Tuesday, August 31, 2010

LGBT Relay for Life

The American Cancer Society will hold our signature community fundraiser, Relay For Life, on September 25, 2010 at the World Financial Center in New York City. While the Society holds Relay For Life events around the country, this is the first time we have done so specifically for the LGBT community and friends.
World Financial Center
September 25, 2010
10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

We'll be going all day, but we'd love for you to come even it if it's only an hour or two. And if you can't come, please consider donating. I am a part of TEAM MIXX and have invited all of the Miss New York contestants, and surrounding Miss America Contestants as well. We hope to see you there!

Watch the Relay for Life video HERE to get a glimpse at what we're walking for and read below.

My Reason to Relay
Cancer affects everyone, whether directly or indirectly. We all know SOMEONE. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is more than just an event to me. It is my personal opportunity to help save lives from cancer by supporting the American Cancer Society.

Taking this awareness to a new level is the LGBT factor.
  • Many health insurance policies do not cover unmarried partners. This makes it harder for lesbian and bisexual woman to access quality of health care. Cancer risks are greater for lesbian women who avoid preventive health care because they fear discrimination and insensitivity by health care providers.
  • Some men may not want to tell their health care providers that they are gay or bisexual because they do not want discrimination to affect the quality of healthcare they receive.
  • Uninsured rates are highest among transgender people. In New York City, for example, the Department of Health reported in 1999 that 21% of transgender respondents reported having no health insurance of any kind. Even those with health insurance can face difficulties in obtaining appropriate cancer screenings. A transgender woman, listed on her insurance as a female, but still having an intact prostate gland, would not be covered for prostate cancer screening. The same is true for transgender man with an intact cervix. 
But, by taking part in Relay, I am helping the American Cancer Society save lives of ALL PEOPLE by:
  • Helping people stay well by helping them take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early, when it’s most treatable
  • Helping people get well by being in their corner around the clock to guide them through every step of their cancer experience
  • Finding cures by funding groundbreaking research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it and discover new ways to cure it
  • Fighting back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join the fight
Please support my efforts by making a donation or by joining my Relay For Life team. Together, we have the power to help create a world where cancer can no longer claim another year of anyone’s life.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


To pick up where I left off from Friday, we were on our way to a fundraiser at the Siegel Estate. David Siegel, owner of Westgate Resorts, has hosted a party and fundraiser for Miss America for the past 3 years. He and his wife (an original New Yorker) have a beautiful home and open its doors to us for the evening. We ate at food stations of 14 of Orlando’s nicest restaurants around the pool, mingled with the guests and danced all night inside once the rain came on. Mr. Siegel donated $25,000 to Miss America, Caressa Cameron and Art McMaster for which we are all incredible grateful.  (No, there wasn't a dress code of white/cream -- we just all had similar taste hehe)

Saturday, we had our official Miss America Class of 2011 Orientation – ahhh that’s crazy to say! We learned a bit more about production by Tall Pony Productions on ABC, learned that DSW will be our presenting sponsor above other major sponsors: Artistry Cosmetics, American Signature, Inc., listened to advice in a great chat with Caressa, received first hand information about the new Miss America Brand clothing line that launches this week, and got the low-down on security – Rodney means business! They spoiled us with tons of gifts – my bag was overweight on the way home…

Of course, the most important part of the trip was Saturday, the MAOT Finals. All of the Miss America contestants lined up in our evening gowns for an autograph session before the show.  As we headed into the packed theatre, it all began! The production was incredible with tons of videos, featuring the girls from the entire week. As hosts Justin Guarini and Caressa Cameron called out the Top 10, of course there had to be a surprise…Top 15! Top 15 did evening gown and then a red carpet interview with Miss America 2008 Kirsten Haglund, followed by a cut to Top 10 for Talent and Activewear. I was blown away. I mean, I believe in the Miss America Organization with all of my heart, and I have seen first hand with Alison the growth and positive experience that it provides for young women, but this week exceeded my own expectations.  We were definitely bummed that Alison did not make the Top 15, but wow, she impressed us all all week in every phase of competition.  Congratulations to all 53 contestants, 4th RU Virginia, 3rd RU Washington, 2nd RU Georgia, 1st RU Alabama and Miss America's Outstanding Teen Lacey Russ (Oklahoma)!

