Friday, August 15, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Miss Ohio's Outstanding Teen
c/o Rosen Centre Hotel
9840 International Drive
Orlando, Fla. 32819
At the send-off, Sarah modeled her wardrobe and performed her talent piece, "Mr. Melody." Not only is Sarah beautiful, but I've always thought she is one of those naturally beautiful people. I am sure she will leave a great first impression with the judges. Below are some of the pictures I took of Sarah in her different wardrobe pieces. The bright pink gown at the bottom was Sarah's prom dress which she will now use for a production number. I love a girl who knows how to reuse and save money! Especially when the gown looks like brand new and great on her. The middle picture is of her walk-on gown and the top picture is of Sarah in her evening gown. It looks even more beautiful in person.
Since the send-off took place the day after I returned from Atlanta, I was extremely sleep deprived and not feeling too well. Because of this, my mom decided to take the trip with me to Mansfield. This made it nice that we could catch up and spend time together before I headed back to school. It was also great to see Kasey Wilson, Becky Minger, Roberta Camp, and Marlia Fontaine. We each performed two songs: Kasey sang "Never Alone" and "Time to Say Goodbye," (my favorite of hers), Becky sang "Summertime" and "Gold," (her Miss Ohio talent piece), and Marlia performed "The Impossible Dream" and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I sang "At last" and Jordin Spark's (last years American Idol) rendition of "To Love Somebody." Originally, I had planned on singing my Miss Ohio talent piece, "I am Changing," but I lost about half of my voice from getting no sleep at my conference. Thankfully, I was well enough that I could somewhat sing by Sunday.
Marlia did a great job emceeing the event which was held at the Westbrook Country Club in Mansfield. One of the highlights of the event was getting to see Roberta and Kasey's engagement rings...both which are gorgeous! Best wishes to them both, although, I must say I will miss competing with Kasey. I always enjoyed competing with her and thought she would become a Miss Ohio.
After a group picture and many well wishes, my mother and I went to visit my host family from Miss Ohio this past year. Dr. Chuck and Nadji Young live on sixty acres of farmland on the outskirts of Bellville. This was their first year hosting, but they did a fabulous job! My roommate, Heather Wells, and I had a wonderful week with them. On the day of Heather's interview, I had spare time in the morning, so Dr. Chuck took me out on his gator. We went through miles of woods and farmland with their dog Buff chasing along behind us. Everynight Dr. Chuck would stay up until Heather and I would return home so we could all chat about the day as we rampaged the cupboards. After eating all of his dried mangos, he decided to buy us each our own pack.
Unfortunately, Dr. Chuck recently had a very serious surgery dealing with his aorta. When I saw him on Sunday, however, I was thankful to see him walking around and being his usual chatty self. He still has an infection, but you would never know it because of his optimistic outlook on life. Before we left, I got a picture with Nadji and Chuck as well as Buff whom they call, "The best dog in the world"....for good reason.
It ended up being a great day and seeing the Young's made me anxious to start competing in locals again. I'll keep my fingers crossed that my luck this year will lead me back to the Young's Tree Farm next summer.
I asked for permission to post a piece of her message, because it displays the energy and drive of our youth volunteers today. Lauren's passion for this organization reminds me why we push ourselves so hard in our volunteer work...why we work day in and day out raising funds and heightening awareness for this cause. It is our duty- our responsibility as the next generation of parents. I volunteer for the March of Dimes because I know that the end result is worth it. Thanks to March of Dimes research, we now know that surfactant therapy can be given to premature babies to help their lungs develop and that women can decrease their chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect by over 70% by taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. These are just two amazing discoveries that have saved thousands of lives.
The March of Dimes will fight day and night until the day all babies are born healthy. All of the teens around the United States who are a part of March of Dimes Team Youth need to hear the mission. They need to realize that every person, every dime, and every hour they spend volunteering changes a life and changes the future of the March of Dimes and babies born all around the world. That is why I feel that the group MOD.youth.motivation. will teach teens the mission of the March of Dimes and give them a reason to work and volunteer that much harder and be able to have a lot of motivation. Every teen counts and makes a difference. My goal is that every Chain Reaction across the United States will join this group and that every teen will work even harder. The March of Dimes has changed my life forever. The things I have learned and the people I have met will always be life long friends of mine whom I will never forget. My name is Lauren Stephens and I plan on being a life long volunteer for the March of Dimes.
The March of Dimes was founded by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to conquer polio in 1938. Seventeen years later, it did just that. The March of Dimes then broadened its mission to prevent all birth defects, and in recent years has focused on preventing preterm birth. These problems cost our society billions of dollars and have devasting effects on families. In addition, infants born prematurely are more likely to develop cerebral palsy, blindness, and mental retardation.
I want to be there the day when we can ensure that all babies are born healthy. I want to be there when no family has to suffer the heartbreak of seeing their baby hooked up to a ventilator in the NICU struggling to survive. I want to be there the day when the March of Dimes must once again redirect its mission, because birth defects and premature are no longer a problem. The organization has done it once, we can do it again. My March of Dimes volunteer work will end the day we can ensure all babies are born healthy and full-term.