Monday, October 31, 2011

NASCAR Kids Charity Video Game Tournament

On Saturday, Nov. 19, NASCAR will be making history by hosting the first ever Battle of the NASCAR Kids Tournament at Homestead Miami Speedway.  Event sponsor, Activision, is donating a check to The NASCAR Foundation for $25,000 on behalf of the child participants, while the winning driver will be awarded an additional $5,000 for the charity of their choice.  Retail partner, Game Stop, will serve as the mobile marketing sponsor for the event which will be hosted at the race track. 
Here is the line-up of competitors and the charities they are competing for:

6-year-old Faith Yeley, daughter of J.J. Yeley, will be racing for The Jake Raborn Foundation (www.jakesfoundation.org)



6-year-old Sebastian Montoya, son of Juan Pablo Montoya, will be racing for Formula Smiles. (www.formulasmiles.com)



8-year-old Carson Kvapil, son of Travis Kvapil, will be racing for NASCAR Dreams.  This program offers seriously injured and chronically ill children and their families the chance to experience a NASCAR race including meeting their favorite NASCAR Driver, attending pre-race ceremonies and watching the race from a VIP seat.  (www.nascar.com/foundation)


11-year-old Todd Gilliland, son of David Gilliland, will be racing for Sherrills Ford Optimist Park.  This facility suffered a massive fire over the summer destroying trophies, gear and uniforms stored in attic of the clubhouse.  Over 100 children from the local neighborhoods rely on this facility for everything from football, baseball, softball, cheerleading and more.   (www.leaguelineup.com)


17-year-old Ryan Blaney, son of David Blaney, will be racing for the Alzheimer's Association.  (www.alz.org/northcarolina)


GameStop’s #20 driver Joey Logano will also be on hand to coach two wild card racers. He’ll pick two lucky individuals from the crowd to compete in the battle, and, if they should win, they’ll take home $5,000 in addition to the charity donation.


For more information on the event or about NASCAR Unleashed, please visit www.ActivisionUnleashed.com or join us on facebook.com/NASCARUnleashed.

Janet Bolin

Friday, October 28, 2011

Women's Expo

The 14th annual Times-News Women’s Expo was a fun-filled 3-day event that encompassed everything a girl loves: food, fashion, and fun! This past weekend our organization, Jurnee’s Journey, set up a booth at the expo. We sold Paws-N-Claws jewelry, t-shirts, did face painting and showcased kittens and puppies available for adoption from the Sullivan County Humane Society/Kingsport Animal Shelter. Thousands of women paraded through the event and every single one of them stopped by to see the precious furry friends!

Setting up for the busy weekend!

Our volunteers were hard working!  Our good friends Katie Edwards and Catherine Hensley painted incredible designs on little faces while Michael Harr and Zack Irby helped behind the counter. Special thanks to my Mom & Dad, Robin Porter, and Michelle Hensley for all their help too!



Our face painters, Katie and Catherine, are incredibly talented! Katie painted this dinosaur on my little brother, Daxx!

Catherine painted Hello Kitty!

Katie painted a tiger!



1 puppy, 1 cat, and 6 kittens were adopted from the Jurnee’s Journey booth during the event!  Jurnee’s Journey was able to donate the funds to help 3 families adopt! Helping animals find loving, forever homes is our mission!

(L-R): Zack Irby, Michelle Hensley, Michael Harr, me, Congressman Roe, Katie Edwards, Catherine Hensley, Whitney Carr (my mother!)

U.S. Congressman Phil Roe, a fellow animal lover and friend of mine & Jurnee’s Journey, even stopped by our booth! He chatted with us about his own dog!

Another adoption!


Volunteer, Katie Edwards, and another kitten who found a home!

The weekend was such a blast and I am so grateful for the support of my family & friends and the community. Remember, don’t shop-adopt!


Jurnee Carr

Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Wear Red Day

National Wear Red Day ® is the first Friday in February.  In 2012, it will fall on Friday, February 3rd just two days before Super Bowl XLVI  There are three ways to be involved for the annual Wear Red Day ® celebration: (1) Visit GoRedForWomen.org to obtain free promotional materials, (2) Create a fundraising page, and (3) donate instantly, online.


Corporations can create a Wear Red Challenges and rally employees to support the effort, while learning valuable lessons on how to be heart healthy at any age.  The free promotional materials offer a wealth of knowledge in a fun, easy to read format.  And, you can support the effort by attending local events such as Go Red Luncheons, Local Galas and Benefits, Heart Walks, and more near you.  It’s all online at http://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/


If you are a planner like me, you’ll want this save-the-date in your day planner now so you won’t miss the big event!

