Friday, February 11, 2011

Back in full force...

After my much needed bit of hibernation, drowned in thank you notes and sponsor recognition, attempting to sift through emails (although I know I haven't made it through them all), I am back at it, full-throttle. After the Block Institute's Brightest Star kicked off my appearances, I had a great week that included visiting PS 41 in Staten Island and taking a little tour with Linda Carbo, checking out some of the new host restaurants and hotels for the 2011 Miss NY Week. At the school I hung out with a 1st grade class and then headed into the auditorium for an assembly of all 4th and 5th graders. Once again, they took the responsibility to end bullying on themselves - accepting their duties as bystanders to become "upstanders."
Miss Salice's 1st graders at PS 41
with the Principal, Vice Principal and Miss Salice of PS 41
That evening, I shifted gears and attended a fundraiser for the Ali Forney Center, also Ronnie Kroell's birthday celebration, as a celebrity host. Thursday brought the Fox5 taping with Aman, Block Institute's Brightest Star, a meeting with a former judge of mine who had a lot of wisdom to share, and a pre-event for Jeffery Fashion Cares at David Yurman on Madison Ave. I was able to meet a lot of great people, some excited fans of Miss America, and people who are doing great things for the LGBT community. Jackie Holmes, Miss Manhattan, attended the event with me. Since I will not be able to attend the actual JFC event because I'll be in Washington DC, I wanted to make the intro so that the next Miss Manhattan could have the opportunity!

Randy Jones, from the Village People, at Ronnie Kroell's Fundraiser
Ronnie Kroell, me, Jackie Holmes Miss Manhattan, at David Yurman / Jeffrey Cares pre-launch
Friday, I went back out to Long Island for another school presentation with an auditorium FULL of 5th-8th graders at Plainview Old-Bethpage MS. At the end of their Tolerance and Spirit week, I spoke on Tolerance - but pushed it to true acceptance, respect and embracing diversity of course - and Rohan Murphy spoke on Spirit. He had quite an exciting and motivating story: a very determined, hard-working and as a result, very successful high school and college wrestler, all without legs. Try to follow that. Well I did, and I think we really summed up their week in an exciting way, but of course with an important message from two different perspectives.

Rohan Murphy - Tolerance & Spirit week at Plainview Old Bethpage MS

When signing autographs for the kids, I had one special girl, Maddie, come up to me.  In my presentation I had shared my favorite quote: 

Look out for your thoughts; they'll soon become your words.
Look out for your words; they'll soon become your actions.
Look out for your actions; they'll soon become your habits.
Look out for your habits; they'll soon become your character.
Look out for your character; it will soon become your destiny.

She was very inspired by the quote and in turn wanted to share her favorite with me...that she wrote:

If the whole world was blind,
we could not have discrimination differences,
but since we are blessed to see,
we should focus on seeing the goodness in people.

It's moments like this that make me remember that I have the best job in the world!

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