Monday, June 29, 2009

Time flies by when you're having fun!! I have had one of the best times of my life in Albany this past week. I got to know 20 of the smartest, prettiest and most talented women in all of New York State. I have made life long friendships while vying for the title of Miss New York.

I am a firm believer in fate and that what's meant to be is meant to be. I was meant to be Miss Thousand Islands and compete in Albany. I know I changed someones life while I was there. At a fashion show we modelled in on Saturday a woman sought me out and told me how desperately clothing was needed for surviors. "Helen" was a breast cancer survivor having had a double mastectomy. Meeting this woman in Albany was no coincidence. I know I was meant tomeet her and talk with her about my platform. What makes it even more exciting is that the very same day that I met her, I recieved an email from Ursula of Switzerland requesting 500 Pink Pledge Hang Tag. These tags will be put on survivor friendy clothing and sent throughout the country to inform more people about clothing for survivors.

I may not have won Miss New York or even come in top ten but I learned more about myself than I ever imagined. This organization has helped me grow- spiritually, physically and emotionally. I am able to push myself past my limits and jump into new situations with open arms. Meeting new people and going to different places truly inspires me to make a change in this world. I know I can..I know I will.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Here we go. In less than a week I will be in Albany getting ready to compete in the Miss New York State Pageant. Are you as excited as I am? I hope so! I am just tying up some loose ends here and before I go I want to share with you some of my more recent events! On Friday Relay for Life began! I have been involved with Relay for a number of years. In 2007 I created a "Celebrity Friendship Quilt" (pictured above), which was raffled off for a local Relay for Life team. The celebrities that signed the quilt included- Al Pacino, Barbara Walters, Maya Angelou, and Charles Barkley just to name a few.

Relay this year was a lot of fun! As soon as I arrived I ran into Marci Irvine- a former Miss Thousand Islands. I used to go and watch the Miss New York State pageant every year at the State Office Building here in Watertown. The year that Marci competed my mother was a hostess and my little sister Lauren was Marci's "little sister". The little sisters were assigned to each contestant and would perform a little dance. Marci may not have won that year but our family became close to her and we even attended her wedding! Now this is why I love pageants. Your pageant sisters become part of your extended family and you share so many special moments with them.

Speaking of pageant sisters, I also ran into former Miss Oswego, Jen Walck. Jen was also walking with her Relay group and as you can see by her outfit she was prepped for the sunshine! We were talking about past pageant times as well as this summer when she will be performing at the Miss Thousand Islands pageant.

I got to ride in a vintage convertible with the President of BOCES- Russell Berger. He and his wife rebuilt two convertibles themselves- including the interior and engine. The team I was on this year is called "A Stitch of Hope"- how perfect for me!
~Here I am in the beautiful car- no I'm not driving..I wish I knew how to drive stick!

The next morning was a Children's Miracle Network event in Clayton at the Antique Boat Museum. It may have been cloudy and cold but that didn't stop people from coming out and enjoying the festivities. There was food, boat rides, a live band, face painting and of course the antique boats! There was something for everyone and you bet it kept the kids busy!

Here I am with Chelsea- Miss Thousand Islands Outstanding Teen. We tried to huddle together for warmth as well as raise money for CMN, which happens to be Chelsea's platform!

~It may have been chilly out but that of course didn't stop us from going on an antique boat ride! If you have never been to The Thousand Islands, you need to make your next vacation destination here! The water may be a bit rough on a stormy day but the scenery is breathtaking regardless of the weather. There are so many beautiful homes built on these islands, that it makes me want to buy an island...Hey a girl can dream!

On Sunday- I took a break between events and spent quality time with the family. Every Sunday after church my family goes to my grandparents house for a pasta dinner. It's a great time for the whole family to get together, talk about their week and of course eat grandma's delicious pasta!! I'm telling you, one taste of her sauce and you will be hooked!

When Monday came along I was well rested and anxious to get back to the Thousand Islands. There was another Children's Miracle Network event in Alex Bay. There were hundreds of businesses coming out for this event. There was a one hour boat ride along the St. Lawrence River followed by dinner at Boldt Castle. I made some new friends as well as caught up with some old familiar friends.

Chelsea and I were in heaven on this beautiful boat ride, as you can see from our photo. Can you believe the weather called for hail? I told you it could snow in June here..but thank goodness the weather was wrong. This event was very special because there were two CMN children there to share in this big night. One of them I caught up with was named Shayleigh. She is a bright little 10 year old who says she's ready for summer! Doesn't she look gorgeous? At that age I think I was still in pigtails and had zero knowledge of style. haha

I want to take some time to thank all of the people and businesses who have helped me along the way to Miss New York. I truly don't know where I would be without them.

  • Nelson's Formal wear
  • Watertown Sunrise Rotary


  • Photography by Angela

  • Community Bank

  • The Watertown YMCA

  • A Touch of Grace

  • Uncle Tony and Aunt Mary

  • Uncle Billy

  • Jonathan Cooper

  • Sandra and Sammy Fiorentino

  • Frank Reff

  • John Hulbert

  • George Mead

  • Nancy Kall

and the list just keeps growing... If you haven't had a chance to donate or are interesting in donating- don't panic there is still time to donate to Children's Miracle Network, please visit my page

Well it's late and I better get some rest- there's still more packing to be done!

God Bless!!



Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's coming down to the wire. Less than two weeks before I leave for Miss New York and I am so excited- not only to represent my area but to give a voice to millions of women. I am fighting to revolutionize the clothing industry for breast cancer survivors so that they may have affordable, beautiful and comfortable clothing.