Janet Bolin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Zanesville, Ohio

I have fond memories of school field trips to the Columbus Zoo.  With Jack Hanna in our backyard, we had endless opportunities to learn about all the beautiful animals from around the world.  They are all God's creatures and they are absolutely beautiful. 

With the unfortunate events that unfolded last week, I am incredibly thankful my Grandma and other immediate family members, classmates and long-time friends who live in Zanesville, are safe.  My Grandma, who lives just miles from the private animal reserve, was not unlike any other scared member of the community.  My mother, who lives less than 30 miles from the private animal reserve and adopts animals all the time, offered some humor in texting me, “I suppose I can take in another one, but not sure if I have room for them all.”  All I could picture was my mother and her little dogs going out for the morning activities and without warning, turning into an appetizer for one of the escaped animals.  (After all, cheetahs run fast.) 

So many things in life happen without warning, so I ask that any efforts or energy focused around this unfortunate event be used for good.  Donations can be made to the The Wilds (www.thewilds.org), World Wildlife Federation (www.worldwild.org), Care for the Wild (www.careforthewild.org), Wildlife Rescue (www.wildlife-rescue.org) and/or your local zoo.  I will be visiting The Wilds in the coming weeks.

The Wilds is the largest wildlife conservation center in the world

The Wilds spans over 10,000 miles in southeastern Ohio

Janet Bolin

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dove Movement for Self-Esteem

Growing up, Friday nights were always family nights which might have involved either grocery shopping, watching our favorite TV Show (Night Rider), playing board games or attending a high school game. Either way, we were always together and having fun. So it was heartwarming for me to be part of a very special event involving mom's and daughter's this past Friday night.

Over 150 girls registered to take part in the first event to empower girls in Charlotte to grow up with positive self-esteem and the confidence to be beautiful. So many beautiful young ladies full of hope and excitement! This free event extends throughout the weekend and Friday was just the beginning. Each attendee received a bingo card so they could visit five different self-esteem stations. My role was polishing nails at the "Hope" station. I loved it. And, I signed "Mrs. Int'l" on the bingo card which the girls thought was cool.


I am still in awe of the numerous smiles and excitement my crown brings to others. Before the event started, I took a ride in the elevator to the lobby to help distributing name tags and as soon as the elevator doors opened there were 4 little girls standing there who had been talking and giggling and they just stopped and staired. (That scene in Monsters Inc where the squeeky toy gets picked up by their "leader," the claw - that was the look in their eye.) So I quickly bent down to their level and started talking with them and let them touch the crown. I still get the question,"Do you have magical powers," so I think that means I'll have to learn a couple magic tricks that kids would think is cool?


Looking ahead, I'll be at Day 2 of the Dove event and then heading to Talladega to spend race day with Joey Retherford's mother and family. More pictures to come!
 
Janet Bolin

Get Your Pink On

Who doesn’t love to wear pink?! If you’re a pink fanatic like me, you can show your support for breast cancer awareness by sporting your pink gear all month long! October is national breast cancer awareness month, so break out your pink and show your support!

Looking for super cute pink gear? Shop Komen has fabulous clothing! Not only does this clothing line elude pink, all the proceeds go directly back to breast cancer research, such as Susan G Komen. I had the opportunity to wear some of my favorites from Shop Komen on Daytime Tri-Cities!



The show aired live while Komen representative, Kevon, and I talked about Shop Komen and the upcoming Tri-Cities Race for the Cure.




This coming Sunday is the Tri-Cities TN/VA Race for the Cure! I am so excited to be volunteering at the Survivor Tent and as well as kicking off the Kid’s Dash! I can’t wait to wear my pink and see the community supporting this fabulous cause!

Jurnee Carr

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Updating my CPR/First Aid Certification

As a certified fitness instructor, I am responsible for maintaining my CPR and First Aid certification.  I am proud to share I’ve maintained my CPR and First Aid certification since age 15, when I needed it to be a lifeguard at our community pool.  Every time I take the re-certification course, I am proud to know others can rely on me to help them whether I’m on a plane, at the race track or in my own home.


One of the many resources the American Heart Association has available through www.heart.org is a locator to find a certification class near you.  The ECC Class Connector is quick and efficient at finding a certification course to fit your needs whether you need it for your job or just to be an educated citizen.  Go to “Find a CPR Class” then scroll to “ECC Class Connector.” 