Overall, it was such a great week!!  I had a blast getting to know some of the girls better - crazy to think that I don't think I even met everyone face to face - so many of us.  I've got my favs!  And by the fact that my final night photos are pretty much just a montage of Caitlin Uze and me, I think it's pretty obvious that VA and NY are going to be buds this year :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

MAOT #2!

Sorry I haven't been able to blog since the first day--we don't have wireless at the hotel. So from my iPhone (please excuse the mistakes) here are the updates. Most importantly, MISS NEW YORK'S OUTSTANDING TEEN, ALISON, WON TALENT! See the Miss America's OT press release HERE. It was soooo exciting--I was like a proud mom! All of the Miss contestants were so impressed and complimentary. It was a tough group in talent too!! She was just amazing. That night, Virginia won Evening Gown as well. And an update for Mallory--Scarlett rocked her push up!

Thursday morning, it all officially started for the Miss America Class of 2011. We filmed video segments with Tall Pony Productions that will be shown on ABC.comMissamerica.org, youtube and more! For dinner, we were hosted by Regalia and Mary Sullivan of the Miss Florida Organization for a great dinner at Maggiano's where we got to know each contestant a bit more.  It was wonderful! Thank you!! Thursday prelims were once again exciting. Alabama took the talent award home with Michael Jackson pointe dance and Ohio took home evening gown. Alison looked gorgeous in her lemon-lime green chiffon dress and did an awesome job in her on stage question, answering quickly and perfectly!! We are just so proud of EVERYTHING she has done this week and I'm so excited for Saturday! I can't even make a Top 10!

We are on the bus home from Disney World right now. It was a great day with some fun filming, interviews and time in the Magic Kingdom, complete with Space Mountain!  So we're on or way back to the hotel to shower and get ready for our dinner hosted at the Siegel Estate...excited!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Miss America's Outstanding Teen #1

Day one down on Orlando! Last night was my first opportunity to meet many of the Miss contestants, and they are great!! It's tough to remember all names--thank goodness we have sashes! The Teens look great in their opening number as all areas of competition! Alison was fantastic in activewear - definitely top of the group. It wasn't just modeling though. It's a whole fitness routine! And Ali COULD do a push-up...something not everyone had mastered :) Talent was great with the top award going to Virginia on the piano. Virginia's definitely continuing their successful year with pretty amazing titleholders, I'll say that. Wink! Evening gown was ... chiffon and pink. Haha lots of it! Florida was my favorite with a gorgeous white bandage dress with mermaid at the bottom. Awards went to Oklahoma and Kentucky as a tie for evening gown. The other contestants came on stage to ask each other on stage questions. Cool idea!  The Miss contestants all introduced ourselves on stage and I got to hug Sierra Minot, Miss FL 08 (with LT whom I met at Katie's Miss America Homecoming) who was also the host of the evening.  We got to catch up at visitation where I also got to take the full Miss NY pic - Princess Ava, Teen Alison, Miss Claire!

I just left Alison's talent rehearsal and she did an awesome job. She choreographed her own pointe dance, mixing classical and contemporary pointe--verrrry cool! The tutu looks amazing and they have lit her dance in a great way that really showcases the mood of the song and dance. I'm really excited to see the prelims full on tonight because it's a strooong group in talent! Definitely keep sending your good vibes to Alison--this is her big night!!

Just a few pics from visitation last night on my Miss America's Outstanding Teen photo gallery.

Thanks Red Carpet Pageant and Prom for the fantastic dress I wore!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Adventures Part Deux!

