Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Brooklyn Cyclones' Princess Night

Whoever thinks Princesses and baseball don’t mix has never been to Princess Night at Luna Park, home of the one and only Brooklyn Cyclones! Last month I was invited by my fellow sister queen and dear friend, Christina Moore (Miss Cosmopolitan), to attend this event. We were also joined by Jillian Tapper (Miss Southern Tier) and Dominique Bianco (Miss NYC's Outstanding Teen).  My family and I arrived a bit early and took in the Brooklyn sights until the others arrived.
Before the game we were invited onto the field to take pictures and lead the Princess Parade. There were so many girls dressed in princess outfits, it was beyond adorable! As tradition for visiting special guests, all of us were invited to throw out a ceremonial pitch. Of course, I was first. Let's just say it's a good thing I'm a dancer and not a baseball player. Jillian, Christina and Dominique fared much better, but, hey, at least I tried!

We were then escorted to a table on the upper walkway to meet the fans and sign autographs. We had so much fun and I got to speak to so many young girls about The Miss America Organization; especially the Princess Program. The smell of hot dogs was overwhelming but with the National Sweetheart Pageant on the horizon, I used my will power to stay true to healthy eating.
Unfortunately, the Cyclones lost the game but the night was still a blast since I got to spend time in the community with my sister queens. Thanks so much to Christina for inviting us!

Miracle Treat Day

"Miracle Treat Day" was on August 14th. On this day, each year, Dairy Queen locations across the country donate $1 from every Blizzard purchased to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Of course, I had to make my way to the only DQ on the island in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. I went straight from work to get my blizzard. This year, I was missing my little sister queen, Alexa Moley, who had gone earlier in the day.
Mission accomplished and blizzard in hand, I had time to pose for a few pictures before I left. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Miracle Treat Day! With your generous support, DQ raised an estimated $5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which will bring hope and healing to sick and injured children.
There's always an opportunity to donate to the Children's Miracle Network. Just click here!

Monday, September 22, 2014

JCC: Make-A-Wish Donation

Throughout my years as a local titleholder, I have had many fundraising events of my own. However, I had never been asked to accept a check on behalf of an organization, that is until last month when I was invited to attend the JCC Summer Camp to do just that. Through my good friend Kelly Quinn, I was asked to accept a check for the Make-A-Wish Foundation at this event. There were several other charities receiving checks and I was more than honored to be among these amazing young campers who raised over $3,500 for organizations including Make-A-Wish, The American Cancer Society, the ASPCA and JDRF...just to name a few. 
My first feat after arriving at Camp Kaufman was conquering the long walk to the event sight….up a dirt hill in heels, I might add. What was I thinking declining a ride in the golf cart? The event began with the campers (who ranged in age from about 5 to 19) being acknowledged for their phenomenal fundraising efforts which ranged from bake sales to car washes to musical performances. I was in awe of how much these young people had accomplished.
 The campers announced each charity and a representative came up to accept the check and say a few words. I accepted the check for Make-A-Wish and, as I made my way to the podium to speak, was both asked if I was the president and called a princess. A princess president? Now that's a thought! I took the time I had to let the campers know how inspired I was by their selflessness and philanthropic spirit. I was truly humbled by them all.
After all of the checks had been awarded, the campers entertained us with a few songs. They were absolutely adorable and I couldn't help but sing along. When the event was over I was literally bowled over by campers wanting to take "selfies" with me and get my autograph. I felt like a true celebrity! I was able to get a few in before the counselors announced that all campers needed to return to their group activities. Remembering the climb up, I graciously accepted a ride down in the golf cart.
I had such a great afternoon with all of these inspiring campers and their counselors. It is remarkable how many giving, kindhearted young people we have in our Staten Island Community. I know that they will all go on to do truly incredible things because they are already making difference in the lives of others. Bravo JCC Campers…you have all stolen my heart!

National Night Out Against Crime

Every year, Staten Island participates in "National Night Out Against Crime." Started in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), this night began an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back. NATW’s National Night Out program culminates annually, on the first Tuesday of August, across the entire country.
I had attended this event last year as Miss Greater NY and I was very excited to attend this year as Miss Staten Island. This year, especially, I found it important to recognize and support the NYPD. I came straight after work and met my parents at Midland Beach. It was a beautiful, although quite windy, night. As we walked along the beach we stopped at the many information tables representing various charities, organizations, and (of course) our local heroes - firefighters, police officers, EMTs, veterans and so much more. I even got to try on some police gear!
I saw so many familiar faces and got to speak with a few local politicians along the way. I made sure that I slipped my platform in there and hope to be in touch with them soon to work on raising funding for pediatric cancer. I took pictures with my fellow Staten Islanders and even had a mini photo shoot against the beautiful skyline. Thanks, dad!
I had a wonderful "Night Out" with my mom, dad, and members of the Staten Island community. I know that the "National Night Out Against Crime" will continue on for many years, raising community safety awareness, and inspiring the younger generations to become our new local heroes.