I also encourage you to be on the lookout for “hands only CPR” courses offered through local retailers.  The NASCAR Speedpark is one of the local retailers (NC, SC, TN, MO and Toronto) who provides frequent classes.  If physically attending a class isn’t feasible, I invite you to view the eLearning courses available at www.heart.org or you can order the Family & Friends® CPR Anytime® kit to be delivered to your home.


Whatever route you choose, remember knowledge is key to helping save lives.  The American Heart Association is always working to provide you with the tools that could save your life and the lives of your loved ones.  And, if you attend my indoor group cycle class, rest assured I am certified.

Janet Bolin

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

VA and MD Int'l Pageant

It was a nice change to be sitting at the judges table as I judged the Pre-Teen and Jr. Teen Virginia International the other weekend! Pageant weekend was so exciting and I had an absolute blast meeting all the contestants! It was tough not to crown every single one of the outstanding young ladies!


I also got to catch up with Rebecca Crosen-Mrs. Virginia International 2011, Sandra Bryan-Grier-Mrs. Maryland International 2011, Deshauna Barber-Miss Virginia International 2011, Margo Huffman-Miss Teen Maryland International 2011, and my sister queen, Ciji Dodds-Miss International 2011 and former Miss Maryland International 2011. Needless to say, there was a lot of royalty!


"Crown Crazy!"

As Ciji and I were posing to take a photo, our crowns "clanked" together! It caused us to break out in laughter!

Mrs., Miss, Teen & Pre-Teen Virginia International 2011!



One of the best things about wearing a crown is being able to use it as on open door to reach out to others. These two little girls were so full of energy and it was a blessing to be able to meet new friends. As soon as I handed her my autographed photo, she started dancing around the hallway! I love my job!
DeShawn Shepard, VA and MD International pageants director, did an amazing job with the pageant; she truly treated me like “royalty”!


Congrats and best wishes to the new 2012 Virginia and Maryland queens!

Jurnee Carr

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Queen’s Corner Q&A

Welcome to the Queen’s Corner.  Below are 3 questions that I get asked on an almost daily basis.  Let’s get started!
What is your favorite book?
Because of my platform, I get this question all of the time! I don’t have a favorite book because I love so many books for different reasons.  Instead, I have a “Favorites List,” that gets shuffled and rearranged periodically. However, one book has stayed at the top of my Favorites List for a couple of years now.  Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. 
I love this book because it is a children’s book with an invaluable and timeless message.  The first time that I read it was when I was in law school, and I could not believe how it accurately described the challenges and obstacles that I had already overcome and that I was facing.  There is an element of honesty to this book that speaks directly to your heart and mind, and makes you feel like you are receiving sage advice from your grandmother. Whenever I meet a challenge or am feeling out of sorts, I read this book to help me maintain the proper perspective.   
Who is your favorite designer?
Surprise…I don’t have a favorite!  But, if I had to choose 5 (I thought about choosing 3 but that would be entirely too difficult!),  in no particular order they would be:  Badgley Mischka, Elie Tahari, Karen Millen, Ralph Lauren and YSL.
What is the most challenging aspect of being Miss International?
That is an easy question; the most challenging aspect of being Miss International is definitely the time management aspect.  Juggling competing obligations is always difficult.  Pile on that being a national titleholder and a young professional and my juggling act begins to look a bit like Cirque du Soleil.  You would be surprised at the number of people who think that being Miss International is my full time job.  So when I tell them that it’s not and that I have a regular full time job, they are amazed. 
Balancing it all is especially difficult to do when you are in the public eye.  As a titleholder, I agreed to a year of service and the thought of fulfilling those obligations, along with the personal goals that I set for my reign is overwhelming. I am constantly worrying about whether I am dedicating enough time to my platform, fully promoting the system and being responsive to the phone calls, texts, emails and facebook messages that I receive on a daily basis. I’ve learned that the best way to manage everything is to take it one day at time and to not sweat the small stuff (thanks mom!).
Best,
Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Largest Library in the World!


This past Monday the Library of Congress opened its famous Main Reading Room to the public.  The Library opens the Main Reading Room twice a year as a way of encouraging the public to visit The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with more than 147 million items on 838 miles of bookshelves.  When most people hear the word “library” they think of endless stacks of books, maybe a little dust and not much fun.  But, as someone who has visited the Library of Congress on numerous occasions, I can tell you that it is anything but dusty and boring! It is a fascinating place to learn about, and experience the richness of our country’s history.

