin
Miss Southeast New York Claire Buffie !!!
Miss Liberty Cassie Franklin
Miss Greater NYC Keelie Sheridan

!!!! I still can't believe it. !!! Congrats to all who competed in pageant-palooza (that even continued Sunday with Miss Brooklyn, Mallory Hagan)

Thank you to my mom JoJo for coming, altering, feeding, packing, errand running and loving. And my family who couldn't be there but encouraged me so much.

Thank you to the 26 people including the Miss Jubilee board members who came to watch round one and for all who stayed and continued to cheer (loudly), and also thanks to the many people sending text messages, Facebook posts, voicemails, emails, vibes, thoughts and prayers!!! I really do feel them all and they remind me of how fortunate I am to have your support system.

Thank you to the Miss New York Board, specifically Paul Brown, Kenny Mack and Linda Carbo, for executing a wonderful, fast and well-organized day! And to Ricardo, Rene and Leah for your dedication as well.

Meeting Monday to get things kicked off for this new adventure!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The end.

My time as Miss Jubilee has come to a close and I have officially passed my title onto my successor(s). We expanded the Miss Jubilee Organization this year and that's going to bring great things! Miss Jubilee 2010 is Inga Schlingmann and Miss Southern NY 2010 is Faren Collins! And Miss Jubilee's OT is Alison Stroming! Congrats to all 3 of you and to all 20 girls who competed -- very deserving group!

From R to L: Teen 2nd RU Sarah Herzberg, Teen 1st RU Jordan Kowalski, Miss Jubilee's OT Alison Stroming -- Miss Southern NY Faren Collins, Miss Jubilee Inga Schlingmann -- Miss 1st RU Cassie Franklin, Miss 2nd RU Amanda Mason, Miss 3rd RU Catherine Cosmai

I did a really poor job of taking pics of the weekend because I was crazy busy doing loottss of other things -- sorry! The pageant was a fun and smooth day for the most part because the girls were wonderful, flexible and energetic. It was a great competition and I feel confident in the winners and that the runners up will have great futures, with Miss New York as a part of them.

Important THANK YOUs go out to:
- all judges, volunteers and audience members for tracking through the flooding, power outages, etc to get to the pageant and support the girls
- my mom for withstanding delays and craziness to support me
- Leigh-Taylor for emceeing with me and celebrating my year together
- Arnie and Ivette for producing a great pageant with lots of sponsors and success
- Walter and his team of Hewlett High School stage crew for a wonderful, top-notch production
- Eric and the HHS Concert Chorale for their beautiful singing and especially the guys for escorting the ladies in evening gown
- Nirvanna for being so flexible and reliable throughout the entire day, helping at each opportunity
- All of the contestants for a fantastic time, being flexible, on time and enthusiastic, a great competition, and wonderful memories to wrap up the year!

My Farewell Letter from the program:

What's Next?
I compete for the titles of Miss Manhattan/Metropolitan/Greater Gotham next weekend, March 27th in Manhattan!! One last shot!

LTS Changing LAWS!!

THIS is what being Miss New York is all about!! Below you will find the latest blog from Leigh-Taylor Smith, Miss New York 2008. During her year, she proposed a bill to state legislature and 1+ year later, IT PASSES!!!

MARCH 19, 2010

I'm SO Excited.

And I can't even begin to hide it. Even though I have an interview in an hour and a half I just have to share the news.

The bill that I filed last year as Miss New York sponsored by Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell ... was PASSED!!! It. Is. A. LAW. (Well, on July 1st it is!)

Here's what the official bill states (if read aloud by me, it would have an exclamation at the end of each sentence):

"Section one of the bill adds a new section 815 to the Education Law. The new section establishes a school based service learning based, in large part, on the Maryland program set forth in COMAR (Code of Maryland Regulations) 13A.03.02.06, requiring students to participate in community service learning programs in order to graduate from high school.

