Monday, January 25, 2010

Miss Litchfield County

I spent Saturday attending the two Litchfield County pageants! The first one was Junior Miss Litchfield County, where Jordan Gauvin was crowned! I am so thrilled for Jordan. She competed in our Preteen Miss Bristol pageant, and she is truely a kind, friendly, and talented young lady. To fill in time, Linda and I had a delicious dinner at Olive Garden! We returned to the Thomaston Opera House in time to get great seats for the Miss Litchfield County pageant. The teens were first, and they did a spectacular job! Mary Ragaglia was named Miss Litchfield County's Outstanding teen. She had a beautiful voice and shone on stage throughout the night. Next was the Miss division. I was particularly excited to see many returning girls competing! After a tough competition, Cassandra Mastrianni was crowned Miss Litchfield County 2010. She sang a wonderful rendition of "Girl in 14G". She is certainly a talented, intelligent, and sweet young woman! I was so impressed with all the performances of not only the contestants, but the outgoing titleholders as well, Kirsten Yerger and Brittany Decker. They were lovely emcees for the earlier pageant, and I really enjoyed their farewell performances in the Miss pageant.

The most remarkable moment of the day was the tribute for Courtney Smith. Sarah, Linda, and I were bawling our eyes out as the girls on stage performed Courtney's talent song, "Imagine" by John Lennon. It was very touching to see how Courtney impacted so many people, even without knowing her for much time at all. She is truely missed by the pageant family, and the tribute was very special. Congratulations on a great was a day of pageantry at it's finest!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Miss Connecticut's Send-off

On January 10th, I attended Sharalynn Kuziak's send-off party. I was blown away with her wardrobe! She is sure to make a splash in Las Vegas. We enjoyed hot and cold h'orderves, and entertainment from many former Miss Connecticuts as well as Acacia Courtney. The event was emceed by Marla Prete, who did a great job of entertaining the audience. It was great to see the other titleholders and spend time catching up. My favorite part of the evening was when Sharlynn answered qustions asked by members of the audience. She is so articulate and delibirate with her words; I think that this will truely make her interview at Miss America stand out! Her hard work has definitely paid off and we are so lucky to have such an amazing representative for the state of Connecticut. Best of luck at Miss America!

Courtney Hei-Ra Smith

On January 7, 2010, we lost one of the sweetest, most compassionate people in the world. Courtney Hei-Ra Smith passed away suddenly, and has left many people saddened by her passing. I met Courtney in competing in the Miss Bristol pageant. At rehersals, she was always cheerful, kind, and friendly. I am very fortunate that I got to spend time with such a remarkable young woman. It doesn't seem fair that such a good person with so much left in life to experience could be gone so soon. I keep Courtney's friends and family in my prayers. Rest in peace Courtney.

Ronald McDonald House Winter Wonderland

On January 2, 2010 I hosted my first event at the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven. It was a Winter Wonderland themed party for the kids who were staying at the house. Before the event started, I dropped off the 14 pounds of soda tabs that I had collected thus far. Thank you so much to everyone who helped collect tabs! I am continuing to collect tabs, so please keep saving them.

The event started off with gingerbread house making. We were joined by a little girl named Alejandra. Although she didn't speak much English, she understood how to make a gingerbread house. She ended up making two and decorated them with lots of colorful candies. Alejandra's mother explained that they were staying in the house because Alejandra's baby brother had undergone open-heart surgery recently. I was so glad that we could provide the family with entertainment during their stay at the house.

After making gingerbread houses, we played bingo. Sarah and Brianna helped Alejandra by saying the numbers in Spanish. She ended up winning, and got a stuffed animal as a prize. We were then joined by a little girl named Mia, who got a thrill out of spinning the bingo wheel and chasing after the yellow balls which came out.

Trinette helped the girls make beaded bracelets and necklaces. Alejandra especially had fun helping Trinette find the gold beads she was using in her patterned necklace. Once they were done making jewelry, we were joined by another girl named Lydia. We decorated funfetti cupcakes with multicolored frosting and snowflake sprinkles. Eloise decorated shirts for Alejandra, Mia, and Lydia. She drew a horse on each shirt and used colorful fabric paint and glitter to personalize them for each of the girls.

Before the day was over, Mia enjoyed taking pictures with Sarah's digital camera. Her inner photographer came out as she took hundreds of pictures and even motioned for us to pose with our hands on our hips for her. She was adorable! Thank you so much to everyone who came and helped out...I could not have done it without all the help and support!

Connecticut Children's Medical Center Toy Drive

On December 24, 2009, I attended the last day of the Connecticut Children's Medical Center Toy Drive. I was joined by two of the broadcasters on 102.9 DRC FM, Christina Sciongay (Miss Southern New England), Dana Brooks (Miss Brass City), Tiffany George (Miss Watertown), and Scott Organek. We stood at the entrances of Wal Mart and handed out fliers with suggested toys for different age groups. So many people generously donated toys and cash; I'm sure the patients at the Connecticut Children's Medical Center really appreciated the gifts! I had a blast talking with the other titleholders and supporting such a worthy cause. I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday!

New Years Celebration

Early on December 31, 2009, Sarah, Trinette, Brianna, Meredith, and I went to Imagine Nation Museum to celebrate the New Year. We first helped cut up ribbon to make confetti, which was later thrown down from the ceiling at the strike of noon.

Then we helped make tissue paper flowers which were used to cover a chicken wire sculpture, which was turned into a float. We recruited a few children to help us make the flowers; we made well over 100 in order to cover the float entirely! We finished just in time to join the parade into the center of the facility, where we then counted down to the strike of noon. As the ball dropped, balloons and confetti showered down.

Once the celebration died down, we joined a game that the DJ was hosting. The DJ played a song from a TV show and the group who could name the TV show first won. Meredith's mom scored big for our team; we made it to the top two! Just as the game finished, the fire alarm went off and we had to evacuate the building. We decided to leave instead of waiting around outside because it was snowing hard and we all had places to drive to. It was a lot of fun celebrating 2010, and I hope the New Year brings everyone health and happiness!

Forestville Carol Sing

On December 21, 2009 I attended the Forestville Carol Sing with the rest of the Bristol titleholders. Instead of being outside in the cold, we gathered in Nuchie's Restaurant. Mary Lynn Gagnon led us through singing Christmas carols, and we hear solo performances of "Silver Bells", "Where Are You Christmas?", and "Silent Night". We also were entertained with a performance by a children's choir who sang "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch". One of the kids was even dressed up like the Grinch. Towards the end of the evening, we paid a tribute to our heros overseas by singing "America the Beautiful". The last song of the evening was "Here Comes Santa Clause", which of course prompted the arrival of Santa himself. I had a blast singing and dancing with Meredith, Trinette, Sarah, and Brianna!