Thursday, August 26, 2010

NARFE - Chapter 190

I am so honored that the members of the NARFE invited me back to speak at their monthly meeting. This group is always so welcoming and I really enjoy my visits with them. Today's meeting was very informative, and this time around I learned that the NARFE organization is the largest non-profit contributor to the Alzheimer's Association. So far nationally as a whole, NARFE has raised over 9 million dollars for this cause. WOW, that is truly amazing! After a delicious meal I was called to the podium where I shared all the new adventures my title has taken me on since last being there, as well as what Luggage of Love has been doing. I answered a few questions then the meeting was adjourned. To my surprise I was honored with a referral to a PR firm that is interested in helping me grow Luggage of Love to a household name nationwide. I am so excited about this! Thank you so much for all those who contributed today to Luggage of Love, your donations mean that one less child has to carry their personal belongings in a garbage bag. Just think...the $115.00 that was collected today will provide 16 children somewhere in the system with a brand new piece of luggage, as well as one less thing to have to worry about. Thanks again!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Day at the Ballet

Yesterday I took part in an amazing event put on by the Ventura County Ballet Company that was sponsored by a grant from The Angel Heart Foundation. This event was very special because it gave local foster and kinship children in Ventura County the opportunity to learn ballet and also preform a piece of their own for their foster and kinship guardians. When I first arrived I was greeted by the lovely women of the Ventura County Ballet Company that were in charge of the event. Eileen Riddle, the president of the ballet company, gave me a personal tour of the studio. The ballet company has their own full costume room with everything imaginable to make a performance come to life. After the tour I was escorted to a room where I met some of the children as they were getting their faces painted & decorating point shoes that they would get to take home. Each of the children were so cute and full of life. I really like how they decorated my crown and requested that I leave it that way forever because it looked much better than the plain way it was! Next it was off to another room where we watched the group learn for the first time how to do ballet. As they continued to practice all of the guardians and myself were escorted to a larger ballet room where we all took seats to watch the children's performance. In no time the group performed a piece for us and it was amazing. I loved the excitement and gratitude that each one had in their eyes. Once the performance was done and each young lady curtsied and each young gentleman bowed, the group got the opportunity to decorate cookies and eat them while I read to them from the book of The Nutcracker. I can tell you first hand the cookies were a BIG hit, they were so delicious. To wrap up this memorable day we were all treated with a special performance by one of the senior dancers from the ballet company who preformed a piece as the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker. I want to thank all of the young ladies from the Ventura County Ballet Company who helped out, as well as the senior instructor who taught all of the children. You all have done something that is so wonderful that no words can even express. These children will forever remember this day and it is because you took the time to care. Thank you so very much. Finally, I want to thank Marion Witte from The Angle Heart Foundation who has the biggest heart of anyone I know. I love the passion you have for these children and the devotion you show on a daily basis. It is greatly appreciated by all.

* All pictures have been taken from the backs of the childrens heads due to confidentiality reasons *

California and Main Event

Today I was able to take part in an event that happens once a month in downtown Ventura. The city blocks off an area on Main Street and merchants set up booths for patrons to browse. The manager of California & Main, Christian, and his assistant Amanda asked if I along with y friends, Meghan and Natallie, would mind modeling some of their beautiful gowns during the event. Of course we did not hesitate one bit to play dress-up. We had such a great time!

Interview for Brooks Institute

Today I met with two fanominal young ladies, Karly & Suzanne, who are doing a piece on children who do not have a voice. We met at the shelter, Casa Pacifica, where I spent some of my time before being adopted into my forever family. They chose to interview both my mom and I so that they could see each of our prospectives on my life since coming into the system. As I continue to do more types of these interviews I find myself growing and learning about my background and how it has affected my daily life. Not only do others get to learn from my story but I too grow and heal by talking about it. Thank you so much ladies for including me in your piece and allowing me into your lives as well. You have truly touched me and I hope that both of you go on to help others in your own ways.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

100 pieces of luggage purchased from World of Disney

The most amazing thing happened on my last trip to Disneyland. My best friend, Meghan Lopez, happened to be shopping at Downtown Disney and saw that there was a luggage deal being offered to customers at the World of Disney store. If you made a $20 purchase you could buy a child's set of luggage for only $10, this set included a rolling bag as well as a duffel...which is a pretty good price. So I met with the store manager and discussed purchasing 100 pieces. After explaining about Luggage of Love and sharing my story with her, she made a few calls and shortly I was purchasing the luggage for $7 a piece!!! Then it was off to the motorhome to load the luggage up and be on our way. I know the many children in foster and shelter care are going to love these pieces of luggage. Thanks so much to the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney for your support, it is greatly appreciated.

Disneyland with Jr. Miss California Intl. 2010 !!!

After the 2011 California International Pageant Orientation was over in Downey this weekend, my sister titleholder, Claire Wright, and I headed to the most magical place on earth...Disneyland! We had so much fun, and even got VIP seats for the new water & light show at California Adventure called World of Color. It was breathtaking and beyond words. I was so glad to have spent the day with Claire and have a special memory such as this before we crown the next queens in less than a month. I only hope that the new titleholders develop a bond like those that I have with my sister titleholders because it is something that is indescribable, and each one of them hold a special place in my heart.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2011 California International Pageant Orientation

This weekend was bitter sweet to say the least. I spent the better part of it mingling with the incoming contestants as well as my sister titleholders, the Peterson Production Crew (Dennis, Heather, and Craig) and of course the best director ever....Eddie Peterson! There were nearly 100 young women from ages 11 to 56 excited with the opportunity of representing the sunshine state as one of the next California International titleholders. During the orientation Ashley, Gretheel, Claire and I got the opportunity to speak about our experiences this year, our platforms, and show off our National wardrobe. We had so much fun and felt like the center of attention.....without all the pressure of competing!!! I know I say this often but it has truly been an honor this past year to represent such an amazing organization. The California International Pageant System and Peterson Productions has given me so much that I am filled with gratitude beyond words. I look forward to crowning the next Miss Teen California International this coming September.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

30 Days and 30 Ways to end Hunger in America...What are you going to do?

Below is the link to my pledge on the National website for Feeding America. This was one of the segments I filmed while in Chicago last month. It is a part of the 30 days and 30 ways I could help end hunger in America. I know first hand what it is like to be hungry. When I was younger I use to go for days without food. I would rummage through garbage cans and eat small yellow grass like flowers. You would be surprised how many children and adults go to bed without food nightly. Please help stop this cycle by contributing in some way to your local Food Bank or online at it only takes a moment and you will really be making a difference in the lives of people in your own communities.

Click on the link below...
Look Who's Helping - Hunger Action Month – Feeding America#other