Aside from the books, there are exhibitions, concerts and programs for children.  I recently participated in its Let’s Travel the World Through Books, storytelling event.  Kids from the DC Metropolitan area gathered to discuss their favorite books and listen to stories and music. The Library also has a Young Readers Center, which is especially designed to encourage children and teens to explore the Library.  The Library of Congress has so many wonderful things to offer.  If you haven’t been, you should definitely put it on your to do list the next time you visit D.C.!

Best,
Ciji Dodds
Miss International 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Princess Closet

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” -Cinderella. Little girls dream about being sent to the ball in a big, beautiful gown, like Cinderella. Unfortunately, some girls don’t have a fairy godmother to grant her wishes with the sway of a magic wand. That’s where Princess Closet comes in to play. 

Princess Closet is a non-profit organization that holds dress drives and helps the young Cinderella’s of Chicago find the perfect prom gown. Their mission is to provide every high school girl a prom dress. To date they have helped dress over 800 young ladies!

The International Pageant System is helping Princess Closet in their efforts. Every year during orientation at nationals, the contestants are encouraged to bring dresses to donate. This year at the 2011 pageant I donated 15 dresses to Princess Closet! It was so fulfilling to know that I was a “fairy godmother” to 15 girls.

Dresses that I donated to Princess Closet at the 2011 Miss Teen International Pageant in Chicago, IL

All 2012 contestants: I challenge you to match or double the amount of dresses I brought! I can’t wait to see how many dresses the 2012 Miss and Miss Teen International contestants donate to help send high school girls to prom!

As Miss Teen International 2011, I am blogging about my reign and high school year for Princess Closet! Check out the first blog post here: http://chgoprincesscloset.blogspot.com/2011/10/life-of-junior-by-jurnee-carr-miss-teen.html

Learn more about Princess Closet and how you can become a “fairy godmother”: http://www.princess-closet.org/sponsorspartners/international-pageants

Jurnee Carr

Friday, October 14, 2011

Patty Aber, Finalist for the BJF Award

I invite you to learn about my friend Patty Aber by clicking on the video link below.  She, like so many, enjoy life by giving back to others every day.  She has devoted the last 30 years of her life to serving others, with more than 1,700 total volunteer hours served. 

 The Bridge of Books Foundation provides new and gently used books to at-risk children


Patty volunteers with the Bridge of Books Foundation, an organization that shares the world and all its possibilities with at-risk children through books.   She is also a NASCAR Foundation Volunteer Network Ambassador.  I met Patty at Bristol Motor Speedway, on a cold Saturday in March, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race weekend.  We were volunteering together at The NASCAR Foundation display collecting donations for the 2011 NASCAR Day pin. 

Patty volunteering with the Bridge of Books Foundation

Patty and I were the early morning crew, arriving at the track at 7am to help set-up the display and volunteer for the first shift.  Patty, who is from New Jersey, had taken the opportunity to road trip all the way to Bristol with her family – her husband, Tom, and her daughter, Lauren.  Patty, like many NASCAR Fans, enjoy the opportunity to road trip an average of 500 miles just to enjoy a NASCAR race. 

After we had everything set-up, we realized we were amongst a sea of other displays who had opened, as planned, however in the world of Bristol most fans don’t start functioning until the sun starts to shine and since today was an extra cold morning, the midway was vacant for the time being.  So, I took advantage of going to visit one of our merchandise trailers to get us coffee and Oreos.  (Thanks Fish.)

So I bring back coffee for Patty and the rest of the volunteers and they offer them some Oreos.  Still adjusting to the morning hours, Patty looks at me and says, “Are you eating Oreos?”   “Guilty,” I respond.  To which she burst into laughter, looks at the other volunteers who have their eyes wide open and their mouth’s gapping – all because I was enjoying my Oreos with my crown and sash.  They thought that was so out of character for a beauty queen.  I shared with them, “It’s ok.  I’m an aerobics instructor.  We have 12 hours to burn these off.” 

Patty has devoted the past 30 years and over 1,700 hours to volunteering

Throughout the day, I was able to get to know Patty more.  Patty attends five to ten races per year, where she volunteers her time at the track while cheering on her favorite driver, Kasey Kahne.  Her family means the world to her and I was able to get to know them too!  (Her daughter Lauren likes Dale Jr. so there is a little competition in the household.) 

