Monday, February 1, 2010

"Joy" of Life

I sit down to write two completely different blogs: One of sadness, one of happiness, but both of celebration. The Miss America Organization lost an amazing woman this past week. Joy Robbins, the contagious personality that completes the duo of the incomparable Jim and Joy Robbins, passed away after an incredible battle with cancer. Jim and Joy have coached, mentored and prepared the past 3 consecutive Miss Americas in addition to 2 others. Their interview preparation is unique and thorough, but more importantly, their amazing support and the honest and loving bond they form with contestants is a beautiful thing.

I was so fortunate to work with Jim and Joy in preparation for Miss Indiana and for National Sweetheart as they simultaneously worked with Katie Stam in preparation for Miss America, which changed her life. I could not imagine missing this opportunity. Joy was selfless; she was beautiful and enthusiastic, and a little bit of a spitfire. ☺ She lived her name, “Joy” in the most perfect way. Throughout her battle with cancer, we all learned so much: to live in the moment and embrace the present whole-heartedly, to find what’s important in life and celebrate it daily, to smile and to mean it.

Of course Joy wanted more than anything to see Miss America this week, for the completion of Katie’s reign and to witness the outcome of their 8 contestants of this year’s class. They did pretty well – LA and KY in Top 5, DC in Top 10, IN in Top 15! We know that she was watching though with VIP seats, sending good vibes and prayers to everyone on that stage. Joy will be missed, but the way we are to celebrate her life is to share her compassion with others and to really pay it forward. She has touched so many young women's lives in addition to all of the other aspects of her life as a teacher, friend, wife, and coach and the world truly is a better place because of her.

Katie Stam, Megan Meadors and myself will be starting a scholarship in her memory called the "Joy of Life" Award, given to someone who embodies the characteristics of selflessness, love, spunk, and genuine joy with which Joy lived every day. Stay tuned for details and contact me if you would like to donate to the scholarship.


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