The Golden Sisterhood

Don't be mad, but I don't have a review for you this week. Look, sometimes, when mummy has a new pool, mummy wants to spend an entire weekend lazing around in said pool rather than hitting the road and searching for yet-unblogged eateries. Mummy's really sorry about that, but her tan is looking really nice, which helps ease her guilt. I will throw you a bone, though. I secured the menu for Gabe's Taco Kitchen In Clayton. You're welcome.

Are you appeased? Just take two big Hungries and call me in the morning. Because this week, it's about pageants. Move on, if you must, or stick around and look at pretty girls! Not only the 10 who are competing with us this year:

(Graphic courtesy of Lauren Crandall)

But feast those eyes on this:

(Photo courtesy of Photoessence)

This photo, my friends, is a glimpse of The Golden Sisterhood. You see, the pageant my mom and I run, Miss Thousand Islands, is celebrating 50 years, its Golden Anniversary, as an official preliminary in the Miss America Organization next weekend. That means that only 50 women in the world know the special honor of representing this gorgeous little corner of the world in this very unique way, and that when we add a new Miss TI to their ranks on August 9, she will have the 50 most glamorous, brilliant, caring, talented, stylish, and civic-minded big sisters on the planet. That is The Golden Sisterhood. I couldn't find all 50 on Facebook to shove into black dresses and pose like my own live dolls at the Antique Boat Museum, but 10 isn't bad, right? 

I know I drone on about Miss TI a lot, but I really am proud of this organization, of what my family is able to do for young women within the confines of the word pageant - a dirty word to many. Our girls are sisters for one another, but they're also now moms, graduate students, non-profit leaders, social media marketing pros, teachers, health care providers, foster parents, fitness gurus...need I go on? And I have had the privilege to play some role (less so for those who were crowned before we took the helm, but still a small part) in helping these women on their journeys. I'm not over emphasizing that word, privilege, because that's what this is. We work hard, yes, fundraising, driving hours and hours, pushing, encouraging, hand holding, and losing sleep over how to help each girl jump her specific hurdle, but the reward, to help these women handle any interview, own every room, be the best candidate in any job search, be comfortable in her own skin, is unequalled. These women are sisters, and I am ridiculously blessed to be some kind of mama duck figure for every one of them. Especially these two, who have my heart, and will both play starring roles in August 9th's show:

So join us at the Clayton Opera House at 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 9. Go early and grab a bite at Gabe's, or Bella's Bistro, or Atillio's Pizza! Then pack it into the Opera House, enjoy the awesome sisterhood-themed show we've put together - hosted by Miss TI 2005 & 2007 Ann Walck Iannotta and Miss TI 2011 Morgan Bocciolatt, and featuring Miss New York 2014 Kira Kazantsev and Miss TI 2014 Olivia Grant - and cheer on these 10 young women who have come from far and wide to cast their lots for this amazing honor. They will work incredibly hard to impress you - and a panel of judges mostly comprised of Golden Sisters - with their poise, intelligence, community service dedication, talent, and style. Your $15 ticket price will go straight to our scholarship fund, to help future generations of sisters with their educational dreams. Could you think of a better way to be entertained on a Saturday night?

Just to show you what we can do, here's Olivia a year ago:

Cute kid, right? Here she is now, and lest you think it's all about looks, this is a young woman seeking to change forever the world of fashion and beauty media and the unfair pressure that industry puts on women by starting her own 501(c)3 non-profit organization, about to embark on her sophomore year of college in a foreign country, and literally one of the best contemporary vocalists I've heard, ever. Oh yeah, and she's kind, smart, and fun:

And here's my little one a couple of years ago. She was already sweet, sincere, wearing her beautiful spirituality on her sleeve, and ready to work hard:

And here she is now, just a couple years later - 14 going on 26, inspiring the nickname Beyoncé from her teen sisters at Miss NY's Outstanding Teen, being bragged on by her school teachers, and inspiring her peers to make a difference every Monday via social media:

Don't you want to root for them, and for girls like them? To see the one lucky enough to join this prestigious network? Then come join us! I would love to see you there! Maybe we can sneak across the street for a taco after the show ;) My personality is big, my hunger is bigger! 

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