Friday, June 3, 2011

Late May, Early June

It's officially summer, and the past week or so has been as busy as ever! On May 25, I attended the Grand Opening of Banner Lodge in Moodus, hosted by RE/MAX Precision Realty. I had a great time talking to the golfers and meeting many people from all over Connecticut. The weather was beautiful! Miss Mountain Laurel, Miss Constitution, and I were lucky enough to get to go up in the RE/MAX hot air balloon! It was tethered down to a few cars, but it still went pretty high off the ground. What an exhilarating opportunity!

The next day, I met with my awesome trainer, Shawn O'Brien. Now that I'm home for the summer, he tailored my workout so that I can get fit using the equipment that I have at home. In the afternoon, my boyfriend of 4 years graduated from Manchester Community College! I'm very proud of him, and he is now volunteering with the Andover Fire Department as well as training to be a certified EMT. Congrats, Rory!

May 28 was a busy and exciting day. It started off bright and early (8:30) with a talent practice in front of my business managers and sister queens. I'm so glad that they enjoyed my talent, and I'm so impressed with their talents as well! Something tells me that we're going to represent the Hartford County/Rocky Hill program very well at the Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen pageant. After rehearsal, I got to hang out with my sister queen Annalisa, Miss Hartford County's Outstanding Teen, for a couple hours. I spent the rest of the day at a Breast Cancer Benefit: Pink Pics for Life. The event featured Steve Schappert's BIO WaterCar, which uses water for fuel! This was very cool to learn about, and it was neat to connect with Steve, who is the uncle of one of my good friends from high school. Pink Monkey Water was also featured, which was a really neat product to learn about. The water is scented ( I sampled Orange and Lemon Lime flavors), yet there is no flavor: it is pure water. I especially loved meeting Aanika, the Pink Monkey herself! She is a beautiful little girl who survived a very premature birth, and is now a healthy and vibrant 1 1/2 year old. Meeting Angelo and Nancy, Aanika's parents, was very inspirational. They donate to many charitable causes for children, and understand the importance of giving back. I enjoyed sharing my story of involvement with the Ronald McDonald House as well as my experience of having a disabled older sister. I look forward to working with Pink Monkey Water and the BIOS WaterCar more in the future!

This past Monday was Memorial Day. Unfortunately, the Rocky Hill parade was cancelled due to uncooperative weather. However, the rain and thunder was unable to dampen our patriotic spirit. I attended a Memorial Day service at Rocky Hill High School, where I listened to a couple retired veterans speak, as well as the mayor. It was very inspirational to hear of their dedication to preserving our freedoms, often which we take for granted. After the ceremony, I visited a veteran who is near and dear to my heart, my great aunt Diane. I had so much fun catching up with her and listening to old recordings of her and her sisters singing. Of course, Diane took me all around her residential building and introduced me to everyone. I'm glad I could brighten her day, and I'm especially glad to have her in my life.

The month of June started out with a visit to the Ronald McDonald House of New Haven. Brittany Monico, Miss Constitution, was kind enough to accompany me in cooking dinner for the families staying at the house. We had a great time cooking a delicious pasta dinner complete with salad, garlic bread, and cheesecake. I got to spend some time talking to a brave young girl staying at the house for the second time. She came all the way from Puerto Rico to receive treatment at Yale New Haven Hospital. It's reasons like that which make me so passionate about the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Families can stay in a house for little to no cost and receive a home-away-from home, home cooked meals, and the support of other families. It was very rewarding to know that Brittany and I could do something to brighten the day of the families and children who need it most!