Most of the week has been dedicated to the state pageant preparation! If you haven’t bought tickets yet, visit www.ticketmaster.com. We also will be broadcasting the pageant online in case you can’t join us in Hot Springs, July 11-14. I hope you join us for the 75th anniversary of the Miss Arkansas Pageant because you have no idea how many volunteers have dedicated their time to making opportunities and scholarships available to this group of impressive young ladies!
Oh, and if you haven’t seen the headshots for the 2012 Miss Arkansas contestants then visit our website! http://www.missarkansas.org/contestants.htm Many of the girls have websites dedicated to their platforms, so make sure you check them out!
I stopped by one of our new sponsors, Bale Chevrolet on Chenal Parkway in Little Rock. They let me get a sneak peak at the vehicle they will provide for Miss Arkansas 2012! Do you love it!? I think the Chevy Equinox will be great for traveling!
I am also so excited for the next Miss Arkansas to benefit from the new CITGO sponsorship! I have spent approximately $8,000 on gas while traveling 40,000 miles across Arkansas. Next year, CITGO will cover the gas expense. Wow!
In the meantime, I had several appearances this week. Friday, I trekked to Heber Springs for a ribbon cutting ceremony for Arkansas Valley Insurance Agency. The owner, Tommy Papasan, is next year’s board president for the Arkansas Baptist Children’s Homes. As you may know, I mentored pregnant teenagers through the ABC Homes, which inspired my platform of “Second Chances through Mentoring.” I was happy to see Tommy again and support his business just as he supports ABC Homes. Once I finish pharmacy school, I want to follow his example of being equally involved in the workplace and charity.
Saturday, I spoke to the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of International Association of Administrative Professionals, which congregated in North Little Rock. I shared my platform story and challenged the women to be mentor leaders in their workplace, community, church, and family! The idea of mentoring extends into every phase of life! I didn’t mean for a few women to cry but appreciated how receptive they were to my message. I especially enjoyed the question and answer segment.
After I finished, Craig O’Neill from THV Channel 11 entertained the group. We spoke briefly afterward, and I really appreciated what he had to say! He told me, “In 20 years, people will remember how you touched them. I guess that is my way of saying to look forward to 40!” Haha, he is always so charming! He also asked me if random people approach me to say, “Remember me?” Whenever I don’t actually remember that person, he suggested I say, “Oh yeah… we met in jail, right?!” Haha, what wisdom!
Saturday night, I joined college friends for Amy’s engagement party! I loved relaxing with my friends and laughing all night. To the next Miss Arkansas, make time for your friends! They keep you grounded and stress-free!
Sunday, I headed to Hensley to share my testimony at the Church of the Nazarene. I spoke in Hensley earlier this year at the Baptist Church, and one of the ladies in attendance couldn’t stop talking about my testimony at work. Her co-worker decided to book me for her church, and I was reminded of the incredible effect of word-of-mouth communication. Also, a distant cousin, Shirley, attends that church and invited my PawPaw and cousin Charlotte to attend the service. After church, we headed to my cousin’s house for a Southern-cooked meal! It was a good day with my kinfolk!
As we sat down for dinner, I was touched by the blessing we had before lunch. We held hands as Shirley’s husband said the prayer, “God, thank you for family, and thank you that a Christian girl represents our state.” As Christians, we always represent more than ourselves. I have been lucky enough to also represent the state that I love!
I always encourage audiences to recognize their influence. Miss Arkansas or not, people recognize what you do and hear what you say. Choose to use your influence positively and remember that you are always representing more than yourself.