Sunday, August 29, 2010

A week in Orlando!

I feel like I am always saying “the past few weeks have flown by!" But, it’s true! It’s already almost September, but I have been cherishing every moment so far as Miss Minnesota! I just got back from Orlando, Florida for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Pageant. Our representative, Katarina Ackridge, did so incredibly well and I am so proud of her! The name of this pageant, "Outstanding Teen," is just perfect because every single one of the contestants is truly outstanding. They all have perfect GPA’s and amazing talents that blew me away! The new Miss America’s Outstanding Teen was Miss Oklahoma, a pianist.

While I was in Orlando, I had the awesome opportunity to meet all of the contestants I will be competing with at Miss America. I am so relieved and excited that I instantly made numerous friends. I can’t wait for Miss America week because I know it is going to be life changing! I roomed with Miss North Dakota whom I instantly connected with. Despite a very full schedule of events, we did have one night where we were able to relax by the poolside, mosquito free!

Some of the highlights of the week were going to Disney World (being able to skip all of the lines for rides was the best!) We did a few different video shoots while we were there. In some shots we were interviewed and others we were being videoed on the Tea Cup Ride or “acting naturally while walking, but looking excited!” Another video shoot every contestant had to do for internet promotions was the "60 second shot," which gave us one chance to explain or demonstrate to America why we should be the next Miss America. These videos will be online in October, so I will let you know when they are up (they may have the public vote on them!). We also went to a big fundraising dinner for the Miss America Organization where four other instrumentalists and I provided background music for the party. This event provided me the opportunity to play some of my original pieces from "Blessed Beyond Measure"on the piano.

Another highlight for me was doing a photo shoot for La Casa Hermosa with Miss Hawaii, Miss Iowa and Miss Maryland. La Casa Hermosa was my state evening gown dress designer (as well as the other three contestants) and is a sponsor for the Miss America Organziation. Miss America, Caressa Cameron, was there as well so we were able to watch her first before modeling some dresses ourselves. The photos possibly will be in the Four Points Magazine so I will keep you posted on that!

On Saturday morning we had an orientation meeting for the contestants. I think it finally sunk in that I have the unbelievable opportunity to compete for the job of Miss America and make lifelong friendships and scholarship dollars while I'm at it! Spread the word that Miss America will be televised on ABC on January 15th, but if you want to take a vacation in January, I'd love to see you in Vegas! For more information about tickets, contact: I would love to have the biggest crowd of supporters; it's definitely time for Minnesota to get back on the map!

I had a wonderful time in Florida, but I'm excited to get back into the busy schedule in Minnesota of making appearances (with the State Fair coming up this week), volunteering at Gillette Specialty Healthcare, raising money for CMN, and planning Night of Inspiration Concerts while also preparing for Miss America! It's going to be a whirlwind of a next four months, but I'm ready for it!

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