Legacy. Week 21

Legacy.  I am learning that my legacy as Miss Arkansas is not defined by this year alone.  Instead, my legacy is defined by who I was before I was crowned, what happens now, and what the future holds.   I learned this by observing former Miss Arkansas titleholders that are still making an impact, particularly in my life.  I also see many young contestants who are making a difference in the lives of others through service and character!  This is a beautiful truth, giving all of us the opportunity to intentionally form our legacy.  I hope to leave a legacy of service and mentorship! 

Monday was a wet, gloomy day.  Since the Stuttgart Christmas Parade was cancelled, I was able to make a last minute trip to Fort Smith.  I encouraged the Christian Women’s Job Corps to continue mentoring and making a difference in the lives of others!  It was hilarious when Santa walked 
in with a t-shirt that read, “Does this shirt make me look fat?”  Haha, who doesn’t love Santa?

I spent the night in Springdale, Arkansas, with the Farmer family.  When we awoke the next morning, my car was covered in snow!  Thankfully, Megan Farmer offered to drive me to She Said Yes Boutique to pick up two fabulous cocktail dresses for Miss America!  After that, we went by Bella’s and picked up more suitcases, dresses, and goodies for Miss America.  If it weren’t for the Farmer family, I don’t know if I could have survived this year! 

Wednesday, the all important announcement of who will be judging the 2012 Miss America pageant was made!  And here they are - 

Mark Ballas- Dancing With the Stars
Lara Spencer- Good Morning America and Nightline
Teri Polo- Meet the Parents
Raul De Monila- Co-Host of Univision’s #1 entertainment news show
Mike Fleiss- Creator of The Bachelor franchise
Chris Powell – Host of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition
Kris Jenner- Star, Creator, and Executive Producer of Keeping Up with the Kardashians

I like our panel of judges and can’t wait to meet them in Las Vegas!  What seems to be obvious is their common background in Reality TV. That could mean they will look for someone who is captivating, yet genuine and relatable!  I started following the judges on Twitter, but had to unfollow Raul since all of his text messages are in Spanish.  :( 

Thursday, I spent the day at the Arkansas School Board Meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.   I was so glad that Chenal Restoration invited me to meet many of the individuals from across the state who help to plan the education of their community's youth!  Education is a top priority in Arkansas, and I am honored to serve the schools as Miss Arkansas!

Thursday evening, I traveled to Malvern, where I rode in a beautiful red Camaro convertible as Grand Marshal of their annual Christmas Parade!  As expected, Mr. Stephen Strauss met me at the beginning of the parade!  He has been a longtime friend and supporter of the Miss Arkansas Organization.  I thoroughly enjoyed the parade, although it was quite cold outside!  It was all worth it when a sweet little boy yelled from the crowd, “Hi, Miss Arkansas!"

After the parade, I attended the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Christmas party at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs!  The event was called, “Ice on Ice” since Lauray’s sponsored the event and hid four diamonds in the ice cubes.  There was a great turnout, and I had lots of fun!  I was excited to see Kelly Bales, President of the Miss Arkansas Board, and June Felix, Secretary of the Miss Arkansas Board.  

Kelly introduced me to the crowd!

Friday began with an oil change and tire check up at Allen Tillery Chevrolet in Hot Springs.  They told me that I will be getting a new car in January!  I dropped by the Miss Arkansas office and then headed to Little Rock for a workout.   My next destination was Conway to meet with the beloved Mrs. Pam.  Although it was an interview lesson, she gave me so much encouragement and confidence!

Then … the moment I had been waiting for!!  I met Tony Bowls at the Royal We in Conway to try on dresses to wear in the Miss America Pageant!  I had requested two dress designs, and he designed several more with me in mind.  He let me try on the dresses and choose which dress made me sparkle!  I am so pleased with our selection and couldn’t be more grateful for Tony’s talent!  Above all, I was totally impressed with Tony!  Even though he is an incredibly successful designer, he is a very humble man!  As I tried on each dress, he allowed me to freely discuss why I loved or disliked aspects of it.  He patiently explained fabric or design details and encouraged me to pick the one I felt most comfortable in!  Thank you, Tony, for making it an enjoyable and memorable experience!

After a wardrobe fitting session on Saturday, it was time to get ready for the Miracle Ball to benefit Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  Bill Tarkington was my host for the evening, and we sat at the table with Sharon Bale, Miss Arkansas 1967 and former Miss OBU.  It was my first time to spend time with Sharon, who is incredibly sincere and caring!  I was so inspired!  At the Miracle Ball, I was asked to wear the diamond jewelry set from the live auction!  The necklace, earrings, and bracelet combined were valued at $65,000 with a total of over 30 carats.  I was slightly nervous but extremely excited about wearing the jewelry!  Overall, it was a wonderful, wonderful night! 

Next week will be a scramble to put the final touches on my wardrobe before the wardrobe preview on Sunday, December 18.  I hope you can join us from 3:00 – 5:00 at the Hot Springs Country Club!  Also, next week, I have a few speaking appearances, dance practices, and interview lessons.  During the weekend, I will attend three preliminary pageants!  Stay tuned as we crown a new Miss North Central Arkansas and Miss Pulaski! 


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