Like many other visits, it was fun to make a new friend and dispel myths about “beauty queens.”  While my day concluded, that wasn’t the last time I’d be able to volunteer with Patty, so we exchanged contact information, hugs and looked forward to our next charity project together.

Me (as Mrs. NC) and Patty Aber at Dover Downs International Speedway

I encourage you to take the time to vote.  The winner is determined by your votes, so you can vote everyone 24 hours.  The winner receives $100,000 for their charity plus a new 2012 Ford Explorer to aid with the charity.  To learn more, please visit NASCAR.COM/unites.  Thank you in advance for your support.

Please vote for Patty Aber every 24 hours!

Janet Bolin

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Daily Points of Light

Volunteering and helping others is a passion of mine. Just recently I was honored with the Daily Points of Light award! This award recognizes individuals and groups creating meaningful change in communities across America. This award was established in 1989 by President George H. W. Bush!

Check my feature story on the Daily Points of Light official blog: http://pointsoflightblog.org/2011/10/11/daily-point-of-light-4612-jurnee-carr/

I also received a certificate signed by President Bush! I love helping out in the community and being recognized for my lifestyle is an incredible honor.

Jurnee Carr

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finalists Announced at Kansas Speedway

On Sunday at Kansas Speedway, The NASCAR Foundation announced four individuals -- Jake Bernstein, Patty Aber, Brenda Doner and Robert Weaver, respectively -- are the four finalists for the inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, which recognizes outstanding charitable and volunteer efforts of selfless NASCAR fans.

BJF Award Finalists Announced at Kansas Speedway

Bernstein, referred to as the "NASCAR boy" by his high-school librarian, spends his time outside the classroom volunteering with Autism Speaks. Completing an astounding 100 volunteer hours per month, Bernstein is involved in everything from tutoring and coaching to organizing and directing free summer tennis clinics for youth with autism. To encourage his peers to get involved within the St. Louis community, Bernstein and his sister launched a website to help recruit youth to volunteer on projects throughout the area. President Barack Obama recently recognized Bernstein's devotion to community service for young people in a back-to-school address at a local high school in Washington, D.C. 

Jake Bernstein at the Press Conference at Kansas Speedway


Aber has devoted the past 30 years of her life to serving others, with more than 1,700 total volunteer hours served. Most recently, Aber has focused her time and efforts on the Bridge of Books Foundation, an organization that shares the world and all its possibilities with at-risk children through books. Aber also attends a number of NASCAR races each year, where she spends her time volunteering with the NASCAR Foundation.

Patty Aber and her family at Kansas Speedway


Doner contributes time to NASCAR charities such as the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, in addition to working tirelessly for PBJ Connections, a non-profit organization she developed that provides emotional healing for at-risk youths with animal-assisted activities. Her innovative approach helps to improve self-esteem and foster healthy relationships with family and peers.

Brenda Doner at the Press Conference at Kansas Speedway


Weaver has been volunteering with the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Foundation (AIDB) for more than 50 years. In addition to his monthly charitable endeavors, he dedicates 30 hours a week to helping children in the organization. His many contributions range from creating intramural basketball teams and bowling programs to teaching students how to ride tricycles. Also a passionate NASCAR fan, Weaver once was able to pair his hobby and his volunteer work when his favorite driver, Darrell Waltrip, hosted the AIDB's annual fundraiser in 1986 -- thanks to a request from Weaver himself.

Robert Weaver at the Ford Stage with Greg Biffle at Kansas Speedway


Voting is under way and will run through midnight on Dec. 1 on NASCAR.COM. Betty Jane France will announce the winner during the Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Wynn Las Vegas on Dec. 2 (SPEED and MRN Radio, 9 p.m. ET), culminating the Champion's Week celebration in Las Vegas.  All four finalists received expense-paid trips to Kansas Speedway last weekend. The winner of the inaugural Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will receive an expense-paid trip to the 2011 Sprint Cup Series Champion's Week in Las Vegas, in addition to the Ford Explorer and $100,000 to donate. The other three finalists will receive a $25,000 donation from the NASCAR Foundation to a children's charity of their choice, as well as expense-paid trips to Las Vegas for Champion's Week.

BJF Award Finalitss at the Press Conference with their favorite drivers

For more information about the NASCAR Foundation and the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award, please visit NASCAR.COM/Unites.  Thank you in advance for taking the time to vote.  It will mean the world to these folks who have given so much of themselves to help others.  Thank you.

Janet Bolin