Alison and I had another adventure that will go down in the books as quite a memorable day.  It all started when Carbo picked us up to go to Red Carpet Pageant & Prom in Wayne, NJ to pick up the final piece of Alison’s wardrobe – the tutu.  For those who don’t know, this girl is an unbelievable dancer and could, as Linda has said, dance in her pajamas (or other things) and still be phenomenal.  Long story short: wrong tutu, not finished, in pieces with no elastic, hooks, ties, anything. As a result, we made lemonade out of many many lemons and headed to M&J Trimmings among other places in the garment district and went to town – thank goodness we live in NYC!  We ended up at Grishko where all plans changed and Ali spotted a tutu in a framed photo on the wall and said “I want that one!” And they had it.  And we bought it.  I can’t wait for you all to see it.

This whole experience brought a new level of respect and pride for Alison.  She impressed us all with her poise and professionalism, taking this major roadblock and moving through it just days before she left for the national competition.  She’s safely to Orlando already for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen and I will join her on Tuesday for preliminary competition!  Lots of other great things lined up for that week – meeting all of the Miss America contestants, filming segments for Tall Pony, our production company for Miss America on ABC, Disney World, spending time with family (my mom and sister are coming) and friends, and also dress shopping/sketching with Regalia for my Miss America competition evening gown, and of course the MAOT competition!  I’m sure it will be a week full of photos, so keep an eye out for the blog and Facebook fan page!

I’m writing this blog on the train on the way home from Saratoga, NY.  I went up last night and spent the day today at the tracks, watching 7 of the horse races, presenting awards in 4 of them at the Winner’s Circle.  The track was filled with all things pink, including saddle blankets, silks and the New York Racing Association flag, as it was Fabulous Fillies Day, raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  I was joined by Brittany, Miss Albany’s OT, and Art Hunsinger, who organized the appearances for us.  I’ll update you later with a final number of the funds raised for BCRF.  I met some great people – Natalie from Saratoga Trunk, Christine Moore and Patricia Underwood – both unique hat designers to the stars, Linda Rice – horse trainer for the winner of race #1, Don Miller – big owner in Racing, Scott Johnson - Mayor of Saratoga, and of course all of the women from the BCRF.  We had great press from Channel 13, YNN (VIDEO), 95.5FM and 101.3FM thanks to Art.  Now I’m sleepy! Long and early day in the sun and a delayed train….bedtime.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Adventures of Clairebear and Alibear!

I had a fantastic weekend with Alison Stroming, Miss NYOT! She is just the greatest - I, along with the state of NY, got a good one with her! Friday morning, Carbo picked us up to head up to Albany to record the Focus Feature with Fox23 News with Art (Director of Marketing/PR for MNYOrg). We had a nice half hour show and were able to talk about all the high points - Miss NY org, CMN, scholarships, platforms, upcoming appearances and how the Albany community can be involved, which is a crucial message to spread.  Then it was back on the road and up on Watertown. We stayed at the beautiful house on the hill, residence of the fantastic, amazing, and wonderful Miss Jessica Lynch Renzi, who beyond being Miss NY 2003, is a great mom, a loyal supporter of the organization and just an all around hoot to be around. (how was that jess? :) ).

Saturday, we visited Samaritan Hospital with Kristina Ferris on her last day as Miss Thousand Islands and Joslyn, CMN coordinator, and her daughter Chelsea. We were only able to actually see one baby, tiny little George. But we saw a few more little ones in the NICU. If you think about it, it's actually a good thing we weren't able to see more kids - it means they weren't in the hospital. In the NICU, the Miss America partnership with the Children's miracle Network came to life - literally. Each bay costs $10,000...monitor $10,000...a small device to take vitals without pricking an infant over and over $4,000. This is where our money is going. The girls of the Miss NY Org raised $26,000 this year. That's 2 bays and one device that will save hundreds of babies' lives. 