I'd like to share with you "The Pink Pledge"- hang tag. This hang tag will be recognizable to breast cancer survivors everywhere displayed on "survivor friendly" clothing. Isn't this exciting? These tags are currently being showcased at my mother's store- A Touch of Grace. I am in the process of partnering with Ursula of Switzerland, Jordan Fashions, and other companies to feature this hang tag on their clothing. We have been working for a cure for so long but have neglected the needs of these brave survivors . They have been scarred mentally, physically and emotionally. The least we can do is provide them with clothing that looks and makes them feel beautiful. My mission is to see "The Pink Pledge" hang tag on survivor friendly garments in mainstream fashion.

Today I was assisting the Sunrise Rotary in delivering of roses from their rose sale. All the proceeds from this sale will benefit the Jefferson County Camp for Youth with Disabilities As you know, I have grown up with the Sunrise Rotary and I love how hardworking and dedicated this group is to its community. Last year my mother, father and I delivered roses out in Chaumont. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Chaumont, it's a small town on Lake Ontario, filled with seasonal cottages and year round homes. Around 9am, after morning rotary, mom and I loaded up the minivan with dozens of roses. Unfortunately we didn't get the Chaumont route, instead we went all around Watertown delivering roses and smiles. Around 11:30am, we had one set of roses left to deliver and I know we saved the best for last. The woman who answered the door was very friendly and as we were talking I saw a little baby walk into the room. Emma, who I was told just turned a year old, was smiling and walking towards me with one of my favorite books. 'Are You My Mother?' by Dr. Seuss is an all time childhood favorite of mine, which I have shared with Giovanna as well. Emma, the woman and her husband gave hugs and wishes of good luck to me as I left their home. It was the perfect ending to the afternoon!



Sunday, June 7, 2009

I have often believed in this saying "It can't be that difficult". No matter what the case is- whether it's searching for the perfect pair of shoes or trying to solve a problem in your love life. It can't be that difficult. Things have a way of working themselves out. Sometimes you just need to sit back, relax and breathe.

This past weekend I had a Children's Miracle Network event at my mother's bridal store, A Touch of Grace in Watertown. I sold paper crowns for $1 donation and each person was entered in to win a $100 gift certificate. Also 10% of all sales were donated to CMN/ Miss America.
(-You can still purchase a crown at A Touch of Grace and enter in to win the certificate. The drawing will be held at the end of this month. Good Luck!!)

When I awoke Saturday morning, to my father's freshly made pancakes (yes he's finally home from Morocco) , I saw that the weather looked a little grim. But you know me- I'm an optimist and even crazy weather can't stop me! It was cloudy and windy when I went to put balloons outside. As I was outside trying to tie balloons around the columns, the wind caused the balloon strings to get tangled in my crown!Thank goodness my mom was there to help let me loose. Then while I was setting up inside there were cars pulling in..yah for early birds!! A steady stream of people came through the doors all day long in search of sales while giving to a great cause. Several of my directors stopped by to show their support- Sue Pilon and Audrey Olin, as well as Miss Thousand Islands Teen- Chelsea Mejias. Around 2pm Johnny Spezzano from The Border106.7 came to do a live radio feed. Anyone who knows Johnny knows that he is very passionate about Children's Miracle Network, so I was thrilled to have him there! Thanks everyone for all of your support and a special thank you to Johnny. The delicious drink from the Brew-Haha really kept me energized!

God Bless!!



Monday, June 1, 2009

This past weekend was a lot of fun! I decided on Thursday to hold a garage sale to benefit Children's Miracle Network. My mom always says "The best things happen at the last minute" and this was no exception. The morning of the garage sale felt like a winter day. Well you know Northern New York it can snow at any time and actually has snowed in June! I was afraid that because of the cold weather no one would show up. But believe it or not I had early birds! The weather might have been chilly and rainy but that didn't stop the loving people of Watertown in coming out to support CMN. One of the first items to go happened to be my the hot pot I talked about earlier (actually it wasn't my fathers it was mine. My father has his in his office.) There were plenty of bargain dresses slightly worn that went for $2 and $3 a piece but made some young girls very happy!

Here I am with one of my board of director members Sue Pilon. Doesn't she look good in fur? Even though the garage sale was in competition with General Brown Days the sale raised a total of $180.00. I was thrilled! For those who don't know what General Brown Days are it's a weekend set aside with food, festivities and a parade in the village of Brownville. Every resident has a garage sale! I didn't realize when I was planning this that it fell upon the same weekend. Oh well! I really have to thank my sister Lauren, for being by my side and helping me with the sale. She was not only a good sales woman but good company as well. Between donations from Sunrise Rotary and Paul Simmons of AAMCO- the total reached over $450. Thanks to everyone for opening up your hearts to this wonderful cause!!

This was just too cute! My niece Giovanna trying to open the donation jar for CMN. She loves money or as she says it monies! haha

(A Special Day to Celebrate)

Yesterday was a very special day for my family. My nephew Jameson had his first birthday. It was a tremendous joy to celebrate this milestone not only in his life but in my family's lives as well. It was hilarious watching him curiously eye his cake then slowly dip his fingers into it. But as you can see he definetely made a huge mess! He is too sweet! It's moments like these that make life so precious. My family is extremely close. When Jameson was born it was an emergency C-section and he was in ICU for several days. His little body was hooked up to wires and monitors. We prayed that he would be alright. Now here he is- a happy, healthy one year old. I was sad that I couldn't be with my pageant sisters in Albany at the CMN Telethon but I was celebrating a miracle with my family.

God Bless!