What a great week! On Tuesday, I was invited to share my Promise House story at the board meeting for the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes. While living in the house for 10 weeks two summers ago, I served as mentor to the pregnant teenagers housed there. Speaking at the board meeting was an opportunity to thank them for the work they do so that the Promise House can be an effective ministry. I admire those involved with this ministry and the amount of prayer that directs their decisions. After the board meeting, I visited the open house celebrating 20 years of service at the Promise House. Here is a link to learn more about the Promise House: http://www.abchomes.org/promise-house-maternity-care.html).
I attended the Arkansas Hospitality Association ribbon cutting on Wednesday to kick off the 2011 convention. Governor Mike Beebe and First Lady of Arkansas, Ginger Beebe, were present at the ceremony, as well. Governor Beebe announced, “Our hospitality sector keeps about 100,000 Arkansans gainfully employed. From greeting visitors at one of our welcome centers to hosting guests at a bed and breakfast or entertaining patrons of our museums and music festivals, these professionals are the driving force of the tourism industry.” It was an honor to be a part of an important industry in Arkansas!
Coleman Dairy was my host at the Arkansas Hospitality Association Convention. Mr. Buddy Coleman has been a long-time supporter of the Miss Arkansas Pageant, sponsoring the scholarship for overall talent winner at the pageant. I fully enjoyed getting to know the family and staff members of Coleman Dairy! We are blessed to have their support! I also tasted their delicious chocolate and eggnog milkshake… yummy!
Thursday, I spoke at the Arkansas Dietary Managers Convention in Hot Springs, where I shared about my platform, “Second Chances Through Mentoring.” and answered a number of questions. They were interested in hearing about preparations for the Miss America Pageant and my family’s involvement in my job. I was very encouraged by their appreciation of the work of Miss Arkansas.
Saturday, my parents and I drove to Jonesboro for the Miss Greater Jonesboro Pageant. We stopped by WalMart so I could buy a digital timer as a public speaking aid. As I walked through WalMart in high heels, a toddler girl saw me and turned to her grandma to say, “Look at that girl!” Grandma said, “Do you like her dress?” The little girl answered, “Yes, and her shoes.” Grandma said, “Oh no. We are in trouble if you like those shoes at this young age! Those shoes will give you back pain.” Haha… yes, high heels do give me slight back pain, but I am getting better at walking in them!
The Miss Greater Jonesboro pageant was so much fun! Directors Sean Pollock and Christina Ryan had obviously invested an incredible amount of time in making Saturday a success. I chatted with several girls in the princess program while contestants were interviewing with the judges. After meeting me, 7-year-old Emma remarked, “I think I am going to have a heart attack!” I enjoyed getting to know the contestants and was very proud of their onstage competition. I spent most of Saturday with Natalie Marcus, the reigning Miss Greater Jonesboro, and my parents and I were so impressed with her warm personality and aspirations. Sean Pollock led a live band onstage while many individuals and groups joined him for some phenomenal entertainment!
Shelley Kelley, owner of Clark’s Bridal in Jonesboro, provided all of my clothes for the evening, including that beautiful pink evening gown, fun black cocktail dress, and gold dance top! I debuted onstage a new a capella tap dance, which is one I would normally perform on my small portable tap floor. It was an energetic crowd, and I really appreciated the applause throughout the performance! And CONGRATULATIONS to Bethany Bell, as she was crowned the new Miss Greater Jonesboro! She also received the interview award, and of course … she rocked that piano!
The upcoming week consists of speaking appearances, schools, parades, and pageants! I may be releasing a new, fun YouTube video sometime soon! Miss South Central will be held in Malvern on Saturday afternoon. This was the first title that I held as a freshman in college, and I am so sad that I won’t be there for the actual pageant. However, I will be at the Miss Diamond Lakes pageant on Saturday night to perform and assist with crowning. Woohoo!
To my faithful blog readers … thanks for your support throughout this incredible year!