Even though I am not participating in Miss America this year (I have two more years to get there. Who knows, maybe I will.), I do follow Miss America Organization, Laura Kaeppeler, Teresa Scanlan, various pageant coaches, and at least 50 of this year’s Miss America contestants. This means I get countless perspectives on all things pageants.
Which is important because this week is Miss America!
I decided to change my platform this pageant season. Although diversity and discrimination is important to me, I am also incredibly passionate about donating blood. I feel like blood donation will be more easy to relate to the judges and the audience, and also there will be more direct results from my involvement.
Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion in the United States of America. Whether it is from a tragic accident or a life threatening disease, these people require the blood from donors in order to survive. Unfortunately, due to a lack of blood donors, our blood supply is extremely low, putting hundreds of lives at risk. As a third generation blood donor, I feel extremely driven to encourage others to donate as well. We need to increase and maintain the supply in our nation’s blood bank. To do this we need to do two things: encourage first time donors and develop lifetime donors.
Participating in pageant has done amazing things in my life. Sure I haven’t won, just yet, but I have learned so much about being a role model, a member of the community, and being a strong, confident woman. I have secure with my body and my intelligence, and can only continue to grow.
As you know, having read my post about it, I watched the Miss New York Pageant last June with my pageant sister Chelsea. We were lucky enough to watch our friends compete, but also watch as Mallory Hagan was crowned. We had gone there rooting for our favorites, but Mallory deserved to win. Now, she is going to represent New York on the Miss America stage on January 12, 2013.
Miss New York is completely based around education. The organization wants to give women the scholarships and guidance they need to succeed, as well as promote community service, good morals, social justice, intelligence, and talent. Mallory is a great definition of all of these things. She is a talented dancer, she is involved with many organizations, has been a supporter of the Dove: “Love Yourself As You Are” Campaign, and is an advocate for the prevention of child sexual abuse. All in all, she is a great role model.
This last Saturday, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the 2012 Teen, Miss, and Mrs New York International Pageant, held at the Villa Roma resort in Callicoon, New York. Even though it is not the MAO system that I compete in, I am still very happy that I was able to go watch, and support some pageant sisters. Watching it opened my eyes so some improvements I could make in my own pageant career, but also I was able to support THREE MAO sisters!
Originally I planned to go and support Amanda, who competed in Empire Rose last year. She has been working very hard this year as Miss Albany Int’l, promoting her platform of Stopping Assault on College Campuses. Although I personally cannot say I have been assaulted at college, and I am very grateful, I went to a college where rape and assault was a lot more common than it was reported. I watched countless freshmen over my time there engage in activities they hadn’t in high school, put themselves in dangerous situations, and older students take advantage. All in all, her platform is very, very important.
The day before the pageant, I found out that Jesse was competing as well. Although I have not competed with her, she was the reining Miss Western NY, in the MAO system, and competed at the Miss New York pageant a few times. She came and supported us at the Miss Thousand Islands Pageant, sporting a sockbun (my favorite quick up-do/easy curl-do). I was excited to have two MAO sisters to support.
But then… when Lauren and I arrived, we saw that Vicky was also competing! I don’t think I competed with her, maybe my first Miss Finger Lakes Pageant, but she volunteers with the Finger Lakes pageant and choreographs opening number and helps out a lot. She is the nicest person I have met.
That time has come, and the first pageant of the 2013 Miss America Pageant season has come and gone. Lonna McCary will represent the Thousand Islands next June at the Miss New York Pageant, with hopes of representing New York and the Miss America Pageant in the following January!
3rd RU: Lauren Crandall, 2nd RU: Amy Hayes, 1st RU: Chelsea Brumagen, Miss TI 2013: Lonna McCary