Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Busy as a Bee"

"It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy. The bee is praised; the mosquito is swatted." ~ Marie O'Conner

I think I just had the busiest weekend I have ever had as Miss Minnesota so far! It started off with a Night of Inspiration on Friday night in Brainerd, which was a tremendous concert! There were several moments in the night where I’m certain there was not a dry eye in the house! Since all of these concerts are a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, I just have to share how Parker, a Gillette patient, inspired all of us! His mom, who shared his incredible story, told how Parker was born very prematurely and only weighed a pound. He was diagnosed in early life with cerebral palsy and was told he would never be able to walk. Parker told us how he is graduating from 6th grade this year and said by next year he wants to be able to walk. He has been doing intense therapy on his own at home with the help of his mother and grandmother, and was able to demonstrate for all of us on stage how his persistence has enabled him to take two or three steps with a cane! His determination and indomitable spirit are truly inspiring! His story will along with others from the concert will be up on very soon. I will let you know when to check it out!

After the concert, I drove to St. Paul to sleep for a few hours so that I could do an appearance at the Tracie Joy McBride Scholarship Fundraiser on Saturday morning. As the two-time recipient of scholarships provided by the TJM Fund (including the Quality of Life award in 2010 and the Talent Award in 2007), it was important for me to share with the donors how much the scholarship benefits young ladies like myself and how much the quality of life award, in particular, meant to me. It was a true honor to know that I was chosen as a woman who represents the values and ideals that characterized Tracie, being a woman of integrity with strong morals and values, before her life was tragically taken. This honorary scholarship is such a blessing and a wonderful way to always remember and pay tribute to Tracie. To learn more about the Tracie Joy McBride Scholarship Fund and how you can donate, check out

After the scholarship fundraiser, I drove to the Duluth area to attend the “Bridesmaid Ball” in Superior, WI to help fundraise for Gillette. There were several families there from the Duluth area, which go to Gillette Hospital. I met a little girl named Emma who, like Parker, was also told she would have difficulties walking/running. Thanks to the incredible care at Gillette, she is signed up for dance lessons next year and was running all over the place…she clearly had no problem getting around! This event was a blast because I got to judge the Bridesmaid dresses in categories like “Most like a Disney princess, Blast from the Past, Judges choice,” etc…as you can imagine, there were a variety of dresses! Plus, what an awesome opportunity for women to actually re-use those bridesmaid dresses, unlike the movie 27 Dresses!
After the event was over, I hopped back in my car to head over to my hometown, Detroit Lakes, where I had just a few hours to sleep and then was up early to do morning mass. This coming week is Holy Week in the Catholic Church, so as a music director it is A LOT of music to plan and prepare. Needless to say, I needed to have another rehearsal with my choir!

From Detroit Lakes, I headed back to the Twin Cities where I performed at the Celebrate RISE! Organization. Rise is committed to helping people with significant disabilities and other barriers to obtain jobs or living arrangements. I performed my original music for about an hour while over 500 people were registering and getting settled. This organization is incredible, which was evidenced by some of the remarkable stories of people involved who are deemed their ‘Rising Stars!’ Check out their website for more information on what they offer to the disabled.

To end the weekend, I judged a talent show at Hudson High School. I was a ‘celebrity judge,’ which I must say was quite fun to be the “judger” twice this weekend rather than the “judged.” It feels really good to be on the other side of that now!

It is no understatement to say this weekend was jam-packed with inspiration! I wish you all a blessed Easter with hopes that you will be together with your families. I am so excited that my whole family is getting together, which means I get to spend time with my niece and nephews! I love being an Aunt; it is one of the best jobs…next to being a mother, I assume!

Happy Easter!!
Kathryn Knuttila
Miss Minnesota 2010

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