Special Edition: I'm a Pageant Girl

I know the fact that I am a long-time volunteer in the Miss America Organization is not actually coming as a big surprise. One of the reasons I started Big Hungry Shelby was that my parents and I were eating in so many fantastic mom-and-pop restaurants while attending local pageants all over the state, and I wanted to promote them.

Well, this week is Miss New York week. For you sports fans, it's like the World Series, except my team makes the championship every year. The added bonus this year is that a very dear friend of mine since high school, Hunt Ethridge, is co-hosting the pageant. So I get to cheer for my girls and catch up with my friend all in one. Our Miss contestants are all arriving in Staten Island today to meet with borough president Molinaro and NYC Mayor Bloomberg, and rehearsals, appearances and preliminary competitions will continue all week. I will obsessively be watching the interwebs for photos and tidbits of info to share over on our Miss Thousand Islands Pageant page on Facebook.

Here are my girls:

Allison Carlos, 20, is Miss Thousand Islands 2012. She lives in Watertown and owns Dance Alley, the best dance shop in town. She just graduated from JCC and plans to attend Syracuse University in the fall to major in communications and rhetorical studies. Her talent at this week's pageant is a contemporary ballet to Elisa's Rock Your Soul. If you like the look of her, you might want to help out in her journey to the Miss New York crown by voting for her as your favorite contestant. The winner of this contest will be guaranteed a spot in the Top 10 at this Saturday's Miss NY Pageant. It's only $1 per vote and very easy to pay through PayPal.
This is Maggie Ackerman, Miss Thousand Islands Outstanding Teen 2012. She is 17, and attends Watertown High School. She is a dancer, an artist, and a tiny wisp of a girl, with a soft voice and a stunning intellect. She could win a substantial scholarship to help continue her education if you vote her as favorite contestant among the teens. Just click here to vote for only $1.  
The two cute little ones in the middle are our Miss Thousand Islands Star Princesses, Sarah Roux and Joelle Leek. This picture is from a fun day last month when they were awarded official Miss America princess crowns for all their hard work for our organization, and had the priviledge of being crowned not only by Allison, but also Miss New York Kaitlin Monte. Sarah is sprightly and silly, and loves American Girl dolls. Joelle is tall and elegant, 12 going on 22. When I asked her recently if she preferred The Beiber or Selena Gomez, she just rolled her eyes at me. There's no voting you can do for them, but if you see them in a parade in the Northcountry this summer, say hi!

I am so proud to volunteer in this organization and have the chance I do to work with young women in our community to increase their self esteem, poise, interview skills, marketing ability and scoial media awareness. OK, yeah, the gowns and crowns are fun, too, but what my parents and I try to drive home is that the crown isn't a prize, it's a committment. I hope you'll get as swept up in the fever of Miss New York week as I do, and cast your vote to support these young ladies.

In other news, the subject of BHS's first The Blather, Gabe Aubertine, applied to be on Food Network's Chopped! How cool is that? One of our own might be on national TV, competing in a show that, if he wins, could allow him his dream of running his own kitchen! This Wednesday on BHS, stay tuned for the second installment of The Blather, in which I bring you a profile of and recipe from a blogging friend of mine who calls New Hampshire home. I can't wait for you to read his thoughts on food and food writing.

I should also probably give you an update on this whole diet thing, which is going smashingly. Following Dr. Gomez's EatRightFitness plan, I have dropped 11.5 lbs since I started in late April. If you're trying to shape up for bikini season, it's not too late! Call Roger, and he can get you on track and on plan. Just be ready to kiss carbs goodbye after 1 p.m., my loves. My hunger is big, my personality is bigger!

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