Saturday, September 22, 2012

T.E.A.L. Walk

On Saturday, September 8th, I attended the T.E.A.L. Walk in Brooklyn. I was joined by some fellow titleholders from the Miss New York Class of 2012, after a special invitation from Christina Moore, Miss Verrazano. The T.E.A.L. Walk is held to raise funds for "Tell Every Amazing Lady" (T.E.A.L.). This organization draws attention to ovarian cancer and encourages all women to get tested.
The reigning Miss Brooklyn 2012, Maria DeSantis, and I headed to the walk bright and early. We parked and met the other girls (Miss Verrazano: Christina Moore, Miss Westchester: Katie Guevarra, Miss Liberty City: Jessica Johnson, Miss Richmond County: Stephanie Accardo, Miss Kings County: Jaleesa Peterkin, & Miss New York: Mallory Hagan).
After heading into Prospect Park, we were given the schedule of events. We were told that we were going to participate in the Survivor Ceremony during which we would put sashes on each ovarian cancer survivor. Unfortunately, once we got up on the stage, the sky opened up!
But, you know what they say...the show must go on! And so it did. We began the Opening Ceremonies, and though the weather was gloomy, the crowd was still strong. After a few introductions, it was time for the Survivor Ceremony. All of the survivors lined up to cross the stage one by one. There were so many! Suddenly, the rain lightened a little. I was honored to have been able to "sash" them and learn about their journeys. Some had been cancer-free for 2 months and some for 5 years. It was inspiring to meet such strong women.
After speeches, performances, and ceremonies concluded, the walk began. To many people's delight, the rain stopped and the sky cleared up. It was, once again, a beautiful day. Thank you so much to the Executive Director, Pamela Esposito-Amery for having us and to Christina Moore for inviting all of us to join in this day. I hope you raised a ton of money for this amazing cause!

P.S. Brielle Von Hugel, a Staten Islander, also performed. She was fantastic! It was great to meet her and she even invited me to her next event! Stay tuned...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Richmond County Fair

The Richmond County Fair is a big event that takes place each year right before the start of school during Labor Day Weekend. Though I've attended many times before, this year was a bit different. On September 2nd, I made my appearance for the first time at the fair as Miss Staten Island.
From the moment I stepped onto the fair grounds, I was being stopped for photographs! I knew right away that this was going to be a great event. Equipped with my new autograph cards, I made my way to the information stand, my post for the first part of my visit.
I gave out my pictures, signed them, and spoke with the families and little kids who came by. One little boy was very brave and came over to me three times! Usually the boys are so afraid of a girl with a crown, but I was impressed by his courage : ]
I even got to take my picture in the SI Advance Truck and play with a snake!
After my stay at the information stand was done, I was free to leisurely roam around with my family. With so many stands to visit, I didn't know where to start! Luckily, the rain held up long enough to have a full, wonderful day. We were able to see all of vendors and some had familiar faces! Remember when I told you about Heidi's Homemade? Well we found Heidi and her delicious jams, again! I also bought a beautiful bracelet from LesJOLIE and Essie nail polishes (because what girl has enough nail polishes?).
By coincidence, Felicia - one of the amazing women who help run the Miss SI Pageant - and her granddaughters were there. It was great to see them! I got a few more appearances out of the day, too - because you can't ever have too much to do, right? : ] It was great to speak with the editor of Bella Magazine who also runs her own charity organization. I'm looking forward to our future collaborations.
In the late afternoon, I was asked to help judge the hotdog eating contest. If I hadn't just eaten lunch, I think I may have even joined in it myself. These contests were in it to win it, though! Congratulations to the winners. You are champion hotdog eaters!
On Staten Island, it's hard to not see someone you know, but that's why I love it! And even with that being true, you can always meet new people, too : ] I had a great day greeting old and new friends and enjoying the time with my family. 

With all of the pictures I took, I could only fit so many on this post, but see the rest here. Thank you so much to Ezequiel Ramos for including me in this year's Richmond County Fair! I had an awesome time!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Korean War Veterans' Picnic

Two weeks ago, on Saturday, September 1st, I joined the Korean War Veterans of Staten Island for their annual Labor Day picnic. I had previously become acquainted with the group after I made appearance at the Cpl. Allan F. Kivlehan Park dedication. As I mentioned in a previous post, my grandfather was a Korean War Veteran, so these visits mean a lot to me.

The Labor Day Picnic at Nansen Park is a way for the Korean War Veterans of Staten Island to come together and celebrate. I spent the beautiful day connecting with the veterans and their families.  Many politicians were there, as well, to honor them. We had BBQ food provided by Nansen's and enjoyed one of the last days of summer.
Of all of the conversations I had that day, there is one statement that sticks in my mind. "You're such a genuine girl. I can tell just by looking at you." That's one thing I'm proud to be able to bring to this title - a genuine desire to help others. It was nice to receive this compliment, and from such honorable people. Thank you for allowing me to join in your celebration, once again, and thank you to the Korean War Veterans for all of their service!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

On Your Toes

Labor day weekend brought with it a glimpse of what these next few months are going to be like for me... completely crazy! I enjoyed every second, though, and I know that I will continue to look forward to weekends like it. After all, you're only Miss Staten Island 2012 once! : ]
My labor day weekend began with an appearance at On Your Toes Dancewear in Staten Island. On Your Toes has been my store choice for dance clothing, shoes, and accessories for years! Last weekend, they moved from a tiny store on Hylan Boulevard to a beautiful new space on Lincoln Avenue. I was so excited to have been invited by Lauren & Jayne to participate in the Grand Reopening Weekend because of how much of their journey I've witnessed.
On Friday, I got my first glimpse of the new store and it is absolutely gorgeous! After getting the grand tour from Jayne, I was shown my post for the day - a little table right at the entrance, perfect for greeting guests and collecting donations for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Coincidently, a good friend, Anthony Muscat, who runs 360 Entertainment was the DJ for the day! We were also joined by Scooter from the SI Yankees. I spent the day signing autographs (on my pretty new autograph cards!), playing with the little kids (& Scooter), selling "wish bands," and doing a little bit of shopping for myself. I even got visits from some familiar faces, including our very own Miss Richmond County's Outstanding Teen 2012, Alexa Moley!
We all had so much fun and OYT even decided to donate part of the proceeds to the Make-A-Wish Foundation! How perfect!? I also received a special invitation from AmeriKick which is currently in the works. Don't worry - you'll hear more about it soon! It's amazing how much good you can do when there's a crown on your head and love in your heart.

Thank you so much to Lauren and Jayne for all of the hard work you put in for dance studios across the island and for everything you do to help me! It was an honor to have been invited to take part in your very special weekend. You deserve all the success in the world. Congratulations and good luck in your new space!
P.S. Congratulations to Lauren who got engaged that same weekend! : ]