On August 8, 2015, I competed among 12 outstanding women for the title of Miss Thousand Islands 2016. I had never met such a fantastic group of women, who were all so kind and intelligent. Before walking onstage for show time, there was an undeniable sense of unity that proved even though we were “competitors” we were also friends, and pageant sisters foremost. As the night progressed, we laughed through the different stages of competition, always offering a helping hand to take a photo or zip up a dress. As we prepared to go onstage for the final crowning moment, I knew that no matter what happened I would walk away a winner. I had gained a newfound sense of confidence, a wonderful group of genuine friends, and memories that would last a lifetime; what more could anyone want?
As we began the crowning moments, I could not have been happier for my pageant sisters who took home scholarships and awards in so many well deserved areas. I cannot stress enough how well qualified and deserving every single woman was for the title. Which is why I was totally unprepared for what happened next. As the winner was called for the title of Miss Thousand Islands 2016, I could not believe what I had heard. Was I dreaming? It had to be a dream, and if so it was the best dream ever and I NEVER wanted it to end! Did they call my name? Yes, they did. And luckily, I wasn’t dreaming- I was incredibly honored to have been chosen as your new Miss Thousand Islands. I am extremely excited to begin my journey promoting my platform “Happy=Healthy:Healing Sick Children One Smile At A Time,” and I endeavor to represent our region with grace and integrity.
This was a moment beyond my wildest dreams, but I couldn’t have done it alone. Pageants, and more importantly pageant girls, are more than just a pretty face onstage with a crown. They spend countless hours of hard work, practice, and education to prepare; all of which would not be possible without the help and support of a community. They always say “it takes a village to raise a child,” and the same goes for preparing for a pageant. I have been so lucky to have such amazing and supportive friends and family in my life and I cannot thank you all enough for the love and support you have given me.
To All the Miss Thousand Islands Sponsors- This pageant truly would not be possible without the support from all of you. You dedication to the Miss Thousand Islands Organization is undeniable, and we are so grateful! I look forward to a fun filled year with all of you!
To The Golden Sisterhood and My Pageant Sisters- Thank you for being you. Throughout the years I have met so many absolutely amazing women, and I am so grateful to have you all in my life. The kindness and support that you have shown is unbelievable. Thank you for the memories and all the good times we shared on this journey together. I can’t wait to watch you all grow on your individual journeys and do remarkable things.
To Shelby, Sue, and Gary- It’s simple- what you do is truly amazing. You have built an organization that generates young women who are both poised and powerful. You spend countless hours working on the pageant, and I can assure you it does not go unnoticed. You have instilled confidence in so many young women and forever changed their lives. Sue, Gary, and Shelby, you have given me the opportunity of a lifetime and I will never be able to thank you enough. I am beyond excited to share this journey with you!
To My Mentor and Friend- Morgan, I will never be able to say thank you enough for the time you spent with me! Your countless hours of pageant prep, mock interviews, and late night texting conversations helped prepare me for the road ahead. I am forever grateful, XOXOX.
To my Friends and Family- Thank you for your support throughout the years and throughout my time with the Miss America Organization. I would not have been able to get where I am today without you. The warm wishes that I received before the pageant really helped to show me how truly loved I am!
To my Mommy and Daddy (and Robert too!)- I could spend a whole lifetime saying thank you for all that you have done, but that still wouldn’t be enough. The countless hours you have spent raising me into the woman I am today, do not go unnoticed. I could not have made it this far in life without your guidance, love, and support. You are the best parents and brother in the world and I will never forget that. I cherish all the memories we have made so far and look forward to all the new ones ahead of us! I love you forever, and ever.