Starting with the 9th grade class in the 2010-2011 school year, students are to complete one of two community service options in order to graduate from high school. The first option, set forth in new Education Law 815(1)(a) and 3(a) , is a 40 hour requirement that complies with guidelines to be issued by the NYS Education Department. The second option, set forth in new Education Law, 815(1)(b) and 3(b), is a locally designed program that has been approved by the NYS Commissioner of Education or the Commissioner's designee. The new requirements will first apply to students who graduate from high school in the spring of 2014."

People often asked me whats I wanted my legacy as Miss New York to be. This is it. A generation of compassionate New Yorkers introduced to service even if it doesn't happen or begin in the home. This will be an impetus to thousands of lives changed. And I'm so happy for my state.

I don't cry often as you know, but my eyes are filled with happy tears.

Have a wonderful Friday, y'all! And, have a glass of wine for me tonight!

PS: Please excuse the absurd amount of exclamation points. I'm on Cloud 9.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Miss Jubilee/Southern NY/Jubilee's OT 2010

The time has come! On Sunday, March 14, I will be giving up my title of Miss Jubilee and passing that opportunity down to 2 Miss Contestants and 1 Teen Contestant. Details on the Miss Jubilee Pageant on the flyer above. I hope to see you there! We have an amazing set of judges and contestants who will provide a competitive and entertaining afternoon! Good Luck, ladies!!

Respect for All Week

Inside City Hall: Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Joel Klein discuss "Respect For All Week" from Kim Thai on Vimeo.

Last week, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein announced that the Department of Education is launching its first-ever “Respect for All Week” in New York City. Respect for All Week is designed to focus each school’s attention on sustaining safe, supportive, and inclusive environments, providing an opportunity to highlight and build upon their existing efforts to combat bullying and harassment based on ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other characteristics.

“Students should have the right to pursue, and we have an obligation to provide, an education without the fear and distraction of bullying,” UFT President Michael Mulgrew said. For some, home is not a safe place. School is and should be.

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) has been a huge partner in the launch of this week. “We believe that Respect for All Week is an opportunity for all of us to focus on very specific ways that we can build a culture and climate of respect in our schools,” said Mark Weiss, Education Director of Operation Respect. Now, if you've read my blog at all, those words probably sound familiar. That is exactly what we are trying to do with the Safe Schools Program of PFLAG NYC.

The response from schools reaching out to PFLAG NYC for speakers during this week was so overwhelming, we could not even accommodate all during this week (but don't worry, we'll catch up next week). I spoke at Bronx Community HS on Tuesday and will speak at the United Federation of Teachers Conference on Saturday. Tuesday, I had an experience much different than I had last year at the same school. This year was a classroom full of girls who already supported and embraced their gay and lesbian friends. My focus was to praise them, thank them, and encourage them to continue their vocal support. It seems as though they didn't even understand how radical they and their views are - that's a neat characteristic of this generation. I'm looking forward to sharing with the teachers because teachers and guidance counselors need to be armed with the correct tools and language to use in supporting their LGBT youth and the bullying that can be associated.

I'm proud of the City Council's incredible initiative in this 1-week dedication to "Respect for All." My hope is that the teachers and community members can help sustain these attitudes far beyond March 8-12, 2010.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Indiana Youth Group Art Auction

I know some Indianapolis folks read my blog, so I wanted to share a great event with you.

My younger sister, Hannah, is an intern for Indiana Youth Group where my parents also serve on the committee/board (?). They are having a fundraiser and art auction next weekend!

IYG Art Auction
Saturday, March 13, 2010
7:00-10:00 p.m.
Wheeler Art Center in the historic Fountain Square

This year's event promises an evening packed with live entertainment, our favorite artists, autioneers and friends. * I have 5 pieces in this event (below), so please - go bid!

One day left of Early Bird Tickets: VIP for $40 and General Admission $15
Prices at the door are VIP $45 and General $20

The VIP social hour will start at 7:00 p.m. New features for our VIPs include a private auction, complimentary drinks, hors d'oeuvres and VIP surprises throughout the evening. All proceeds from the event go to support the programs and services of IYG.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Light for Haiti - UPDATES

Yay!! We are on/in:

This is great publicity, but PLEASE continue telling your friends!!!



VIP TICKETS (Open top-shelf bar, sit with performers) $150

* The bar is cash only....bring lots! :)