We headed to Clayton, NY, ate lunch with the contestants and then it was back to the house for playtime with Eugene, Timmy and Annabelle before heading to the Miss Thousand Islands 2011 pageant. It was a great pageant - very well organized, kudos Shelby & team! Congratulations to Morgan Bocciolatt, Miss Thousand Islands 2011 and the first new girl of the Class of 2011!  Crazy to think she has 10 months to get ready for Miss New York - she'll be ready!  Congratulations to all of the runners up, award winners and contestants for getting up there on stage and out there in your communities.  Miss TI was a great way to kick off the local competition season - thanks for having Miss New York there!  11pm departure for a 6 hour drive home.  yikes.  <--- this is why Carbo is the best - she drove the whole way.


Monday, August 16, 2010

It's a family thing...

Hey! Guess who was on the radio this time?! My dad! A Thousand Moms is an organization I've worked with a lot in the past few months (& written a few blogs about), and they have developed their own radio show. At one point, they nicknamed it "the Buffie radio" because one week, I interviewed on my way to Miss New York ... the following week, my sister Sarah and my mom were on ... And now it's my dad, speaking about his resolution to the Indiana State Medical Association. You can listen to all 3 at the links below. My dad's is particularly interesting, delving deep into the medical research and the validity and impact of marriage equality on a person's health. He's one smart cookie. If you are moved by his conversation and would like to know more or would like to support him in his presentation to the state medical association, please contact me.

Bill Buffie, MD - August 2010

Sarah and Jo Ellen Buffie, family perspective - July 2010

Claire Buffie, Miss New York - June 2010  (Proud FM before the BlogTalkRadio launch)

In other news, there are some fun photos from last week...

- my interview with OutQ radio
- the End of Prop 8 celebration with Broadway Impact
- Haiti Fashion Show with the Michael Masoy Agency and Alison, MNYOT

...all on my photo gallery HERE

And then it was time for another radio interview.  On Wednesday night, I spent some time with This Show Is So Gay and spoke with Ken & Becca about the pageant and my platform, of course.  You can listen to the show HERE.  (I start around 22 mins)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Children's Miracle Network

As you all have read and supported, my personal platform has received great press and media attention, getting people talking about equality. In order to officially compete at Miss America, I need your help.  In addition to our individual platforms, the Miss America Organization has a national platform: The Children's Miracle Network.  Through our partnership with CMN, each state contestant is a goodwill ambassador of CMN who fundraises (at least $500) for the organization.  I have so far raised $630 for my local and state competition, but now it's on the big show.  I've set my goal for $1000 which means I have $370 to go.  Please help me reach this goal that raises money to benefit the kids in children's hospitals around the country.  CLICK HERE to go to my donation page and contribute $1, $20, $50 or more!

About Children's Miracle Network
Children’s Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children’s hospitals. Countless individuals, organizations and media partners unite with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals to help sick and injured kids in local communities. Donations to Children’s Miracle Network create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that save and improve the lives of 17 million children each year. To learn more go to www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

GLAAD to be on the Red Carpet!

The GLAAD Manhattan event the other night was fantastic and allowed for a few interviews on the red carpet.  Check them out here!

OurScene TV

Miss New York Claire Buffie @ GLAAD Event on Changing a Friend's Mind on Gay Rights!

The video plays automatically - so I took it down - but click on the link above to view it!

More photos in my Photo Gallery > August Events

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fashion Show tonight!

The Michael Masoy Agency | House of Masoy presents...

Haiti Relief Charity Fashion ShowTuesday, August 10, 2010 at 7:00
Art Auction at 6:00
Rogue Space Chelsea
508 West 26th Street 9th floor (btwn 10th and 11th)

$30 at the door
$25 if you RSVP by sending your full name to info@themichaelmasoyagency.com

I walked in the inaugural House of Masoy show last year, which benefitted Keep A Child Alive, the AIDS Organization. This year though, I will be hosting the show while Miss New York's Outstanding Teen, Alison Stroming, will be walking in it along with another friend, Erika Grace Powell, Miss South Carolina 2005.

Last year...

Catch up with Claire!

Tonight!  On the Derek and Romaine Show on SIRIUS XM
Miss New York Claire Buffie is scheduled for a live in-studio interview with Derek and Romaine of Sirius XM Satellite Radio on Monday, August 9th at 7:30 pm ET. The interview will last about 15-20 minutes. This will broadcast live on SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel OutQ, Sirius 109 and XM 98. Listeners and fans are welcome to participate by calling 866-305-6887. For those who don't subscribe to Sirius, a free online trial is available at www.Sirius.com.

And then it's off to the Broadway Impact celebration of the repeal of Prop 8 at Therapy NYC!

Monday August 9th from 7-9pm at THERAPY, 348 West 52nd street in Midtown NYC.

Broadway Impact is proud to be partnering with the American Foundation for Equal Rights to bring you a night of celebration and entertainment, featuring television and Broadway performers including, Tony nominee Hunter Bell, Heidi Blickenstaff and Susan Blackwell from [Title of Show], Sirius Radio host Seth Rudetsky, Cast members from the Tony award winning musical La Cage aux Folles, Actors Nick Adams, Will Taylor, Jason Tam, Jose Llana, Shayna Steele, also Richard Socarides (Former Advisor to President Clinton) and me! Miss New York Claire Buffie.

Join us!  (details)  (facebook)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

overturned. equality wins.

The highly anticipated announcement yesterday about Proposition 8 definitely came as something to celebrate! In this historic decision, the federal court ruled Proposition 8 — California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples — to be unconstitutional. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, declared that the amendment to the California Constitution adopted in November 2008, violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process. “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

We already have social stigmas to eliminate; we don't need the law enabling inequality and discrimination. Judge Walker added, "Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society."

Love prevailed, and equality won yesterday.  But the fight is far from over.  Yesterday's vote overturned an amendment that took away rights that had already been granted - and should already be naturally equal - and reinstated marriage equality, specifically for the 18,000 people who married under California's legal same-sex marriage laws.  We still need to move forward to legalize gay marriage in the state of New York...and Illinois...and Colorado...and and and.  But in order to do that, we have to reflect on what marriage is and what it is not.  Marriage is the state sanctioning of two people as a single unit. Marriage doesn't have to be achieved through the white dress, black suit, flowers, cake and first dance tradition in a church.  You are married by the state; you are recognized and blessed by the church, if you so choose.

As expected, an appeal has already been made by the opposition.  Although I'm hopeful for the future, one thing is certain: People are talking. Voices are being heard. Our laws our changing. We are on the road towards equality.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

MSNBC...and beyond!

I sound like Buzz Lightyear.

Anyway.  Wow - this past week has been exciting and overwhelming and motivating and busy, all at the same time!  Each time I check my email, the average has been about 63 emails (I check my email about every 2-3 hours).  This is because of the support that has been pouring into my mailbox from people around the country who have seen the MSNBC video (I edited that post below to include a bit about the experience) as it has been posted on many many blogs and websites. The comments overall have been positive and supportive.  I think a few extra people are going to be tuning in to Miss America this year, and I hope I can make them all proud.  Thank you ALL for posting and sharing this video, supporting it, and for your messages of encouragement.

Last week, I did an interview with Gay.com actually before the television interview, but it was posted yesterday.  It was one of my favorite articles thus far.  Read it HERE.

Also Change.org did a write up.  You can read it HERE.  It's neat to see this writer's reaction from someone who has been in pageants and has a bit more insight to the Miss America Organization.

Last night, I went to the GLAAD Manhattan Event where I was an Honorary Host.  And who did I run into?  Thomas Roberts (who did my MSNBC Interview).  I hear "Claire?"  I turned and did a double-take. "Thomas!?"  I'm not used to this concept that people know who I am...Sahara Davenport from Ru Paul's Drag Race, among others, wanted a photo with me. What?  I also got to meet Johnny Weir - he didn't ask for a photo of me, but you better bet Leigh-Taylor and I asked for one with him!

I'm meeting with Jody Huckaby, the executive director of PFLAG National and the national Straight for Equality organization.  (I found them after I named my platform) Excited to see what partnerships we can foster.